Spring Cleaning: 6 Steps for Getting Your Communications On Track
Spring is in the air, nature is shaking off the last remains of winter, and the outlook on your year is bright. This change in seasons is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning on your organization’s communications.
Very few of us actually like cleaning. It takes time away from other things, and even starting can seem daunting sometimes. It’s easy to put it off or forego altogether. Things constantly change, and when work is busy, communications are often the first thing to fall by the wayside. But, when your business is busy, it is even more imperative to tell how your organization is evolving and growing.
Communications serve as a signal to existing and potential customers. It helps them get a feel for what you deliver and your organization’s personality. Keeping your communications current also shows attention to detail and timeliness.
These helpful tips will get you started and guide you through the process of sprucing up communications at your organization:
1. Take Inventory of the Basics
Before you get started, take a look at the key components of your organization and ensure they’re accurate. Items to review:
- Services offered
- Contact information (address, phone numbers, email addresses)
- Logo and Company Name
- Recent landmark projects
- Current staff
- Current clients
These may seem obvious, but it is surprising how often communications feature outdated elements. Brochures have old logos. Websites do not reflect recent hires. Even successful organizations fall victim to these common pitfalls.
2. Identify Communication Platforms
Now, list all of the communications platforms at your organization. These often include:
- Social media accounts
- Newsletters (electronic and mailed)
- Email and mass email templates
- Print collateral: brochures, business cards, letterheads, envelopes, name tags, vehicle wraps
- Physical ‘SWAG’ items
Look at each item and determine if it is reaching its potential. Do you have enough brochures to get you through the next conference season? Is your newsletter going out on a regular basis? Taking a few moments to account for all of the ways you can reach your audience is an important exercise unto itself.
3. Start with Your Website
The website is a backbone of communications for many organizations. Luckily, website content is one of the easiest items to update.
Your homepage is likely the most visited page on the website, and where most visitors start their journey. Ensure that all materials are current and reflect your organization’s identity. Does the news section of the website feature the most current stories? Do all staff members have bios and headshots? Is your homepage showcasing your products/services well? Updating the homepage alone is a significant step in updating your communications.
While reviewing content, also be sure to check for broken links, and old or outdated information. Both greatly impact the user experience of a website and the image of your organization.
4. Review Social Media
Similar to the website, it is best to take a look at social media accounts for accurate information. Consistency is key when it comes to managing social media accounts. Are they being updated on a regular basis? If you only post to your Facebook Page once a month, then your audience more or less comes to expect this and may not pay much attention to your Page. Sporadic posts usually reflect your own sporadic attention to your accounts, and may unintentionally signal a lack of interest in leveraging social media as a communications platform.
Additionally, check to see if profile pictures and other images conform to the most recent standards and sizes on each platform. If your social media platform allows public comments or reviews of your business, you’ll need to check them regularly for response opportunities.
5. Take Stock of Collateral
Collateral, due to how infrequently it is printed, often features outdated information. After something is printed, we often just use it all until it runs out instead of reprinting a batch every time information changes.
Collateral is a significant and important investment. A well-thought-out piece of collateral has the potential to make its way into the hands of decision-makers, and can help communicate your organization’s identity and capabilities in a quick but powerful way.
While outdated information is bad, collateral that looks dated can be equally as damaging to your organization’s image. Graphic design has come a long way in recent years, and marketing standards have also changed. Brochures designed in 2005 may very well look like they’re from 2005. While this is more important to some organizations than others, using current design practices can communicate that your organization is on top of current trends and in step (or even ahead) of others in your industry.
6. Revisit Old Content and Look Forward to the Future
Many of us are so busy moving along the path of success that we can forget all that we have accomplished along the way. Reviewing old materials and can jog your memory of what to showcase next. Taking a holistic look at communications can also help set priorities for your organization. Is it time to get the long-neglected newsletter back on track? Grow your social media audience? Invest in quality graphic design?
Whether you are doing a quick sweep or a deep cleaning, reviewing communications is essential in ensuring your organization is telling its story effectively. If you need help with any of these items, please contact Tripepi Smith. We are here to help.