Sunday, December 08, 2013

Is all your company communication treated the same?

Are you a good steward of your communication budget for your company? What am I asking?

First we need to understand really what stewardship is all about. According to Webster's Dictionary it is “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially:  the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.”

In the headlines this week and spreading all over the web "Corporate profits almost double historic norm."  Check out this article by Jay Bookmen on it here.

When things are going well and you are not pinching pennies is when you are most prone to wasteful spending.

Be strategic and plan out your corporate communications. Do this using the pyramid above. Every corporation has main objects for the year and then there are other things that still need to be done, but are always behind those key initiatives.

A Level 

In your top category put those things that are the most important. Now this is where you will dedicate more time, space and budget to communicating this than all the other items. For example you would have this lead or be in every newsletter you send out. You will make videos here because you know you will use those over and over again.  You commit to writing about this in different ways. It may even be a special place on your companies main webpage.

B Level

These are items that had it not been for those in A Level would be. You commit to only communicating regularly on these topics maybe once a month in the newsletter rather than the weekly newsletter. You will make less videos on this because they will not get used as often.

C Level

This level means that you are committed to the topic and may do a quarterly story or project to keep this in the companies mind.

You still may do a few pieces that do not fit in A, B or C, but those are more of a one off and not committing the resources at a level to really tax the budget. You may have also departments coming to you for help, but if they don't fit into the plan you may turn them away explaining how they are not part of what the company has decided as a priority. Maybe they fund that themselves.

Possible Scenario

Your company is rolling out a new product. You decide to produce a video for the company internal people to get everyone on board. You decide that you will use this piece in the annual meeting, quarterly meetings and in department meetings. Due to the wide use of the project and the importance of it, you want to be sure it is a high impact piece. The production quality is important since it will be used on large screens.

Contrast this to one of the many C Level projects that go up on your company website every week and come down after a week or so. Do you commit the same level of production to something that has a short life span?

Gold, Silver or Bronze

Many companies like a certain quality of video. They are producing what amounts to a small Hollywood Film. The problem is they are producing this quality all the time when the simple news cast quality we see each night on the six o'clock news would work not just fine but perfect for communicating our message.

Consider in your communications about creating levels of product and when they will be used for your tiered communication strategy.  You may have a news cast, documentary and Hollywood produced videos all used in the A Level. However, you may only have documentary and news cast quality in the B Level.  You may be fine with using a news cast quality or non at all for the C Level.

Being a good steward is putting the right amount of resources to accomplish the goal. Don't over do it even if it is A Level.

Just because you have the money, don't always spend it all.  Spend what you need and no more.

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