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Don’t enter 2020 without giving this strategy some thought

planning, taking notes

Have you ever experienced the “Sunday Scaries”? If you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to a feeling of dread ahead of a looming work week. Some business leaders experience a notched-up version of Sunday Scaries: instead of stressing over the week ahead, the feeling is deeper and more overwhelming. 

It’s nearly December. There are fewer than 45 days until 2020, and right now many marketing directors and c-suite leaders across Metro Detroit are experiencing a dialed up version of the Sunday Scaries about the coming year. Totally normal, and very uncomfortable.

The surest way to abolish Sunday Scaries once and for all is to prepare. Yes, prepare. It really is that simple. You’re in the right career, and the right role, so you’re not dreading 2020 because you don’t want to deal. It’s because 2020 right now looks unpredictable. The Scaries usually relate to overwhelm in future planning, where a clear strategy, and plan for tackling it, is not yet defined.

If you’re a marketing director or leader of a growing brand, the Scaries probably have a lot to do with your 2020 marketing and communication strategy.

 

How do you know if this applies to you? 

  • You are responsible, alone or in part, for the success of your company’s brand
  • As you look toward 2020, you do not have clear communication and marketing goals defined
  • You feel like you’re missing communication or marketing opportunities because you missed hearing about them, or heard about them too late
  • The details have you spinning: You’re not sure what campaign you’re running next week or month, or which call to action will be your focus next quarter, or who your spokesperson will be on a given topic 

 

My friend, please read on. If the list above has caused you to sweat or affirm there’s work to be done on your plate, you’ll want to hear what’s next. 

What is communication strategy?

Taking notes, planningCommunication strategy ensures that all communication efforts, including marketing and PR for your company or organization, are intentional and well thought-out and planned for, typically for 6-12 months into the future. By applying communication strategy into your future planning process, you will clearly define the direction your brand is moving in, and how to get there. 

Communication strategy maps out how, when, and why your audiences will hear your messages, and creates measurable goal markers along the way. It is a critical component to a company or organization’s future planning. 

Why is communication strategy important?

Future planning for your company or organization will give you the ingredients and instructions to reach the outcomes you and your team are striving toward. Communication is one business strategy that touches all other aspects of an organization – internal, external, client-facing, and more. Having communication strategy activated as part of your future planning can be the game-changer to stave off those Sunday Scaries once and for all.

3 Tips and reminders for communication strategy

  1. PESO is not just currency 

We use the PESO model when activating communication strategy. Here’s a high-level view of this concept:

Paid – advertisements
Earned – pitched media (PR)
Shared – social media
Owned – blog, email newsletter 

→ Mix them all together, and BAM! You have an integrated communication strategy ← 

 

  1. Some planning is better than no planning

It’s ok to start small. Try to plan for one month out, at the start, if more than that feels overwhelming. Here are some questions to ask: 

  • What are our goals next month? (engaged visitors, RSVPs, sales, etc.) 
  • How can communication efforts (think: PESO) help get us there?
  • What does our key audience need to hear in order to take the action we want them to take? 

 

  1. Quality is better than quantity 

As business leaders, we want to do everything, and do it NOW. But getting the foundation right is the most important thing. You’ll have to make some decisions based upon the answers you gave to the questions listed in #2, prioritizing communication strategies that can be done well, in a realistic timeframe. Get your brand narrative right, roll out campaigns your team can execute well, and you’ll be on your way to a future that feels much less scary. 

Let’s recap 

Incorporating communication strategy into your future planning is key to feeling strong and ready to tackle 2020 and beyond. Rather than wing it and risk feeling anxious every Monday morning next year, pause now to build a strategy first and see what happens. The calm induced by having a plan, and the energy of seeing the path laid out ahead of you, will make you a believer. 

This doesn’t have to be good-bye

We’re big fans of communication strategy, if you haven’t deduced that already. Our clients are, too. Beginning with strategy gives us and our clients the best opportunity to succeed. Try it out and you’ll see for yourself. Think you’ll need help beyond this blog post? Connect with us, and let’s chat. Perhaps a partnership is in our future.