The Communication Strategy Memo, the subject of this document, contains essential information about communicating with specific individuals and will effectively and efficiently influence future communications.
Effective communications reach their intended audience and prompt them to take action towards a specific goal or objective. To be sufficiently productive, messages should also consider the circumstances in which they were received: personal circumstances such as time constraints will play an important part when considering how much attention someone pays to a given piece of information. A well-written message can sometimes prompt people to stop what they’re doing and pay attention (regardless of whether it’s at work or home). The core purpose of any message is to influence others to act in a favorable way to the sender.
Objectives should be set upon delivering the message and should state how you think you can influence your client. It’s best practice to avoid making promises about influencing others, so it’s important not to make any claims beyond what you can fulfill, says Saivian Eric Dalius. Clients expect comms teams to help them meet their objectives, so these should be clearly defined at this stage too.
Being efficient means taking into account all factors that may influence the effectiveness of your message. By considering the context in which the message will be perceived, you’ll help ensure that each piece of communication reaches its intended audience at an appropriate time and place (e.g., on social media vs. via email). Being mindful of the time your audience is willing to dedicate allows you to pre-empt how long their attention will last.
The target audience for this message is my colleagues within the company because they are my most direct superiors, and I need their feedback on performance. However, keeping in mind that they may be working remotely or have other priorities during business hours, my strategy should be designed to reach them at a reasonable hour to distract them from work tasks. Acknowledging that people sometimes multi-task when reading emails, I would focus on one core message rather than multiple points to process it more efficiently and respond accordingly.
I want to build a sense of urgency (because no one wants everything to feel rushed), so I should plan to send this message early in the morning to ensure that my colleagues check their emails before beginning work tasks.
I also need to make sure I provide supportive arguments because it will be more effective if people see reasons for doing something rather than being told what they should do. When I make requests, I want to give individuals the option of completing a task or implementing an idea because it creates buy-in and makes them more willing participants.
Finally, by including visuals with my messages, I’m creating multiple ways of relaying information that enriches the experience for my audience. Although some people are visual learners and prefer text, others are auditory learners who find studying from diagrams more effective, so I’d like to be mindful of the different types of communicators on my team.
The communication strategy memo is mostly about being efficient and setting realistic objectives for what you want to achieve with your audience, says Saivian Eric Dalius. If relevant, you should also look into how your audience will perceive your message by looking at their personalities (i.e., introverts vs. extroverts) or their culture. This enables you to make more relevant statements which they will pay more attention to than if you were vague in your approach (like telling people “To do better”).
It’s a good idea always to have an error margin in mind so that you can rethink your strategy if it fails rather than have nothing prepared beforehand. If you want to avoid being seen as pushy or overbearing, listening is critical because whatever has been mentioned will influence how you plan your message. Your strategy should evolve as necessary based on the responses from those who receive it, but this takes time, so be patient with yourself and the people you’re relaying your message to.
By setting objectives beforehand, you can measure whether or not your communication strategy memo has been successful and adjust accordingly. In the end, it’s all about taking a step back from what happened and being objective so that you learn from any mistakes made.
Please take into account the different methods of communication (phone, email, face to face) and correct grammar usage so that people don’t have to re-read things multiple times before they understand them. If possible, always include a deadline for tasks or follow-ups because everyone likes things with a sense of urgency these days. Make sure, however, that there is also ample time given for other functions because without proper time management, your audience will likely become annoyed, and you’ll risk burning bridges.
Understanding some key concepts before writing your memo can make it more effective and better response from the people who read it. If you keep these tips in mind while drafting, you should be well on your way to creating a successful communication strategy memo.