• Joanna Hampson

The Communications Journey

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

“Where do I start?”

With thousands of apps on the app store, new communication platforms coming on trend each year, weekly changes to social media features developments in new mediums like VR and AR, and emerging technological growth in wearable and voice devices.

We’ve all been overwhelmed by the rapid digital disruptions in the world today. At SMOOVEmedia, one of the most common questions that’s asked is; “Where do we start with going digital?"

In this post, we explore and dissect the issue and introduce the formula we use to help organisations lay a good communications foundation to catapult their communications into the future.

The most common communication mistake made by students unions is delegating content creation and distribution to one person or department with no separation of roles. While the creative process tends to require a longer time scale, this results in less time available for the distribution process which ultimately places your content in front of your members - spreading your story and services.

While both are crucial aspects of the communications journey, balance must be achieved if to secure consistent interactions and engagement with your online audience. Content needs to be relevant and consistent - at the same time everyday - and every week - so that members feel that the content is adding real value, expect that content as part of their schedule, and is the first step to establish us as part of their daily lives.

If we work backwards from the long term goal of reaching the organisational objectives of your union, it’s apparent that this aim cannot be achieved without administering an engaging online community enabled by the establishment of an open dialogue between you and your members. Undeniably this can be done by communicating in the most efficient and effective way; ensuring that your messaging is consistent, timely and fit-for-purpose to the particular student audience.

Your organisation should feel approachable, and to be seen as a reliable first-stop for students to come to when they are seeking information about student life. But, before engagement comes membership awareness - a state most commonly reached through the distribution of relevant content. In fact, creators and distributors tend to have opposite personality types. Where a creative tends to be someone who is detail oriented and enjoys time for the creative process, a distributor often needs to be surrounded by people and a part of multiple different conversations at the same time.

When communicating to our members, it is important to ensure that the purpose behind each post is as clear as possible by communicating short messages, tagging official accounts, utilising relevant hashtags, emoticons and images, and including links to where further information can be found.

All materials must be created in line with your organisational guidelines and ‘pitch’ so as to maintain a cohesive and recognisable brand, thus maintaining the communications journey.

Start by scoring (between 1-10) yourselves in each section of the comms journey to find out where you should focus your efforts on.

We made a worksheet for you!

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