Are You Planning 2016 through the Rearview Mirror?

Written by Lou Ann Olson, senior consultant

Take one look at the emails in my inbox, and you’ll know that Tunheim clients are deep into planning for 2016 communications outreach. Most of the notes start with “Looking ahead to 2016…” and then go on to include references to “big ideas” and “expanding communications channels” — all in an effort to meet or exceed results above 2015 efforts. Great!

However, communications efforts differ from accounting spreadsheets in that they aren’t always (… if ever) measured most effectively by looking backward to compare year-over-year results.

Before driving too far down the road of planning for 2016, take a minute to rethink the ultimate destination for your business. Are your measurable communications goals meaningful toward that goal? If you’re an accountant, money is money … and more money is almost always better. In communications, reaching the right people with the right messaging is infinitely more powerful than blanketing the masses.

It’s time to rethink your measureable communications goals if:

  • You haven’t asked your key audiences where they get their most valuable information. In a time when communications channels expand by the day, quality wins over quantity. Make the most of your team’s time by investing in the channels your stakeholders value.
  • Your primary measurable goal is either the number of secured media hits or advertising value. Determine the measurables that will move your company toward its ultimate business goals in a meaningful way, whether it be web engagement, brand interaction or another results-driven measurement.
  • Internal leadership is not in agreement about goals of communication efforts. Take some time to reconcile the communications team’s to-do list against its measureable goals. Do they align — or is some strategic editing in order? Getting to alignment will be worth the effort, resulting in more power resources available to run the main communications engine.

Are you rethinking your communication goals and measurements for 2016? Let us know in the comments.

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