Podcast Episode #55: Steps to Conducting a Strategic Communications Review

Are you confident in your institution’s key messaging? Can you summarize it in a simple, clear and jargon free way to your different audiences? What about within your department? Do you know why the department for which you work exists? Do others know? Episode 55 of FIR on Higher Education will outline steps that you can consider adopting to answer these questions and gain clarity.

Since starting my company 2.5 years ago, I have led a handful of communications strategy reviews for different clients. This includes an entire business school, a client’s executive education department and a research center. While I believe the optimal solution is to use an external resource for such an assignment, the reality is not every organization, school or department has a budget for this. So I thought I would share with you some steps that you could consider applying for yourself if you wish to lead this process on your own internally.

There is so much value and impact that is derived from having this clear messaging that can inform mission, purpose and vision. Externally, individuals have a better understanding about what you do. Internally, you have more alignment, morale and engagement.

The 10 steps I describe in the podcast are:

  1. Interview internal and external stakeholders
  2. Assess competitors
  3. Use this intel to think through a strategy
  4. Draft messaging
  5. Present to internal team for feedback
  6. Revise
  7. Integrate
  8. Train
  9. Cascade throughout the entire PR mix
  10. Measure against key business objectives

I explain these steps in more detail during the podcast. If you want to generate real impact in your communications – whether at the institutional or departmental level – then you might want to consider adapting some of these steps and tweaking it to your particular context.

Other resources:

Episode 40: The State of Higher Education Branding with guest Tom Hayes

Episode 41: How to Identify and Cascade your Key Messaging with guest Deborah Maue