Have you taken the time to evaluate the impact of your marketing and communications efforts? Do you know how many hours you are spending per week on these tasks? Do you have an inventory of your owned media channels and products? You should—your business’s reputation depends on it!

A communications audit can help you determine if you’re using the correct channels and key messages to reach your audience. It allows you to pivot your strategy to make sure your business has allocated the right resourcing to your marketing and communications efforts in this quickly changing environment.

An audit can take anywhere from a week to a month to complete, but once this inventory has been completed, you’ll be able to create a communications road map that will lead you to success.

COVID-19 has changed the landscape of business communications.

If you haven’t had an external communications agency or professional look at your marketing and communications strategy and activities—now is the right time. 2020 has been full of surprises and stresses for businesses. We currently exist in a new reality, as we continue to work our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses have had to shift their outreach and operations strategies just to stay afloat. Many businesses have had the ability to adapt quickly. But not all. Small businesses have faced significant hurdles.

It’s not always possible to adapt your operations quickly to the changing policies and regulations that have been implemented by local governments. Regulations may vary from province to province, and even region by region, so learning from others is not always feasible.

Whether you’re in the restaurant or funeral industry, you have likely been waiting for the next policy change and wondering how you will manage it. The good news is that in all this change the one thing you can take control of is how your business communications are operating. 

Technology is changing faster than ever. 

Are you using the right communications channels to reach your customers? It’s not necessary to be active on all social media channels to be successful, but it is crucial to know how to reach your audience. You don’t need to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok; you need to focus on where your customers are and build a strong network there. 

If your business strategy has shifted during the pandemic, and you haven’t adapted your marketing and communications approach, you’re not reaching the right audience with the right messaging. If that’s the case, it’s time to realign your strategy and communications tactics so that you can be a step ahead of the game.  

In this case, a communications audit can help you determine if your efforts are paying off for your business. It will ultimately help you to shape a marketing and communications strategy that is proactive, rather than reactive, leaving more time for you to focus on what you do best—run the business.

Is your message still relevant in today’s COVID-19 environment? 

Are you still communicating the same message from your pre-COVID-19 days? Does it mean anything to your customers? Have your client needs changed? 

It’s time to look at reorganizing your key messages and approach to marketing your products or services so that you can reconnect with your clients and their needs. Your world has changed and so has theirs. How does your marketing and communications strategy align with this new approach? Are you connecting with your audience during this difficult time? 

Identifying the gaps in your approach to advertising, social media and online communications can help you prioritize what steps you need to take to reach your clients. Perhaps you used to send out your weekly e-newsletter on a Tuesday morning to reach your clients on their commute. Is that still the best way to reach them? An audit will help you understand where there’s room for improvement, and what to keep operating as is.

A communications audit is an investment of time and money—but it’s worth it!

You can successfully pivot your business communications during this unprecedented time by investing time and money in a communications audit. 

Examining your business marketing and communications practices will provide a clear look at your outreach channels, the timing and strategies that you’re employing and why. It will allow you to see what’s missing, and what you’re focusing too much on, or not enough. 

Communications is about making connections. Establishing partnerships. Leveraging knowledge and stories to create bonds with clients. Quickly changing courses when the landscape changes. The one thing we have learned from 2020 is that we need to be ready for change. Are you?

Connect with me to learn more.

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