With year-end reviews and performance reports right around the corner, it’s time to measure your progress and take stock of what communications objectives you’ve achieved in 2018.
Every organization has its own goals and measures of success. However, all communicators can benefit from evaluating their work on these three essential communication components:
- Brand building
- Internal communication and culture
- Long-term communications strategy
Ask yourself the following questions to see if your team has hit the right points in 2018, and evaluate your answers to set yourself up for success in the new year.
Have I built my brand?
Building your brand should never fall off your to-do list. Nearly every PR, marketing, social media and communication objective should tie back to strengthening, growing or evolving your brand.
Not every brand-building action needs to be big and grand. Weaving focused messaging and visual cues into your everyday communications can help to reinforce your brand’s identity without hitting your audience over the head every time.
- Have I woven my brand story and values into media interviews and placements?
- Do my marketing and advertising initiatives reflect the brand’s story and values, rather than simply serving to promote a product or event?
- Does my social media content serve to reinforce the brand’s personality and communicate its story and values?
- Do my internal communications unite employees around our mission, vision and values?
- Am I consistent in communicating my brand across every channel and to every audience?
Whether you’re just starting to solidify your brand foundation or have a well-established brand, always strive to keep telling your story and reminding people what you’re about.
Have I improved the internal culture?
Study after study shows that a positive internal culture is associated with higher productivity, engagement, satisfaction and well-being. While an organization’s culture is directed by leadership and supported by policies and procedures from HR, the communications team plays an integral role in bringing the culture to life.
Improving culture should be an ongoing initiative for every organization. If you’re lucky enough to work for a company with a thriving culture, it’s important to maintain that positive work environment through constant communication and reinforcement of your values.
If your organization has a weak or negative culture characterized by a lack of communication and low morale, it takes even greater time and commitment to change employee perceptions and create a culture shift.
- Do employees know, understand and feel a sense of “buy-in” to our mission, vision and values?
- Am I frequently reinforcing the mission, vision and values in employee communications?
- Have I created effective ways for leadership to communicate with employees at all levels on a regular basis?
- Are my communication efforts engaging employees in ways that make them feel invested and connected to each other and their work?
Frequently tuning in to your company’s culture and employee engagement can help you improve the effectiveness of your internal communications.
Have I moved the needle?
Buzzwords aside, moving the needle is about creating meaningful and often lasting change within your organization. It’s about executing a Big Idea that drastically changes the way people think about your brand, or elevates your organization into a top tier or industry-leading position.
Moving the needle isn’t measured in short-term goals, but in long-term strategic initiatives, and for that reason, it can feel nearly impossible to stay on course. It’s easy to get bogged down with day-to-day tasks and execute at a tactical, not strategic level.
- Did my short-term campaigns and programs serve the long-term strategy?
- How can I leverage my successes over the past year to set a strong foundation for achieving my goal next year?
- Were my communications efforts integrated and positioned in a way that supports the Big Idea, or were they fragmented and focused on short-term wins?
- Is the Big Idea still the correct path forward, or does it need to be revised?
Measure your achievements, celebrate your wins and set your goals even higher for next year. There’s still plenty more time left in 2018 to create a framework for achieving your biggest branding and communications objectives in the year to come.
What questions are you asking to measure your communications success in 2018? What goals are on your agenda for 2019?