When it comes to how to manage your communications, the amount of information out there is overwhelming. Where the majority of nonprofits and small businesses falter is in not having a research-based, strategic plan and messaging. So, I use a process to design plans and messaging that relies on audience research, solid messaging, and effective metrics. The method can be easily described using the moniker R.O.S.I.E.
This is the first, critical step to any plan, campaign, or communication tactic. Sadly, it is often lacking in many planning and communications initiatives. Research at the beginning is critical to assess the current environment, to identify opportunities, and to set audience-specific objectives. Far too often, organizations set objectives without this step and often miss the mark.
Think of objectives as stair steps leading to the overall business goal. When based on research, these steps are far more likely to be met. Objectives set without research are essentially a shot in the dark. Objectives should be audience-specific and measurable. Only when these are properly set can we begin to set a strategy.
Strategy is an overused word in business today. Notice it does not come first in the process! Strategy is the path or specific approach we’ll take toward those meeting research-based objectives. Strategy is not a plan or a tactic. This is where messages are refined for specific audiences to achieve your goal.
This is the tactical part of the campaign, initiative, or plan. Once the general approach to meet objectives is set (strategy), then the appropriate messaging, channels, and other tactics can be chosen and developed and launched. Maybe its a blog, social media, a newsletter, or your website. The right channel for the right audience is the goal in selecting implementation tactics.
While evaluation and measurement occur at each step, ultimately progress must be measured toward meeting the objectives. Far too often, the metrics provided don’t reflect on the objective. The number of Likes a social media post achieves is an example of a poor metric. Within the PR discipline, there is much debate about measurement. It isn’t complicated. You measure against what you are trying to achieve.