Strategic Communications – Understanding your audience

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marcoHaving a strategic communications plan can help grassroots organizations and associations connect with their audience, and set out objectives, and how they are going to achieve them. Together with the Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) and TRIEC Campus teams, Marco Campana, Communications Consultant, developed the Strategic Communications e-learning module for PINs leaders. He explains what he means by strategic communications, and why it’s important.

Strategic communications means looking at communications as a process that involves and guides the entire organization. An association’s communications goals must grow from its overall strategic goals/priorities. Therefore, it has to be connected to the mission and vision of the association. It also means having a clear idea of the challenges and opportunities facing the association.

It’s essential to get to know your audience, because strategic communications is not about technology, it is about people. Your audience drives the choice of technology, not the other way around. If you take the time to know them, you will know why they are your members, what they need from you, how they want to communicate, and through what tools or channels.

The TRIEC Campus Strategic Communications e-learning module will help you understand the following aspects of communications, which you can use for your own association:

  • The importance of strategic communications and how it can be used for organizations of any size.
  • Focusing on audience needs first as a guide to drive your organizational strategy.
  • Taking the time to gain an understanding of your audience and what you have to offer to them will ensure the success of your association or organization.
  • Understand what approaches and tools work best in communicating with your audience; whether it’s online or personal communication methods (hint: it’s most likely a combination of both).

Taking the time to be strategic about your communications, and it does take time, will help you understand why people are not responding, attending events or joining your association. You’ll also find more success with your members, the people you’re trying to serve.

Strategic communications can make you a better professional association. Members will know what’s in it for them to join, make them active because you’re giving them what they need, and you’ll be able to implement your strategic mission and goals. But don’t just take my word for it! In the e-learning module, you can view how the Association of Romanian Engineers in Canada (AREC) took simple strategic steps to better understand and engage their members. Their success is proof of how it can benefit your association too.

Visit TRIEC Campus to launch the Strategic Communications e-learning module.

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