For this Conference Board presentation, we wanted to go back to the basics and cover how you can create a solid, effective communication strategy—the PartnerComm way! We cover a lot in this video, including our communication goals model, communication strategy, and (of course) not without tons of humor and rockin’ samples.

Let’s start with how to start

At PartnerComm, we use a variation on the “know, feel, do” model and use a “know, think, feel, do” approach instead, or KTFD. This allows us to expand our goals to ensure our audience has a better grasp of the core of each message.

Next—narrow it down

Once we know the full picture of KTFD, we can start to prioritize. You don’t need all the categories in every piece! Here’s a helpful tip and reminder of why it’s important to prioritize: If you communicate everything, you communicate nothing. So, as fun as it seems to do it all, realistically, it’s best to just pick one. Is your campaign or project more about know, think, feel, or do? Once you decide, that’s where you’ll apply the visual emphasis.

Then, set a goal

The KTFD model not only will help you design the right strategy, but it will also help you set goals for your work. At PartnerComm, we like the SMART model for goal setting. If your goals are SMART, they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.

Analyze the situation

After setting goals, we like to follow this up by building a situation synopsis. The situation synopsis is all about context. This means making sure you understand what’s happening in your business and the world that might affect the way people receive your messages and adjusting tactics and tone accordingly.

You’ll also want to think about your company’s culture and personality, too. The communication you create should look and feel and sound like your business. That’s why it’s crucial to know your audience.

Define your audience

Now, you need to modify your strategy based on other things you know about your audience. Dig deep and ask yourself: What are the audience distinctions that truly matter when it comes to this particular initiative? What are the shared qualities that a group might have that would call for different messaging or tactics? Then, it’s time to pick which channels to use.

Choose your channels

This is the meat of your strategy. Document every mechanism at your disposal for talking to your people. You’ll want to ask yourself two questions: How can I maximize or enhance my available channels? And what new channels can or should I add to help achieve my objectives?

Document the strategy

After having thought through all your tactics and timing, what are the common themes or things you absolutely have to do to make this strategy a success? This is when we return to the objectives and explain how we’ll actually track progress against them.

Lastly, tie it all together

Building a communication strategy to meet your objectives looks like:

  • Determining your Know, Think, Feel, Do
  • Setting SMART goals, but still dreaming big
  • Understanding your situation
  • Defining your audience
  • Choosing your channels
  • Documenting your strategy
  • Measuring and adapting

And that’s a wrap on how to build an effective communication strategy.