It’s January and chances are you are working hard to get the year off to a good start. You may be in charge of creating something–a newsletter, a flyer, an ad–that is intended to achieve a communications or marketing objective. It may be to publicize an upcoming event or perhaps to solicit support for a cause or maybe you are advocating for a policy change. We’ll assume that this project is part of a larger strategy and will help further your overall communications goals.
Before you start any marketing/communications project you should be able to answer these five questions:
1. What is the main objective for the piece? Or ask yourself this: What do you want the audience to do with this piece?
2. Who is the target audience? Really, who is it? Be specific.
3. What are the top three messages you want to convey?
4. Knowing who the target is, what is the best way to communicate your message? Will you use graphics? Which ones? What kind of language will you use?
5. Has this piece been done before? If so, why are you doing it again? What was it that worked or didn’t work before? If not, why are you doing it now?
This may seem obvious to some, simplistic to others, but surprisingly, many people trying to create communications aren’t able to answer these questions. Why else do you think we are inundated with useless letters, flyers and brochures? Even if you are a pro, doing this exercise will help you to create a better product, guaranteed!
What is your process for getting communications projects done? Please share!