Communications strategy

Planning an effective communications strategy

The AAD Communications Office can help you to identify an aim or vision for your project, service or initiative based on SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-specific) so that you are able to measure your success. Establishing the effectiveness of communication initiatives is one of the most challenging, important and neglected stages of all communications.

Attuned to communications activity around the University and across the AAD, the AAD Communications Office can offer insight into initiatives that may strengthen the success of your plan. Contact us for advice on developing your communications strategy.

A few questions to get you started:

Audience

  • Who do you need to reach in order to achieve your objectives?
  • Which audiences have the greatest power to affect your success?
  • Which audiences have influence, both positive and negative?
  • What is your audience looking for?
  • How can you keep/get their attention?

Whether you want to reach a particular department or division, attract students, researchers or academics, or a much broader audience, the more you focus on a specific audience and tailor your messages accordingly, the more successful you will be.

Message

  • What are you trying to say?
  • What is the most visual way to say it?
  • Is your message tailored to the needs of your audience?
  • Is your message clear?
  • Is your message relevant?
  • Is your message engaging?

Channels

  • What channels do your audience already use?
  • What channel is the most suitable for your message?

From small and localised to mass media and the web, the AAD Communications Office operates a number of channels for an integrated cross-media strategy. The team can advise on how you can best reach your audience from online and digital content to printed materials.

Timing

  • When will your message have the most impact?
  • What kind of resources do you have available (including staff, money and time)?
  • When are the submission/publication dates for your channels?
  • What else is happening across the collegiate University?

Plan ahead. The AAD Communications Office can guide you on the timeline for your message, as well as advise you on staff resource, funds and delivery schedule for text, images, design and print, including submission deadlines and publication dates where relevant. A timetable of activity will identify what needs to be done and when.

Evaluation

  • How will you know if your communications strategy has been successful?
  • How can you measure the impact of your communications strategy?

It’s important to decide what outcome you are looking to achieve, and how you will know when you have achieved it, prior to executing your communications strategy. Evaluation can include both qualitative and quantitative components. The AAD Communications Office can advise on the best method for measuring the outcome of your communications activities.