What’s Involved in a Communications Audit?
With the new year ahead of us, district leaders are starting to take a look at their current communication efforts. January presents an opportunity to come up with a fresh communications plan for the next 12-month period.
But before you start planning, your district needs to complete a communications audit. Keep reading to learn what’s involved in a communications audit and how it can inform your new communications plan.
Take stock of current communication efforts
The first step in a communications audit is identifying all the ways your district engages its stakeholders. List all the channels in your current communications plan, even the ones you don’t use very often. Be sure to include both digital and print channels, including email, social media, signage and pamphlets, among others.
A communication inventory provides a broad overview of your district’s current communication efforts. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of which channels you use the most, how often you use them and what information you’re releasing through each channel. You’ll also discover strong suits and areas that need improvement.
Ask stakeholders to complete a survey
During a communications audit, your best source of information is your stakeholders themselves. They can provide valuable insight about how they perceive your district’s current communication efforts. Stakeholder surveys collect data illustrating levels of engagement, where people get their information and the degree to which they’re satisfied with district communications.
Be sure to create a separate survey for each stakeholder group. Different groups have varying informational needs and preferred channels of communication. Tailoring the surveys to each stakeholder group will give you an accurate picture of how the district is doing and how to improve moving forward.
Conduct interviews and focus groups
When you analyze the survey results, you might notice recurring trends or pain points. Your district should consider holding focus groups to dive deeper into these areas of concern. A focus group can provide further context to quantitative data and pitch ideas on how your district can improve its communication efforts.
Interviews and focus groups also show stakeholders you care about their feedback. Focus groups in particular often involve meeting face to face, which establishes a stronger connection and gives stakeholders a chance to share their individual experiences with your district.
A communications audit is critical for planning your district’s future communication efforts. It paints a clear picture of where you’re at, where you need to be and how to get there. The results of that communications audit will propel your district in the right direction.
Visit our communication audits and planning page to learn how the Donovan Group can assist with your district’s communication efforts.
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