We’ve been writing and talking about how achieving communications success in this age of rapidly changing, fast-growing platforms requires learning how to be like an orchestra conductor—bringing together a wide arrangement of programs, needs, and audiences, developing and maintaining a strong brand position, and keeping your enterprise front and center in the minds of key stakeholders.
To get there, we have to take a deep dive into the many communications vehicles we utilize to deliver our organization’s key messages to the most crucial of audience(s). Frequently, our clients find that many of their communications vehicles—from internal memos to brochures to online materials—have different looks and feel, even inconsistent messages. They list the things you do, but don’t speak about value and benefits. And often, they may be a waste of time and money, spinning wheels or delivering stuff that no one needs.
To create an efficient and effective communications program, you have to first assess the strength and success of your existing efforts. You need to examine what works and the things you are doing that don’t so you know what to keep and what to discard. You need more than a communications audit. You need a SCORE© card.
Wainger Group created the SCORE© assessment to start conversations internally about where you might need to go with your message delivery tactics. With clients, we take a deeper look at vehicles but you can find a simpler version of SCORE© here. With this card, you’ll start the evaluation process on several different levels:
Did we pick the best vehicle to communicate our objective? Here’s where we take a closer look at the tactics we’re using to galvanize our most critical audiences. And as noted in a previous blog post, asking the big question, “why?” will be an essential first start. Why hold a news conference when the audience you most want to reach is close at hand? Why build a Facebook page if your audience isn’t likely to hang out consistently on social media? Rate the likelihood that this vehicle will tell a compelling story or have another major impact with your primary audience 1-5.
Were our messages heard and understood? This is where it’s important to assess how well you got your point across. (This will also tip you off to how well you are measuring your success.) Are you simply throwing paper or Internet content at your audience without taking measure of how well it’s heard and understood? Rate your success of audience penetration 1-5 for each vehicle or tactic.
Almost any communications vehicle offers an opportunity for leveraging its content in other vehicles. If your CEO gives a speech, did you also include the content in a blog post? If one or your organization’s departments is using a brochure to promote an event, is similar content applied to your website or social media pages? Crossing platforms with consistent messages and similar content is an ideal way to maximize resources. Rate yourself 1-5.
Have we achieved impact with the broadest audience in media they access? Do they frequent Facebook? Do they search the Internet? Do they watch TV news? Is a face-to-face meeting your most effective tool for connecting? Rate each vehicle 1-5 for how you did in selecting the optimal place for your message to be heard loud and clear.
Here’s a good place to try to track all the resources that went into your tactic. And it’s not only the cost of the collateral, but the cost in time and talent that was devoted to making it so. Score yourself on a 1-5 basis for effective use of dollars and people capital.
To determine the score for each vehicle, simply add up the scores for each of the five categories and divide by 5.
Score 5 = Well done. Proceed as usual.
Score 4 = Pretty good. Retool in individual areas as needed.
Score 3 = Time to rethink and revamp—in depth.
Investing some time in the scorecard will not only help you assess your own performance, but help you make a case for realigning tactics and vehicles for higher impact. Want to learn more about how to accelerate your communications planning process? Visit waingergroup.com/communicate-your-value or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.