Communications is becoming an increasingly noisy space. How we communicate is pivotal to achieving business objectives and managing the way your organisation is perceived by the public. The number of global communications made in one day is mind boggling, with over one billion Google searches, 2 billion YouTube video views and 167 billion text messages sent, producing powerful communications is key to organisational success. There are some simple ways organisations can ensure that they develop effective communications that cut through the noise and reach their audience.
When developing effective communications, planning is essential and developing good content is critical to ensuring communications are seen, read and heard. The planning process helps to define your goals, identify your target audience and choose your communications tools, such as print, digital, online and traditional media formats. While the temptation is to jump straight in and start creating a suite of communications without considering these key elements, all your hard work may fall short without the direction and focus that a communications plan will add. Giving your current body of communications a framework to fit in to, can help you to see the bigger picture approach to getting your organisation’s message out there and understood.
This week Infoxchange’s SocialDesign team presented an information session on the importance of good communications at the Victorian Law Foundation. The team covered topics on best practice communications including content development, Search Engine Optimisation and social media. SocialDesign specialises in print and digital media projects in the community services sector and is passionate about assisting organisations to communicate effectively across all communication mediums. The SocialDesign team works collaboratively with organisations to develop content that communicates key messages in an engaging and effective way.
Producing content that optimises the communication tool that you are using is key to effective communication. For example, eye tracking studies have shown that most web users don’t tend to ‘read’ online – they scan text. The layout of online content will significantly impact the amount of information that an online user engages with and influences the perceived usefulness of the website. Using bullet points, lists, white space and informative headlines will assist online readers to scan information and quickly ascertain if the content matches their interest and needs.
Web accessibility should also inform good web design and effective content development to provide equal access and opportunity to people with varied abilities, such a vision impaired users. TestIT, Infoxchange’s software testing social firm, provides a range of services including testing the functionality of a website. Testing a website is important to ensuring that the application is working as required and reduces the risk of undetected bugs.
Using communication tools with purpose can help your organisation to deliver ideas, resources and information to reach and inform a wider audience. With half of all Australians on Facebook and 10 per cent on Twitter, social media provides endless possibilities for online communication. Social media platforms can be a great way to draw people back to your organisation’s website, network with like-minded organisations and follow topical discussions. Again, planning the way your organisation uses social media as part of a broader communications plan that aligns with your organisation’s strategy is the key to success.
Increasingly, communications are being valued as a fundamental part of overall business planning. Organisations are starting to take notice of the impact that effective communication adds to everyday service delivery and an organisation’s public profile. With communications coming at us from every direction, organisation need to plan the best ways to reach their audience and produce quality content that helps to fulfil business objectives and cut through the noise.
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