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How Will You Build Brand Awareness in 2105?:Here are 5 Steps to Build Your 2015 Communications Plan

- Monday, December 08, 2014


As the year comes to a close, it is important that you begin planning your 2015 communication strategy for your business. Developing a solid communications plan will allow you to reach new audiences, build brand awareness, and increase your bottom line. The success of your business is tied to who knows about your business and what they are saying. But what your consumers know about your organization starts with what YOU are saying about YOU first.

Here are five tips to help you build a solid communication plan and take your business to the next level in 2015:

1. Create Goals – Create new goals and review yearly to make sure they are attainable, then make them specific and measurable. Your goals must cover the areas of marketing, social media, and media relations. If you want to attract new customers, write out how many. If you want to attract more positive media coverage, list the outlets you want to reach out to and the story ideas you have for them. Ultimately, you want your communications goals to reinforce your organization's vision, values, and mission statement.
2. Develop Messaging - Develop three or four "Key Messages" that you want reporters to use every time they describe your organization and what you do. Use these messages each time you speak to your audiences. Review the message points before media appearances or interviews. No matter what questions are asked, all answers should include the key messages. Also incorporate this messaging into your online content and marketing materials to develop consistent brand messaging across all channels. (Example: "3M is a global company with local presence through the world").
3. Develop Marketing Materials - Your organization's core communication collateral "tool box" should include the following: a well-designed logo, tag line, and stationery; a one-page fact sheet describing your organization; a detailed brochure; short bios of spokespeople and leadership; relevant news clippings, case studies or reports. Your organization should also have a well-designed, user friendly web site.
4. Itemize Resources - Determine what resources you'll need to implement your communications plan. Develop a realistic budget that includes staff time, as well as outside services such as graphic design, printing, web management, and consultants.
5. Include Evaluation Methods - Make sure your communications plan includes tools to evaluate your media outreach, online marketing, and social media goals. Methods to evaluate ROI may include: tracking shifts in public opinion; number of social media followers; increase in media features and mentions; measuring increases in membership, funding, sales or visibility.


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