Building a communications strategy that wins with your customers, as well as the press, is essential to gaining market share and growing your organization’s revenue. To do that, you need a well-crafted communications plan for your high-profile event — and you know your resources aren’t unlimited.
This means that you need to know who you are targeting, in order to make sure you use the right platforms to communicate with youraudience. You also need to establish your timeframe, as well as evaluate your plan of attack. Only when you have created a communications strategy that hits all the marks and resonates with your audience will you achieve results that don’t come up short.
Below, eight members of Forbes Communications Council share some of the most important steps to building an effective communication strategy for a high-profile event. Here is what they recommend:
1. Understand Your Target Audience
The most important part of an event communications strategy is a clear understanding of your target audience and why they are yourtarget audience. With that in mind, you can craft the strategy to meet their specific situation. – Christopher McGown, The Salvation Army
2. Set A Clear Timeline In Advance
Setting a timeline well in advance and communicating the deadlines to all stakeholders is key. Make sure the timeline is feasible, specific and has clear deliverables. This helps keep everyone involved on track, and understand how they fit into the big picture. – Moira van den Akker, Trimble Inc
3. Build And Target A Large Database Of Contacts
A great customer relationship management tool with a large database of people in your target market is extremely important to a launch or driving attendance to an event. An email campaign with a few great subject lines can really get people’s attention. I also believe that a great social media platform is imperative to growing an audience for both a launch and an event. – Ellicia Romo, Peoples Mortgage Company
4. Establish A Direct Line Of Communication
The most important step in building a communications strategy is knowing the audience and understanding their needs. Establish a direct line of communication and use the right voice and tone to interact with them. – Julio Moreno, Intermedia Touch Inc.
5. Help The Audience Feel The Message
Identifying the feeling that you want to leave with your audience may be the most important step of all when building a communications strategy. A well-crafted message can turn even the most mundane topic into a lasting impression on your audience. – Malak Mansour, HIREtech
6. Bring Key People Along On The Journey
For any high-profile event, we have found that identifying a core group of people to bring in on the journey goes a long way. We will often engage key people who have the ability to influence the event in some way early in the planning process, so that they feel invested in its success. That could mean giving them the opportunity to invite people from their network or creating a way for them to participate in some capacity so that they see the event as a meaningful platform. – Liz Keen, Sherpa Capital
7. Set Clear Expectations With All Stakeholders
One of the most important things is setting the expectations with all stakeholders that are involved in the process. What do we need to get out of this? Who takes ownership for which part of the campaign? How will we track the results? – Marcel Hollerbach, Productsup
8. Develop A Cohesive Story
A cohesive story is paramount to success when planning for a high-profile launch or event. Being able to encapsulate the essence of the event and tell that story across multiple channels while still keeping a consistent theme is key. The first step in building the communications strategy should always be to define the story. Once you have this in place, the other parts of the strategy are spokes connecting to the story wheel. – Craig Olinger, Diamond Resorts