A communication guide can be a very handy tool to have for your company. From onboarding new staff to fielding questions from journalists, having a guide will ensure consistent messaging within and beyond your organization. Here are 5 components to make sure your next comms guide is totally kick-a**!
- Brand Vision & Mission – Even though you can’t wait to jump right into the details, it is important to first take a step back and communicate what your brand is all about. Not everyone reading your communications guide will know your company inside and out the way you do. Take time to set the stage and answer the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of who you are.
- Audience – Next, take some time to put together segmented audience profiles. Be as specific as you can. We often work with organizations who say something like “The Board” or “The General Public,” but what does that mean? What does a typical member of the public look like? What are their likes and dislikes? Where do they live? What language(s) do they speak? Where do they work? Whether you’re promoting a product or a service, understanding your audience with empathy is what good communication is all about.
- Tone & Voice – The way you talk about yourself in front of journalists, on your website, in a brochure, or through your Instagram can be very different. Is the language that you use formal? Casual? First person? Third person? Does your organization use MLA style or APA style? What about abbreviations? It is important to assess your messaging channels and clarify how you speak on each of them.
- Link To Your Style Guide – Continuing off of #3, create a link to your Style Guide. And if you don’t have one yet, be on the lookout for our next blog on how to create one.
- Social Media Do’s and Don’ts – If your brand serves the general public, then chances are social media is one of your messaging channels. After you have clarified your voice and tone, be sure to also include information pertinent to each of your platforms. What hashtags do you use and on what occasions? What time of day do you post? Are there templates you prefer use? When do you utilize stories or highlights? If there are brand ambassadors or partners, be sure to list their handles. It may be useful to look back at what you posted on each platform in the past year to get a sense of your primary post types.
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