5 Tips of the Week – We have perfected the art of effective management of the communication processes in organisations. We share our insights on how to be on the cutting-edge of communication expertise
On communications strategy
Develop a communications strategy for your organization at least once a year.
Outline how you are going to communicate and what resources you are going to need to achieve this.
A set of activities is not a strategy.
You have to deal with themes and messages that will run through your strategy, tools as well as messengers for your strategy to consider it near complete.
A communications strategy must not be confused with a media strategy.
It has to be comprehensive taking into account all necessary stakeholders who need to receive your information or who need to be influenced.
On media monitoring
A communicator must be tuned into developments.
Media monitoring has to be done with intention to aid the communication plans for the day…
…determining what messages need to be reinforced as well as what misinformation needs to be corrected.
Media monitoring is the daily bread of a communicator.
You have to use it to guide the shape of the day’s communications.
Speeches, statements and public engagements must not ignore the major developments of the day lest they risk being irrelevant.
Set aside media monitoring teams or appoint a reputable agency that can monitor a wide section of media.
If you have a big communications team assign team members pat media to monitor.
….monitoring must include …publication type, article type, journalist, trends and beads
on buying space in the press
…..Paid for space must be used for mass campaigns.
Policy communications must be approached through editorially credible media appearance.
Opinion piece space is free. Unless you are publishing a schedule or a time table of some kind avoid advertorials.
On crisis communications
Your organization must have a crisis communications plan.
Your managers must be trained in that plan.
Having a plan that only communications practitioners know about is as good as having no plan.
The plan must indicate who must speak during a crisis and what they must articulate and how.
The plan must have scenario plans to anticipate as many situation as possible related to the kind of business or organization in question.
When faced with a crisis, be first with the news to the public instead of trying to conceal the crisis. News of a crisis is bound to leak.
Keep your internal stakeholders informed. This is your first source of wrong leaks of information to the media
Avoid individual briefing to the journalist in breaking the initial story. That way no media will find the need to ‘show you up’
As much as possible keep to one spokesperson at a time.
On reputation management
Reputation of your company is proportional to the effective communication you invest in.
A company that hides information will not garner the confidence of the public.
A spokesperson must have a sense of the reputation level of the organization.
How is it viewed by stakeholders, how is it viewed by the public and the press?
A spokesperson must monitor any change in reputation standing of his or her organization…
…constantly suggesting interventions that will protect such a reputation for the sake of the stakeholders.