In an information cluttered world, it is increasingly clear that communicating value-propositions of any kind, whether in the profit or not-for-profit world has become a difficult challenge. This has been compounded by the emergence of a wide array of communication channels in recent years. It is not far-fetched to say that the digital revolution has totally changed the way to conduct communications. The traditional model of neatly packaging communication and dispatching it, expecting it to have a silver bullet effect no longer works.
Companies need to think in a multi-channel fashion when putting together communication strategies to ensure consistency and effective communication. Cross media management is indeed the in thing – and companies that ignore this reality only diminish the impact of their messaging and communication effort. Organizations need to create a unified message across different platforms to significantly influence perceptions.
It is essential identify, anticipate, and satisfy client’s content needs and customize it across the different mediums without compromising both the quality and the consistency of the key messaging.
For example, while a blog may allow for more space to articulate a particular issue, the same cannot be said for Facebook or Twitter, i.e., if the organization is utilizing these social media channels. To cut on costs and time spent on creating key messages, what needs to happen therefore is modelling the content so that it can easily be adapted to fit the scope of different channels. Thus, key messaging is such an important phenomena in today’s environment for both profit and not for profit organizations.
Key messaging is a function of framing the issue at hand. Once you know what you want to frame, and once you understand the needs of your audience, the next step is to develop a narrative that is compelling and yet can be put through a variety of channels without losing the gist of the matter. An integrated communications strategy, however, is less about activities; it should instead be focused on the broad objectives. Activities must be a direct outcome of the broad objectives that the organisation seeks to pursue. In both the private and public arena, communication does not substitute the responsibility to execute and implement decisions aimed at ensuring a return on investment. Communication processes work better in an environment whether management and execution functions are playing their part.
Across different platforms, an effective integrated communication strategy must deliver the following:
a. a high share of voice in our areas of focus
b. consistent messages
c. appropriate and confident language
d. a distinctive and consistent identity.
e. develop evidence based and measurable outputs.
Client focused communications such as web services, social and print media, events, mailings, email, newsletters, advertising and PR must be aligned to achieve the same objectives. In other words, consistent and audience-appropriate messages need to be developed at an e-strategy, corporate, programme and implementation levels.