By Sarah Bartnick, SGB Strategies
When’s the last time you audited your full suite of communications materials?
If you’re like most understaffed, over-stretched communications professionals, it’s probably been a while.
At least once a year, every organization should audit your full suite of communications tools. That’s every public-facing document you have: both print and digital marketing materials (brochures, fact sheets, etc), press materials, website, social media platforms, newsletters, everything!
What Should You Look For When Auditing Your Communications Tools:
1) Main Messages
First, do you have main messages? For your whole organization? For the specific campaign?
Are they written down in a nice formal document somewhere?
If not, that’s okay – do that first! Then make it a habit to incorporate those messages into everything you produce.
If so, look at EVERY material you publish and double check that those main messages are incorporated in there.
Now, your social feeds are a little different. You’re not going to write out your main messages on every Tweet. But as you look back through your posts, you should see your main messages woven through the theme of your post history. Going forward, you should make a conscious effort to incorporate the ideas of at least one main message into 95% of your posts.
Are you linking to the right places?
Do you have any broken links? Really? Did you check every single one?
Are you linking to external sites that are still active, relevant and appropriate to your organization’s values and messages?
Be sure to check the links on your social platforms too.
Your statistics change over time. An old mentor used to tell me to always say “more than” a nice big number instead of “nearly” or “almost”. By the time you publish, you might have already passed that nice big number.
Sometimes, you need to promote different statistics, as your numbers may tell a different story than they did on your last update. Take a close look at your statistics and reflect on what to add and remove.
Has your leadership changed? Are all names spelled correctly? Think like a journalist and double check. Names are important.
5) Key Values and Campaigns
The text you wrote a year ago (or more!) may not reflect where your program is today. Your priorities may have shifted, you may have introduced new services or you may be addressing new needs.
Don’t just reprint the same language because you’re busy. A lot of these materials – and your website – are people’s first interaction with your organization, and you should take the time to make a proper introduction.
Double check success stories, profiles and impact stories too. Are the people involved still representing your organization’s values? Do you have newer stories to keep your profile current?
Just like the stories, images can start to feel “stale” over time. When’s the last time you updated that headshot? Do you even still have the same hairstyle? How long since you actually helped that client in your success story? Is that still your logo?
Your communications materials represent your organization in a lasting way that can have a significant impact on your reputation and credibility. Yes, it takes time to update them and keep them fresh. But that quality is important.
I’m happy to help you walk through this process. Learn more at www.sgbstrategies.com.