AENC Marketing & Communications
Conference 2013

From Communications Audit to
Strategy
Presentation by

Ray J. Hornak, APR...
Typical reactions to the word “audit”

PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 2
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But why?

PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 8
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The Formal Definition
“A communications audit is a systematic
appraisal of all communications between an
organization and ...
The Informal Definition
You ask a bunch of questions
and hope the answers help you
do your job better.

PRESENTATION TO AE...
The Bottom Line
Audits answer three basic questions:
What are we doing?
How are we doing?
How can we do better?

Grist for...
PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 13
Why

PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 14
Why are you doing what you’re doing?

PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 15
Why would an audit help?
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Moving from audit to strategy

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We’re here to listen

PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 30
Go forth and conquer
PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 31
Thanks!
Roger M. Friedensen, APR

Ray J. Hornak, APR

roger@forgecommunications.com
/in/RogerFriedensen
+RogerFriedensen
@...
PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 33
What Questions Can an Audit Answer?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

What are our current communication goals and objectives?
How well is ou...
What Questions Can an Audit Answer?
• What do our “customers” think of our communications?
• How much confidence do member...
One Size Does Not Fit All
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

No set scope
No set budget
No set template
No set timeline
No set methodology
No ...
It must fit you
PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 37
With that being said…

PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 38
A Ten-Step Audit Plan
• First, make a decision…
• Ensure understanding and gain support because:
– It’s neither simple nor...
A Ten Step Audit Plan
Step 1: Determine key areas to be audited.
• Look at both internal and external communications.
• In...
A Ten Step Audit Plan
Step 2: Choose your research methods.
• Qualitative and quantitative
– One-on-one interviews, focus ...
A Ten Step Audit Plan
Step 3: Collect and evaluate past communications.
• Analyze each communications piece – what at work...
A Ten Step Audit Plan
Step 4: Look outward: Query your “customers.”
• Choose neutral researchers
• Questions should revolv...
A Ten Step Audit Plan
Step 5: Look outward: Query your community.
• What does the community know and perceive about your
o...
A Ten Step Audit Plan
Step 6: Look inward: Query your staff.
• What are your reactions to communications during the past
y...
A Ten Step Audit Plan
Step 7: Analyze your media coverage.
• Examine the frequency and reach of coverage.
–
–
–
–
–

What ...
A Ten Step Audit Plan
Step 8: Begin your planning by conducting a SWOT analysis.
• Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, T...
A Ten Step Audit Plan
Step 9: Think like an outsider -- a communications consultant.
• Based on your findings, what would ...
A Ten Step Audit Plan
Step 10: Develop a detailed plan for future communications.
• Use your research as the starting poin...
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2013 aenc from communications audit to strategy mcc

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From Communications Audit to Strategy

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  • Start in the future and walk back.
  • Read the tea leaves: inside your industry and outside; politics; technology; social trends (e.g., less “joining traditional groups” among Millennials); expectations; etc.
  • Set a magnetic north and stick to it.
  • Aesop: Decide what’s the moral of your “story” (your communications)?
  • Focus on the core principles of communication and what it means to be human.
  • Focus on the core principles of communication and what it means to be human.
  • Be an entrepreneur – seek the grail
  • Transcript of "2013 aenc from communications audit to strategy mcc"

