Elements of an effective communications piece
Following is a summary of the kinds of things you need to know before you start composing any communications.
- Situation analysis:
- What’s going on in your product division and with your customers – are sales down or up, any particular battles being fought on the competitive front, any big news that hasn’t been communicated yet?
- What is the big picture?
- Overall goals:
- What do you want to achieve by publishing this communication piece?
- Do you need recognition for your product, or to attract 1,000 new customers, or provide a handy reference for existing customers … etc.?
- Consider the context: present offerings and planned future developments.
- And how do you plan to measure response?
- What are your specific messaging goals?
- What are the primary features and benefits of your product?
- Where does it fit in the larger corporate story?
- How does it meet customer concerns?
- What sets your product or service apart from others?
- Bear in mind there are alternatives for everything: competing technologies, suppliers, manufacturers and solutions. There is also the alternative of doing without – especially in consumer goods.
- Determine tone and image
- What is your brand identity and how will it be expressed in this piece?
- What specific information supports your messaging requirements?
- Product info, statistics, industry trends, analyst viewpoints, customer testimonials, etc.
- How should the information be prioritized and organized?
- Test to optimize!
- How will people get more information/buy?
- What’s the call to action? Shopping cart, addresses, web/e-mail links, 800 #s, coupons, feedback forms?