I live on the sixth floor of an apartment building, and one of my favorite parts is that we’re in the middle of very large, leafy, old trees. In the summer, it feels like I live in a treehouse. Typically, around this time, there would be little buds coming out of the tree – the first signs that spring is on the horizon. However, as I sit here and write this, it appears I’m in a snow globe.
What the heck, Mother Nature?
It seems the only thing consistent about the weather lately is its inconsistency. It got me thinking about the simple truth of needing to have consistent communications as organizations.
This past week, Mary Ann and I had the opportunity to talk with members of the Division Avenue Business Association about how these small business can use social media to amplify their own efforts. We had a complete mix of folks, including those who use social media every day and others who haven’t even considered starting a Facebook page.
Afterward, we were talking with a couple of the members about the need to create a plan for social media once you make the decision to use it – and then stick to it. Doesn’t need to be excessive, but there should be one.
That same concept is true to any communication plan. We get so overwhelmed thinking we have to do everything – be on every platform, chase every trend, constantly think outside of that proverbial box – that we shut down and do nothing consistent and, well, nothing at all. We forget the communication basic: our stakeholders need to hear from us on a regular, dependable basis.
A lot of times it can seem daunting to find your voice as a brand – especially when resources are tight. I think the key comes down to is finding a few channels you realistically can manage and then commit to developing them. Whether that’s updating your website, posting three times a week to Facebook page or a monthly e-blast, having ongoing infrastructure in place allows you to ensure your stakeholders feel connected to your brand.
When you don’t communicate regularly and then suddenly find the need to, it also can come as a shock. This can ring particular true in a crisis situation. Often, we’ll have a company come to us in crisis mode, and we recommend a plan to help offset the damage and right the ship.
However, often the organization is not doing any ongoing communications, so our efforts can seem out of place. And when it comes to recovery after a crisis situation, newly urgent communication efforts can seem inauthentic.
Finally, it’s also very important to be consistent in your message. My team and our clients have heard me say a million times the key to branding is consistency. You are building a promise of who you are to the consumer. So, in your communication, you need to use the same voice, incorporating key messages and data points you want your stakeholders to know.
Having good communications always starts with a plan – whether simple or grand. Getting a solid plan in place will allow you to stay consistent in how you interact with your stakeholders. The more consistent you are with ongoing efforts, the greater traction you will get. One Facebook post or tweet a month isn’t going to do anything for you; however, regularly interacting with your publics will provide long-term success.
In the meantime, we’ll all just keep wondering when Mother Nature realizes it is spring and becomes, finally, consistent with her messaging.