Over past few weeks I've been developing plans for a communication project, a media relations campaign.
That's prompted me to reflect again on communication management process by which we transform communication ideas into operational activities.
For me, communication management process has four phases: conception (strategy); development (tactics); operations (execution); and review (evaluation).
Coming out of conception or strategy phase, I think it's essential to have strategic clarity, which means a clear, focused objective (or objectives) that serves our ends, ends of our audience, and allows for effective development and operations.
For example when I first started publishing newsletters, I didn't look or ask for strategic clarity from my clients. The result? Newsletters that faltered, sputtered, and eventually lapsed. Clients had wanted newsletters because they thought a newsletter would be a good idea. Communication is good, right? But, communication without a well-considered purpose is largely ineffective.
Other clients, though, did know what they wanted, both for themselves and for their readers. They turned out to be good clients with lots of staying power. And they had staying power because they clearly knew why they were communicating, and had some sense of results, even if those results couldn't be measured.
To get strategic clarity, we first need to step back and ask some important questions. What do we want for time, money, and perhaps other resources we're committing? What is objective? Now, go one step further and articulate that objective in terms of reader response. Write down what they will do if you successfully communicate with them.