Three key elements contribute to a successful strategic communications plan. Research, business goals and three “rights” all have a part to play, as Colin Babiuk told a room of communicators during the most recent IABC Edmonton professional development session.
Over the course of a lunch hour, Babiuk, the faculty and curriculum coordinator in the MacEwan University public relations diploma program, shared his wealth of knowledge gained from 27 years’ experience in public relations.
Babiuk says strategic communication “begins and ends with research.” Know the organization — its values, vision, mission, issues, business goals — and its audiences, both those that the organization affects and those that affect the organization. Research methods can be informal or formal, such as dialogue or surveys. Research informs the planning process and helps evaluate the strategies’ effectiveness for future planning.
The function of a strategic communications plan is to support the organization’s mission, so the plan must align with its business goals and be proactive in meeting them. In other words, communication must have a well-defined and clearly articulated purpose.
Successful communications consider and account for these three “rights”:
- right audience,
- right message and
- right medium.
The organization may have multiple audiences; the messages relevant to each may differ. Communicators must develop the right message for each audience and distribute it with the communication tool(s) preferred by or most effective with that group.
Colin’s presentation was based on the course PREL 245 Communications Research and Planning in the MacEwan University public relations diploma program. Colin was also interviewed on the IABC Edmonton podcast, by Marvin Polis (past president of IABC Edmonton). Find it on SoundCloud, iTunes or search for IABC Edmonton in your podcast app.
IABC Edmonton would like to thank Colin Babiuk for sharing his expertise, and the event sponsor, the University of Alberta Alumni Association, for the donating the venue, the speaker gift and the great door prizes. Photo credit: Marvin Polis.
Stay tuned for more exciting IABC Edmonton events.
Tracey Anderson is a writer and editor who is curious about the world and enjoys using language to share information and inspiration. She taught English in China, Macedonia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. Find Tracey on Twitter @tracey_anderson.