    1. 1. AENC Marketing & Communications Conference 2013 From Communications Audit to Strategy Presentation by Ray J. Hornak, APR Principal Roger M. Friedensen, APR Principal @RogerFriedensen | @ForgeComm +RogerFriedensen | in/RogerFriedensen © 2013 Forge Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
    2. 2. Typical reactions to the word “audit” PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 2
    3. 3. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 3
    4. 4. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 4
    5. 5. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 5
    6. 6. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 6
    7. 7. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 7
    8. 8. But why? PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 8
    9. 9. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 9
    10. 10. The Formal Definition “A communications audit is a systematic appraisal of all communications between an organization and those on whom its success or failure depends to identify the strengths and weaknesses of current internal and external communications and gather reliable data on how to improve overall effectiveness.” PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 10
    11. 11. The Informal Definition You ask a bunch of questions and hope the answers help you do your job better. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 11
    12. 12. The Bottom Line Audits answer three basic questions: What are we doing? How are we doing? How can we do better? Grist for a communication strategy that’s more likely to succeed PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 12
    13. 13. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 13
    14. 14. Why PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 14
    15. 15. Why are you doing what you’re doing? PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 15
    16. 16. Why would an audit help? PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 16
    17. 17. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 17
    18. 18. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 18
    19. 19. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 19
    20. 20. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 20
    21. 21. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 21
    22. 22. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 22
    23. 23. Moving from audit to strategy PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 23
    24. 24. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 24
    25. 25. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 25
    26. 26. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 26
    27. 27. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 27
    28. 28. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 28
    29. 29. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 29
    30. 30. We’re here to listen PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 30
    31. 31. Go forth and conquer PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 31
    32. 32. Thanks! Roger M. Friedensen, APR Ray J. Hornak, APR roger@forgecommunications.com /in/RogerFriedensen +RogerFriedensen @RogerFriedensen rhornak@forgecommunications.com 877.99.FORGE forgecommunications.com @ForgeComm | +ForgeCommunications FB: ForgeCommunications PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 32
    33. 33. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 33
    34. 34. What Questions Can an Audit Answer? • • • • • • • What are our current communication goals and objectives? How well is our current communications plan working? How clear, consistent and persuasive are our messages? How well does our visual materials support our messages? How focused is our messaging? How much of a difference are we making? What would happen if we stopped doing what we’re doing? PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 34
    35. 35. What Questions Can an Audit Answer? • What do our “customers” think of our communications? • How much confidence do members have in us? • How well do our communications support the organization’s overall strategic plan? • Are we taking full advantage of available technology? • What communication opportunities are we missing? • What would make our communications more effective? PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 35
    36. 36. One Size Does Not Fit All • • • • • • • No set scope No set budget No set template No set timeline No set methodology No set questions No set criteria PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 36
    37. 37. It must fit you PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 37
    38. 38. With that being said… PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 38
    39. 39. A Ten-Step Audit Plan • First, make a decision… • Ensure understanding and gain support because: – It’s neither simple nor speedy – Extensive time, resources and commitment required • Be prepared to: – See it through to the end – Embrace the good and the bad – Change PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 39
    40. 40. A Ten Step Audit Plan Step 1: Determine key areas to be audited. • Look at both internal and external communications. • Include everything from your standard identity pieces (business cards, letterhead, email signatures, logo and signage) to promotional materials, media coverage, website data, social analytics, internal/external stakeholder interactions, etc. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 40
    41. 41. A Ten Step Audit Plan Step 2: Choose your research methods. • Qualitative and quantitative – One-on-one interviews, focus groups, online or telephone surveys, media analysis, analytics, others • Pick methods that: – – – – – Work best within your organizational structure Are economically feasible Can be accomplished with your personnel resources Can be completed in a timely manner Can be completed period PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 41
    42. 42. A Ten Step Audit Plan Step 3: Collect and evaluate past communications. • Analyze each communications piece – what at worked and what didn’t – Who were we trying to reach and what were our key messages? – Did we reach our audiences with the right messages? – Did we successfully tell the story? • Survey a few trusted staff/members: What did they appreciate and why? What didn’t work for them? • (If a media story) What media coverage did we receive? Was it effective? What media opportunities did we miss? PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 42
    43. 43. A Ten Step Audit Plan Step 4: Look outward: Query your “customers.” • Choose neutral researchers • Questions should revolve around: – What are your impressions of our communications? – What do you think of our graphics, identity pieces, website and other marketing materials? – Do you have specific suggestions about how could we improve our communications? – If you were in charge… PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 43
    44. 44. A Ten Step Audit Plan Step 5: Look outward: Query your community. • What does the community know and perceive about your organization? • Take a broader look at the impact of your communications. • Ask questions to reveal public perceptions. – This can be achieved by hiring a research firm or an objective person to conduct a formal community survey or by informally interviewing community members. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 44
    45. 45. A Ten Step Audit Plan Step 6: Look inward: Query your staff. • What are your reactions to communications during the past year? What was effective? What could be improved? • Did internal documents serve your needs? – What future communications could help you function as part of the organization? • Do all employees have an accurate, consistent “elevator speech” about your organization? Do you speak with one voice? PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 45
    46. 46. A Ten Step Audit Plan Step 7: Analyze your media coverage. • Examine the frequency and reach of coverage. – – – – – What is the tone and impact? Are your key messages being promoted? Are your audiences being reached? What media opportunities have you missed? How is the profession you represent being portrayed • Use a news monitoring service, e.g., Google News Alerts, to track coverage in tradition and digital outlets. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 46
    47. 47. A Ten Step Audit Plan Step 8: Begin your planning by conducting a SWOT analysis. • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. • Be honest and upfront -- This is where it can hurt! • Analyze: – How can we capitalize and build on our strengths? – How do we mitigate weaknesses and turn them around? – How can we (and do we have the resources to) maximize opportunities and if not, where do we get the resources? – What are the most significant threats to our organization and how do we guard against them? PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 47
    48. 48. A Ten Step Audit Plan Step 9: Think like an outsider -- a communications consultant. • Based on your findings, what would you recommend? • Select a team to help you analyze your audit results and strategize about future goals, objectives and actions. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 48
    49. 49. A Ten Step Audit Plan Step 10: Develop a detailed plan for future communications. • Use your research as the starting point for creating a communications plan for your organization. • Either create the plan internally or hire a professional to design (and implement) your plan. • Be specific. • Think both short and long term. • The biggest mistake – Failure to Budget. PRESENTATION TO AENC | PAGE 49
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