It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot. It’s often misunderstood, and it’s sometimes feared. But it can, and should be your best friend. What is that word, you ask? It’s STRATEGY, my friends! Strategy matters. It should always come first, and should always be present in every communication decision and tactic you consider. Without it, you really don’t know where you want to go, who you want to be, or why it even matters in the first place. When there is a lack of strategy, there’s an absence of purpose and synchronicity. There are many questions that can’t be answered (or answered well), like:
- Who are we really reaching out to?
- What do they want to hear from us?
- Why does it matter?
- How are we different from others?
- Are we telling our own story, and in a way that connects with our audience?
- What goals are we reaching for?
- And many others …
When crafting strategy, you really have to dig deep down and go beyond answers like “because we’re good at what we do and we’re smart!” Yes, I’ve moderated sessions where I’ve heard this before. Put yourself in the shoes in your audience and ask yourself why they even care that you exist. Why do you, or should you, matter to them? Only then can you go on to truly create a set of tactics to move your organization forward – and yes, that means marketing and PR too. Do not make the mistake of delving into marketing and PR without your strategy in place! Having the strategy clearly defined will help you to identify campaigns, messaging and tactics that will be effective.
Good strategy always helps you evaluate tactical options to determine what is a fit, and what isn’t. So always start with strategy and let it lead the way.