September great time to set communications goals

September 3, 2008

September feels more like the New Year to me than January does. I know many people feel the same way.  Back to work, back to school, back to blogging—it always seems like a fresh new start. Feeling re-energized from the summer break, now is a great time to set a few goals for your organization with respect to PR and communications.

To get you started, here are five goals that most organizations could likely benefit from setting this fall.

  1. Take stock – Put some time aside this September to simply review your communications program. I’m not suggesting a full scale audit (although you might discover that would be beneficial). Just take a broad look at how you communicate with your various stakeholders (E.g. customers/clients, investors/donors, staff, volunteers etc.). Are any of them being ignored? Do you have any idea how they feel about what your organization is communicating to them? Were there some PR strategies you planned to launch before the summer that you never got to? Taking stock can obviously lead to setting a number of other important goals.
  2. If you’ve never pitched a story to the media before, make this the year I’m not talking about just issuing a PSA or media release about your upcoming fundraiser. I’m suggesting you figure out the essence of what your organization does and find a way to tell that story in a way that would be appealing to the media. See my post on media relations 101 for some tips. I’ve also covered the topic of getting your story out even if your organization does sensitive or confidential work.
  3. Take one step, or one further step, into the world of social media – If your experience with social media stops at Facebook, take a step or two further to see how social media tools can connect people to your cause/company. Look at examples such as how the American Red Cross uses Twitter. Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that allows users to send and read other users’ updates. Messages are a maximum of 140 characters long. Type “social media for non-profits” into Google and you’ll find lots of other ideas that could possibly fit with your overall communication strategy.
  4. Evaluate your organization’s website – When was the last time your site was updated? Is there a way for your audience to interact with you in some way through your website or is it basically a static brochure? See my post, “Let’s banish bad websites” for more on this.
  5. Pay attention to your internal audience – Remember that employees and volunteers are your ambassadors. What are they telling people about where they work and the kind of work the organization does? Make sure you have a way for staff to talk back to management in a productive way.  Communication is a two-way proposition.

Got a PR or communications subject you’d like me to talk about on this blog? Send it my way via the comments section. I’d also love to feature a few guest bloggers. Now’s your chance–it might be a way to take another step into the social media world.

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