Press offices are usually divided into two categories. One in which its members think they have the necessary resources to do their job and the other whose members believe they do not have the resources they need or even though they have some they should be better equipped. One or the other at the end of reading this article will be surprised to learn that the offices in which they work are not prepared to be efficient, even the best equipped. What is the problem? That it is thought that the best tools should be provided by the administration and this is not the case. The best tools by 80% must be created by the office itself. Let’s see what they are.
Some time ago, the president of an organization invited me to his office to understand those who told him that he should hire an advisor like me. I remember a lot that he told me: in this company, we have already hired a polling firm, an advertising agency, and a free press agency. I already have the musicians with the most important instruments to have a good orchestra. Tell me why I should hire a person like you? Using the same simile, I answered in this way. I think he not only has the instruments, but he has some good musicians who will play very well, but they don’t know what melodies to play. They don’t have sheet music to make them perform the great concert you and your organization expect. Here we need someone to compose or determine the melodies they will play. I continued saying. Imagine there is an event and you ask them to do a concert. One will say that it would be nice to play jazz. The other is better rock. The last one will propose some pieces of classical music. See the trouble you’d have. You would have to decide, and you could also be wrong. That is why you must have a communication strategist. Someone who sees your specific need writes a narrative and proposes an action to achieve the desired objective. I do not doubt that as I say, your musicians will do their best work and the event will be a success. The president replied: you have been very clear.
I have mentioned this anecdote because it perfectly illustrates the debate that organizations have on the issue of the execution of communication by the teams they make up. For their part, communications teams always question whether they have everything they need to achieve their goals. One thing is the resources of different kinds that are required and which must always be optimal. It is also essential to say that most of the tools needed must be tailored created by the communications office itself. Due to certain factors, the organization’s administrators provide only when required.
On this basis, let’s see the six fundamental tools that a communication office must have to communicate effectively. Most correspond to the development of plans, guides, or programs that allow being very efficient to be effective.
STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION PLAN
I should not dwell too much on this first tool because it is essential. Its importance lies in defining and developing the organization’s communication in determining work, time, resources, audiences, messages, actions, and measurements. Regardless of its size or media prominence, an organization cannot expect to go out on the adventure of communicating its messages without a plan, in the same way, that you cannot get to a place without knowing where to go. I compare an organization without a strategic plan to a person trying to hit a piñata. It’s a game with your eyes closed that can leave you looking ridiculous or accidentally hitting those around you. I would also compare an organization with a tailored and carefully developed a strategic plan to an accurate, punctual, and effective sniper. So the communication offices in the organizations should see if, when doing their job, they are more of a piñata or a sniper.
READ HERE: THE GOAL OF CURRENT COMMUNICATION IS TO CONNECT WITH THE AUDIENCE. WHY MANY DON’T MAKE IT? https://bit.ly/3AKXMLX
MEDIA MONITORING REPORT
Although the strategic plan is aimed at the medium and long term, it is necessary to know, understand, and react to the challenges that come with each day. There is only one way to understand what is happening with the media; its news board, its news circle, and everything that can impact the organization and against which the communication office is called to take action. In the same way, a doctor orders his patient a series of exams and analyses of vital elements. He can make a good diagnosis and formulate correctly; the same happens with the communication office. It needs to know the values and tendencies of vital signs to act to implement responses. The best monitoring report must have three characteristics. It must be tailored to the organization. It should avoid wasting time and energy. It must provide reliable information on the eight critical fields of reality and media affectation. Finally, it should not only deal with the narrative of the news, but it should also be contextualizing and analytical. With these concepts, the communication office can implement the best tactical actions. Its application will be daily, with weekly and monthly reports that visualize the starting point and the approach to the arrival point. The communication office is responsible for providing it if it is a small organization or provided by the administration if it is a large entity.
The following four tools, in most cases, are an integral part of the strategic communications plan. Still, my suggestion is that they be executed separately as an independent tool but always aligned with the strategic plan. They are the following:
TECHNICAL DIPLOMACY CAMPAIGN
It is the form of relationship that the communication office must develop on its own or in the company of the organization’s directors when necessary. It must correspond to a kind of manual that the office creates to carry out its work with crucial agents who must be attended to in a direct, clear, and well-informed manner. This manual is a permanent task that cannot be delegated to external firms, and when it is, it must have the participation and supervision of the communication office. The tool must be evident in specifying the specific objective it pursues, which are the key agents to influence, the methodology used, and finally, the expected results. It is equivalent to a vaccination plan that is executed day by day and with the necessary doses for the organization’s health with its environment from the technical point of view or the aspects that are the foundation of the organization’s mission.
