Tag Archives: Crisis communication

Write an 8 Step Communication Strategy for 2018

PR and Communication must be strategic to be effective here’s an easy 8 Step Plan.

In a 2016 article Roger Jabaly defined strategic communication management as “The systematic planning and realization of information flow, communication, media development and image care in a long-term horizon. It conveys deliberate message(s) through the most suitable media to the designated audience(s) at the appropriate time to contribute to and achieve the desired long-term effect. Communication management is process creation. It has to bring three factors into balance: the message(s), the media channel(s) and the audience(s)” (Bockstette & Carsten, 2008).

Jabaly further suggests that writing a communication strategy should include identifying the different aspects that need to be planned for.  He offers eight steps that would lead into a well-rounded strategy, fulfilling the aspirations of most organizations.

1)   Statement of Purpose: Why are you developing a communication strategy in the first place and what needs to be achieved with it.

2)  Current Situation: To understand your organization’s current situation it is highly recommended to use tools such as: SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats), PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, and Competitor analysis).

3)   Set Objectives: It is crucial to align both Organizational and Communication objectives and present a communication strategy that delivers on your organization’s overall vision, and objectives.

4)   Identifying stakeholders: Know your audience. Whether internal or external, communicators should be able to give a comprehensive description of their audiences.

5)   Messages: Craft your messages to be simple, relevant and appealing to your different audience. Avoid using one size fits all approach.

6)   Key Communication Channels: Ask yourself what are the most appropriate channels to use in transmitting your messages? Understand all the available media channels and their level of engagement each offers your audience, especially social media.

7)   Playbook: With your audiences and communication methods identified, it is time to highlight your key communications activities, budget and allocated resources. Your work plan will allow you to measure steps toward your goals.

For a truly well-rounded communications strategy, communicators need to incorporate detailed plans for Media/PR, Digital, and Crisis Communication.

8)   Auditing and Evaluating: What are your key performance indicators, what would strategy success look like, how would you evaluate, measure and audit your communication strategy performance?

Add to the conversation! Share and contribute your thoughts, questions and experience on developing a communications strategy.   

My thoughts on the KPMG reputational crisis

KPMG’s name and reputation remains in crisis and in the headlines. We just can’t stop talking about it. So let’s start learning from it. Having been involved in practising, lecturing and consulting in Corporate Communication, I can’t resist throwing out some of my own thoughts on the matter.

Loss of ethics loss of Reputation

In terms of corporate citizenship, ethical branding, responsible leadership, accountability and reputation, here are my offerings:

  1. For many years now, the King Report has been the go-to document for guidelines on corporate governance, corporate citizenship and responsibility to one’s stakeholders, community, politico-economic and natural environment. Large corporate are obliged to take note and commit to upholding the principles and values contained in the King Report which is constantly being revised  to ensure it remains valid, relevant and current.
  2. Transformational leadership. It’s simple: know what it means. Know the code of conduct. Know how to motivate and inspire. Know the law but act ethically. Know your people and their feelings. Know the truth. Spread the truth.
  3. Reputation management: Every company –small and large – must plan and manage its identity, its values and its behavior in order to manage outcomes and others’ perceptions of it. Only through critical strategic discussions with all stakeholders, including the media, can a company develop a strong positive reputation.
  4. Crisis management – Plan, prepare, strategise for negative disruptive events that impact your operations and your reputation. Without a crisis plan you’re doomed. Public sharing is vital for a reputable organization to gain support. Don’t apologise unless you mean it and are prepared to pay the price.
  5. Corporate culture: Vision, Ethos, Values, Beliefs and Behaviour. Accountability means to take responsibility for one’s decisions and actions and be adaptable to changes in the environment and courageous to stand one’s ground in the midst of potential threats, temptations and challenges. Be purpose- not greed-driven.

Finally, companies should strategise for sustainability. Their strategies must translate into best practice – setting standards and acting as examples for conducting ethical business, based on principles and values of trust, integrity, professionalism, not greed, status and power.

Corporate governance and CSR – is it for REAL?