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Employee engagement has proven to be very important in recent years. This allows the company to highlight the realities of the company by letting employees speak. Employees thus become ambassadors who relay information. If the contribution of employees in the communication strategy is not negligible, then communication itself is essential in the life of the company. However, good communication planning is ideal for anticipating different actions. Discover in this article all the aspects necessary for a successful communication that will truly impact the internal and external life of your company.
The stake represents what each actor of the communication seeks to gain in the situation of communication. There are several types of issues:
- The informative challenge: transmitting information
- The identity challenge: expressing one’s identity
- The stake of influence: acting on the other to change his ideas or his actions
- The relational challenge: creating or consolidating a relationship
- Normative issues: communicating means proposing a set of standards, rules that will support exchanges
The different communication strategies
The actors of communication will adopt a verbal and nonverbal behavior which will allow them to reach the set stake: it is the strategy. There are several:
- The cooperation strategy: seek consensus during communication, listen to others and their arguments.
- The strategy of resistance or opposition: to be refractory to dialogue, to insist on one’s positions. Communication is difficult.
What is a buyer persona?
Neil Patel defined “A buyer persona or marketing persona as a semi-fictitious representation of your ideal client, based on market research and real data about your current clients. ”
Defining a buyer persona allows you to answer questions like:
- What are the socio-demographic characteristics of my ideal client? At a minimum, you must define the age, sex, family situation of this person (married, single, number of children, etc.), their sector of activity (what position does he or she hold?) , location and salary (estimate).
- What are his areas of interest? Here you should ask yourself questions like magazines, blogs, websites that this person is visiting. What does he (or she) like to do with his days?
- What are its objectives ? For example “lose weight”, “increase sales”, etc.
- What are his fears and challenges? For example “I don’t have enough time for sports” or “I don’t have enough visitors to my website”, etc.
Here is the information to gather on your client to make a buyer persona:
- Name of the persona and profession (more important if you are in B2B)
- Demographic data: age, gender, salary, location, level of education, family situation
- Objectives & Challenges: Fears / frustrations (very important to answer objections to the purchase).
It is possible to add some elements like:
- Favorite books
- Blog / websites he or she follows
- What does he (or she) do in his spare time
- Which expert (or guru) does he or she follow on social networks
Knowing your buyer personas will undoubtedly give you an advantage over the competition. Your communication and your marketing efforts will be more impactful because you know who you are talking to, and you will be able to respond just to the frustrations and problems of your targets.
External communication planning
To establish your communication plan, you can follow these few recommendations:
- Start by establishing a global communication strategy, aligned with the strategic objectives of the organization;
- Check that the segmentation of your clienteles is correct, consistent and adequate with the missions of your organization.
- Use the strategic priorities of the organization to gradually establish your overall communication objectives and actions;
- For each global communication action, detail it and divide it, if necessary, into several specific communication actions;
- Plan the calendar for all communication actions;
- Think about your measures and their indicators;
- Take action, measure, compare with your goals and correct!
Forms of communication
It is possible to distinguish three forms of communication: interpersonal, group and mass.
- Interpersonal communication takes place between two individuals. It is built from interactions within the exchange.
Examples: a boss talking to his employee, a salesperson phoning a client, a teacher giving private lessons to a student by videoconference, a mother sending a letter to her son,…
- Group communication or a transmitter is addressed to a set of receivers (individuals with a common interest). It can be oral or verbal, mediate or immediate, but feedback is limited compared to interpersonal communication.
Examples: a teacher giving lessons to a class, A basketball coach talking to his team during a time out, a store sending a newsletter to people who wanted to be kept informed of news from the store …
- Mass communication which uses “mass media” (press, internet, television, posters, flyers, etc.) as instruments. This is the set of communications that allow a transmitter or a set of transmitters to address the largest possible number of receivers (heterogeneous, anonymous and having various interests).
Examples: a large brand broadcasting an advertisement for its latest product on television, a charity association putting its latest activities online on its website, a merchant broadcasting its flyers in the street…
5 good practices for a successful communication plan
To succeed in your communication action plan, here are a few points to follow:
- Start your business strategy: There is no good communication plan without an upstream business strategy.
- Have a communication strategy: This is the second prerequisite. The communication strategy indicates the main paths to follow, the main objectives assigned to future communication actions. Be careful not to confuse it with the action catalogs!
- Reason by target: Your plan must include the various communication actions that you intend to undertake in the next 12 months.
- Objectives: Any action pursues the specific objectives that you assign to it, in connection with the objectives of the marketing and communication strategy.
- Anticipate: Formal and rigid, the communication plan must nevertheless foresee that certain actions do not work as expected, therefore contain your reactions to these situations and the new actions resulting from them in a structured plan over time.
The objectives of the communication plan
The communication objectives correspond to the reactions expected from the receiver. A communication objective must be defined according to 3 dimensions:
- At the cognitive level (making known): this is the level of knowledge. Communication aims to raise awareness, attention, awareness and inform the target audience about a brand, a product, an idea or a company.
- At the emotional level (to make people love): this is the level of appreciation. Communication acts on attitudes. Its purpose is to arouse the interest, desire and preference of individuals.
- At the behavioral level (make act): it is the level of action. The goal is to lead to an action resulting in a purchase or the adoption of a new behavior.
Build a successful communication plan
Do you want to generate certain changes with your target audiences? Whether to inform your customers of a new product or service, or to mobilize the public around an issue, you need a communication plan!
We all know the need to establish a good communication plan in order to clearly define the actions to be taken to bring about these changes. A communication plan helps you understand a situation in order to choose the best strategies and tactics to implement to reach a target audience. However, we also know that undertaking such an exercise requires a certain initial investment of time which can seem heavy when our calendars are already full! Here, in a few concrete steps, is how to prepare a successful communication plan.
What is the specific mandate
First, we must define the mandate by questioning the problem to be solved and the challenge to be met.
Analysis of the situation
Once the mandate is well defined, it must be placed in its overall context. This allows us to better understand the causes of the problem and to make a more precise diagnosis.
Once the diagnosis is made, what are your main objectives? In communication, the objectives are often grouped under three main axes, which is to publicize, raise awareness or inform about a product or service.
Define the target audience
Who do you want to reach and what is the demographic and sociological profile for each of your audiences?
The communication axis
The axis is the theme of your campaign, of your event. What do you want to say to your target and what do you want them to remember?
Establish a communication strategy
The role of a strategy is, among other things, to plan the various actions. It is during this stage that the answer to the question how will we deliver the message is determined.
Determine the means
It is important to select the best communications tools to achieve your goals.
Develop the message
The message aims to inform, educate, persuade, convince, promote … and seduce.
Set the budget
It is important to assess what your human, financial and material resource needs are for each of the means of communication that will be deployed.
Evaluate the results
It is at this stage that you can readjust the shot, if necessary, in order to reach the targets initially targeted. Measure the perception of the message with criteria that will assess brand awareness and sales growth.