5 Questions to Improve Your Communications Strategies

Hosted 

By 

Published 

9.20.2022

Hosted 

By 

Lisa Fratzke

Partner & Executive Strategist,

Head of Client Strategy

Published 

9.20.2022

How to Improve Your Internal Communications Strategies

You just received a request for internal communication from a business partner and they are full of ideas about what the message should say, who it should go to and how it should be distributed. 

But, wait a second… isn’t that your job?

More often than not, communications leaders are walking a fine line in their companies between being order takers and thought partners. Although internal communicators are equipped and ready to be strategists, they are approached by business partners who have pre-planned what they think is the best way to share their message.

In these situations, communications leaders have a choice. You can decide between the path of least resistance and the path of most resistance. 

  • The path of least resistance is executing on your business partners' plans, even if you aren’t sure they will produce results. 
  • The path of most resistance involves resetting expectations, owning the communications process and rewinding the dialogue to begin in a more strategic place.

It is the path of most resistance that produces the best results. By choosing this path, you are walking the hard, and well-worn road of building trust with your business partner and helping them reach their desired goals. 

5 Questions to Produce Winning Results

At Fratzke, we work with our clients navigate through these crossroads and reposition the conversation with stakeholders into a more strategic place. Often, the best way to do that is to begin with these five questions:

  1. Always start with "Why?" Why is it important for your employees to get this information? And, what do you stand to lose if they don’t?
  2. Who is your audience? Does this need to reach all employees, just leaders, or a specific business segment in your organization.
  3. What goals are you trying to drive? Are you trying to drive awareness, a specific action, or a more complex goal like culture change.

  4. What metrics can you use to gather data and measure the effectiveness of your communication efforts?
  5. What are the best channels and messaging you can use to share this information with your designated audience?

Let’s face it, it’s not just business partners who are guilty of jumping straight to question five. We’ve also worked with communication organizations who skip straight to planning tactics and messaging before thinking strategically about their communication strategies due to a lack of time, resources, data and process. 

Organizations that don’t take the time to think strategically through their communication, often do not take the time to measure the effectiveness of their efforts. This creates a broken feedback loop that leaves the communications team feeling ineffective due to a lack of data and employee engagement. 

That’s why these five questions are essential if you want to develop a strategy that produces winning results.

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The Takeaway

Internal communications leaders are best positioned in organizations to drive results when they approach communication requests and initiatives from a strategic perspective. 

This will require building trust with stakeholders by resetting the conversation, owning the communication process and asking the right questions to craft a strategy that drives results. That trust will create a runway for you and your communications organization, making it easier to come to the table as a strategic partner in the future. 

If you need help thinking through your communications approach or an audit to understand your communications team is performing, contact Fratzke to get started. 

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