External communication audit
It is clear to all of us that we live in a very complex communication environment that no longer only embraces written and digital media, but also, and with increasing impact, social media, digital communication and messaging platforms.
A communication audit is a powerful tool to define the communication strategy and to assess the efforts made. In the New Media World we have more and more channels at our disposal, but almost no one stops to analyze how many personnel and economic resources it takes us to attend to all of them and what benefit it brings us.
Those responsible for the firm’s communication are increasingly faced with a heavier workload and greater competition in different channels. Optimizing resources, objectives and defining the KPIs of external communication, as well as defining the right messages, is the objective of an external communication audit.
1st Step: Analyze the messages your organization sends out
The analysis of the messages we send out, from newsletters, website content, eMails, press releases, messages on networks, photos and videos, etc. is the first step to create an inventory of the channels used and the messages sent.
Step 2: Analyze the channels used
In the New Media World, there are a large number of channels for external communication. There are channels where the message is directly controlled by the entity, but other channels depend on intermediaries. In the case of social networks (social media) we have both direct and indirect messages through users.
An exhaustive analysis of the channels, their use and reach saves in the medium and long term an enormous effort in both personnel and economic terms.
3rd Step: Gathering audience opinion and assessment
Gathering the audience’s opinion of your messages in the different channels is the fundamental and most valuable part of the external communication audit. It is only through feedback that we will gather the data that will allow us to correctly assess our efforts and messages.
4th Step: Making a SWOT map (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
With the data we have obtained from the three previous steps we draw the map of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and we will find those points that we can strengthen, correct or leave aside.
Step 5: Adjusting the communication strategy
After the analysis and with the data on the table, you should adapt your strategy and your communication efforts to the results. We are aware that this is one of the most difficult steps because it often involves renewing channels, messages and resources.
In these times of communication with the emergence of new media, platforms and information habits at breakneck speed, it is easy to fall behind in communication. That is why we recommend performing a Communication Audit every two years.
From our experience we know that the audit should be carried out by someone outside the organization so as not to introduce a bias in the analysis. This does not mean in any way that you are disavowing your communication team. They would be the first to benefit from the audit as their work will be highlighted and they will be assisted in defining new messages and selecting appropriate channels.