What is a communications strategy and why is it so important?
Communication is a critical part of any business's success, especially when the goal is to go viral. A communications strategy is a plan for how you will communicate with your target audience. How you portray yourself as a company will affect how you are perceived, thus affecting your likeability. Your communication strategies include who you plan to communicate with, how you plan to communicate with them, and what you hope to gain from the interaction. If you hope to gain followers, attention, and popularity, it is important to reflect on what key messages you want to convey to your key stakeholders.
Which communications strategies are the key to a companies success?
1) Communications goals. Communications goals are the desired end-goal of a strategic communications plan. This will typically be the first step in the development of a communication strategy. Creating these goals will ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page, giving you a greater chance of going viral.
2) Who is your target audience? Before you're able to create a plan, you must know what potential audiences you want to cater to. Your strategy may look different if you want to reach women than it would be if you wanted to reach men. You may need to use a different media channel if you want to reach Generation X versus if you wanted to reach millennials.
3) Now, it's time to develop a communications plan. A communications plan outlines how you will achieve communication objectives. It includes scheduling, divvying up responsibilities to different co-workers in public relations and deciding what your business goals are. It is in this step that you are your team will also come up with a crisis communications plan.
4) Lastly, which communication channels will you use? This is the part in the plan where you decide which communication channels you will use, what relevant messages you want to convey and how you will communicate those messages.
What key stakeholders look for in media engagements
Key stakeholders want to see personality, well-executed communication strategies and want to feel like there is a sense of community within your company. Companies that go viral have great marketing techniques and can portray that they can be responsible in any scenario. Organizations that focus on developing their brand and their relationship with the media while communicating in a way that makes sense to the public builds consumer trust, which in turn increases likeability.
How does your likeability make it more likely for you to go viral?
We've all seen companies blow up on social media in what seems like seconds, with new followers and partnerships coming out of thin air. How does this happen? It all has to do with likeability. There are so many components to being likeable to the public.
1) Consumers want to see a cohesive company and work environment. The key to achieving this is to get all employees on the same page about your communications objectives as a team and how your communication efforts will be relayed. As a consumer, seeing a company that has their act together increases trust and likeability.
2) Building trust with your key stakeholders creates safety and likeability. This is achieved by honesty, authenticity and being completely transparent about your goals, expectations and values. As you build trust and likeability with consumers, you also build your brand awareness and increase your followers on social media, which brings you one step closer to going viral.
3) Make sure you have a digital strategy. A digital strategy is a plan for maximizing your business goals. Partnering up with influencers is an example of this that has had a lot of success over the years. This is one of the most widely used communication efforts in this day and age because of the growth in social media. Having an influencer with thousands of followers back your company up will allow their followers to know you, trust you most importantly- follow you. The more you grow your followers, the closer you will be to going viral.
4) Nurturing discussions and handling negative feedback. As a person or a company in the public eye, you cannot expect to only ever receive positive feedback. As a company with a growing presence on social media, consumers will be watching your every move under a microscope and will jump at the opportunity to expose you. You also cannot expect to completely nail every media interview or interaction, so preparing for negative feedback and welcoming in discussions about others' concerns will allow consumers to trust that you will continue to put their needs first. This increases the likelihood that your key stakeholders will tell their peers about you and post about you on social media.
About Bulletproof Media Training
Bulletproof is a communications agency that provides media training services and effective communications strategies to help individuals and organizations achieve their objectives. The team consists of strategists, trainers, and journalists who understand the media, and the importance of public relations and communications to achieve desired goals.
Bulletproof media training is led by Tara McCarthy who has over 20 years of experience in the PR and media training field, helping companies build their brands and their reputations. She is an expert in strategic communications, public relations, and media training. The Bulletproof team of veteran strategists and trainers can teach you or your corporate team effective strategies to gain more confidence when interacting with the media. Bulletproof is an agency specializing in media training in English and French. Free consultations are available by filling out the contact form at www.bebulletproof.co.