eTip #4

Strategy First. Communications Vehicle Second.

This scenario happens every day in corporate communications departments around the world: a colleague rushes into your department demanding that you produce a monthly newsletter (or brochure or video or…you get the picture) for his clients.

You ask, “Why a newsletter?” He can only give a vague answer about wanting to stay in touch. You then ask, “What would the content be and where would it come from every month?” And the answer is even vaguer.

It’s quite obvious that once again you are trapped in the world of “I’ve Got to Have Something But Don’t Know Why Or What It Will Do For Me.” The only way out is to sit your colleague down and start to ask the strategic questions that will either confirm or dismiss a newsletter as the right vehicle for communicating with his clients. Those questions should include:

  • What are your current business goals?
  • How can a new communications vehicle help you reach these goals?
  • Who will receive this communication?
  • How well does this audience know our company and its products/services?
  • What are your key messages?
  • Does a newsletter fit our brand and marketing strategies?

More often than not, starting with the tactic or vehicle first doesn’t get you to where you want to go. Answering these strategic questions will always point you to the right communications tool. You may still end up adding the newsletter to your production schedule, but you’ll have confidence that a newsletter really is the best approach for this colleague’s marketing needs.

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