ABC’s of Communication Strategy: A is for Admitting there might be a problem

by Kirk Westwood

Market leaders and business pundits, like the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, all agree that video, social media, and the up-and-coming interactive media is the best business practice of the future.  

So either directly or indirectly that led your boss (or maybe even you!) to go to your team and say “Hey! We should make a video! Videos go viral! That’s how we stay relevant!”  But videos, social media, and all the newest toys and tricks are just tactics. They MUST fit into a strategy if they are to be effective.

We see it almost every day.  A company has finally pried some money from the fingers of their budgeteers and allotted it to the shiniest of toys: A cool, flashy video that will go on their website, social media, or play on a loop at their next convention!  Mid-level account executive Bob has volunteered to write the script. Compliance department head Janet approved it and they call us to help them make it.

Most often a myriad of thought has gone into what the video should be.  But very rarely can anyone initially tell us why they want a video in the first place.  Videos are the single best tactic on the market today.  Social media algorithms weight video content more heavily.  Looping videos at convention spaces are unambiguously shown to be effective forms of communication.  Not to mention the very nature of multimedia presentation allows them to reach people on a multi-sensory level and can be remarkably effective at evoking target emotions and responses.

But none of that matters if you didn’t have a strategy for that tactic to fall into.  A flashy video on the website that doesn’t fit into a cohesive message is most often disregarded as noise.  A video designed to raise awareness and a video designed to fundraise while might look similar in many respects are actually fundamentally different in several key respects, and a campaign built for one, will have a hard time being effective at the other.

Interactive media is in-fact the way of the future.  The way people engage with information will never be the same.  Video is a powerful tactic, but an expensive one and remarkably ineffective if not nested within a strategy.  What do we want to achieve?  How will we know if we’ve achieved it?  When this is successful, what is the next step?  With a content communication strategy in place you control the message.  You control the brand and you are as close as you can be to controlling the outcome of your efforts.

Kirk Westwood

Kirk Westwood

Creative Director

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