Whether you have dreams of growing a small business or you want to shift a hobby into a lucrative career from home, you need to consider how communications will play into your work. Communications is a broad field with many emphases. Strategic communications is an umbrella term that focuses on how well a business
- composes its messages
- chooses its delivery channels for its messages (e.g. social media, public speakers, video producers, etc.)
- deals with crisis situations
Although you are just starting out with your business, it's important to start developing strategic communication policies and goals. Here are some tips to consider.
1. Ask Yourself Questions Similar to Those for the Purchasing Funnel
You've probably heard of the "marketing/purchasing funnel," or the theoretical model which describes the journey of your customers from their first awareness of your product/service to their final purchase. The basic steps of the funnel include:
With each step of the marketing funnel, it's easy to see which questions you will ask yourself, such as "Are current SEO tactics working to raise awareness," or "Are there increases in purchase metrics?" Although there are many routes to take with your strategic communications, it's important to ask yourself similar questions to develop your business's policies.
You won't just ask if you are reaching the target audience, you will ask yourself how you are reaching them and what you are saying to them. Developing a strategy can be overwhelming, so start writing down answers to basic questions, and download communication templates online to get a feel for which questions you should be asking yourself.
2. Develop Transparency for Crisis Communication
Crisis communication is another specialty of strategic communications professionals. Crisis communication policies are intended to protect you, your business, and your employees if you face damages to your reputation. Because your business is just starting out, you likely won't need the large chain of command that big organizations have (e.g. spokespeople, liaisons, phone bank workers, media coverage collectors, etc.)
However, you can start developing your crisis communications by developing transparency within your business. You should try to stay out of censorship with online reviews since 90% of customers distrust companies when they only see rave reviews. It may be tempting to overcompensate in a crisis and try to diminish negativity; instead, try to reach out to the unhappy customer to see how you can fix the situation. This tactic shows potential clients that your business is willing to take criticism and is able to help customers get the best experience.
For more information on how to develop your business communications, contact a marketing professional today.