READ HERE: AN EFFECTIVE CORPORATE OR POLITICAL COMMUNICATION IS BASED ON THE STRENGTH PRODUCED BY FOUR KEY ELEMENTS THAT WILL MAKE IT FLY VERY HIGH. https://bit.ly/3GakOwQ
EDITORIAL DIPLOMACY CAMPAIGN
It is the equivalent of the previous one but focused on the relationship with the media so that the institutional message of the organization is fully received, understood, and disseminated. With the recent entry and rise of digital media or social networks, editorial diplomacy has taken on a new meaning since it can be delivered directly to the target audience without going through the press. It is not about disqualifying the media but about understanding that digital media offer an opportunity that must be complementary. Sometimes the new media will be more effective because of the power to reach the target audience directly. Like the previous one, it must be clear in mention the specific objective that it seeks to obtain, which are the key agents to influence in the case of the media in terms of information and opinion, and for the new media, if it will have validators. You must specify the methodology to be used and, finally, the expected results in the media and social networks.
READ HERE: ONE-TO-ONE COMMUNICATION AND MARKETING ARE KEY IN THESE TIMES. https://bit.ly/3AK7bTS
TRAINING OF SPOKESPERSONS
Speaking to the public or being a good spokesperson for an organization is something that eight out of ten people fail. That statistic for an organization that must contact large audiences or public opinion is simply unacceptable. That is why the communication office must permanently establish its spokesperson training model and implement it at all levels of the organization. It should not be a task that is sporadically handed over to external parties who usually charge a lot for doing very little. For this tool to be effective, it must be a constant training plan, which evolves in its training, which is updated and specialized in media by format, ways of communicating, and evaluation. The different spokespersons are categorized based on criteria that range from performance to metabolism. It goes beyond knowing how to speak or communicate. A good office with well-trained spokespersons of all kinds is solid in its communication and can intervene with a variety daily if necessary. The media will appreciate it because they always look for new faces and different shades. The one that will always win will be the organization and its message.
READ HERE: A GOOD COMMUNICATION OFFICE HAS EFFECTIVE SPOKESPERSONS AND KEEPS THEM WELL TRAINED; THAT’S THE KEY. https://bit.ly/3AKYQiV
CRISIS RESPONSE MANUAL
I have always maintained that the crisis is 45 minutes away, which is the time interval on the radio between one bulletin and another. Radio is usually the one that triggers a crisis, which is not taken into account by many communication offices. A crisis is when the organization risks its prestige, reputation, credibility, or positioning. One, several, or all of them at the same time. For this reason, it deserves special preparation, which begins with a tailor-made manual that carefully considers the organization’s weak and strong points, specifies the personnel that must intervene, the areas participating, and how the messages from the reliable path as critical event information are gathered. The crisis response plan is the only way an organization acts in the face of adversity in its normality. It is the route to maintain value to its shareholders or to retain the public’s trust, the employment of its personnel. All elements without which an organization cannot survive. The plan must be evident in the three phases of the crisis. It would help determine how it is activated and how it is terminated. Must be known by the organization and trained to avoid mistakes. It must be measured to improve.
READ HERE: THE RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS IS THE GREATEST WEAKNESS OF THE COMPANIES AND THE WORST THEY DO NOT PREPARE FOR AN EVENT IN WHICH THEY RISK EVERYTHING. https://bit.ly/3Hir3A8
The question that the communications team of an organization should ask themselves, regardless of the organization’s size, is how many of these six tools they have at their service on a day-to-day basis. If you don’t have one, the goal will be to create it and put it into service. If you have them but they are not written and available to be consulted by a new team member or by someone from the organization, it is the same as not having them. These six tools promise to end the informality that abounds in many offices and the lack of foresight and spontaneity with which people work. These tools will also provide measurement indicators and reports that can be generated that are evidence of performance. When the communication teams apply them, they will see how agile and moderate their work is. They will say goodbye to the tension generated by improvisation. To learn more about strategy and communication, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tell me about your project or need, and I can surely help you.
For those who have written to me asking about campaign communication, I leave you this link to an article that deals with the subject in a simple and applicable way.
READ HERE: THE CHALLENGE IS TO GO FROM THE PRESS IN CAMPAIGN TO THE COMMUNICATION OF GOVERNMENT WITH EFFICIENCY AND SECURITY. https://bit.ly/32MEnh3