As a strategic communications junkie, one of the saddest realities to face is that I’m convinced that most communications strategies fail.
Yup, you read that right.
The majority of communications strategies fail, because they never get implemented. Overwhelmingly, the reason is simple: Because the strategy was written as a document, rather than being the results of an appropriate process that is specifically designed to deliver results.
An inadequate focus on quality strategic communications planning processes not only results in wasting significant financial and human resources spent on weak communications strategies, it is also at the heart of the communications profession’s traditional and oft-lamented credibility deficit.
This is where the communications planning process becomes so important. It is not only a phase that’s significant in adding value and quality to the strategy; it is also a critical time period to build internal awareness and engagement for the communications strategy. To the extent that internal partners feel engaged in the process and excited about its potential, they will be far more willing to contribute to the successful implementation of the strategy.
My advice? Before diving into writing a communications strategy, worry more about the process and less about the writing. The Results Map methodology starts with the Prepare stage that happens even before the strategy’s development – It highlights three key components that should be part of any strategic communications planning process: Project Management, Research and Consultation.