To audit means to listen (and a bit of trivia for the Latin nerds: audit stems from the Latin auditus, which means ‘to hear’). This is exactly what you need to do when thinking about your company’s communication.
Where to start? Start with why – it’s c = crucial to know why you’re doing the audit in the first place; why are you investing time and money on this? Know your purpose and goals to keep you on target.
The primary purpose of a communication audit should be to ensure everything is aligned well with your communication strategy. If it doesn’t fit, is it worth continuing?
Your comms audit should help you answer questions like what’s working well, what do your stakeholders (internal and external) think, are your internal or external messages clear enough and what has been effective. It helps highlight opportunities for future improvements and know what to cut/change/create.
What are the benefits of doing a communication audit?
The overall goal is to improve existing communication methods; internally and externally.
An effective communications audit will identify:
- how communication has been handled
- key audiences, what they currently know about your business, service, product or organisation, what they need and want to know and how they prefer to be reached
- strengths and weaknesses in current communication programs
- untapped opportunities for future communication
- succesful campaigns that can be used again.
Through your communication audit you should ask:
- What are our current goals and objectives for communication?
- How well is the current communication plan working?
- Are our messages clear and consistent? Do we have a coordinated visual identity?
- Are we reaching key audiences with our messages and moving them to action?
- What communication have been most effective?
- What do customers think of our communication?
- Do our communication activities support our overall strategic plan for our business or organisation?
- What would make our communication more effective in the future?
- What communication opportunities are we missing?
PR helps build relationships between organisation and client/audience. Performing a communication audit helps identify effective tools which are crucial for successful communication.
When was the last time you audited your company’s communication?
Don’t underestimate the time it takes to research, collate, collect and analyse data and channels. If you’re serious about conducting an audit, you will need to invest time and resources. Or have a professional crew like the c word guide you through the process.
Once you’ve got your information you can c = capture lessons for next time.
Cheers, Jack & the c word crew