Here is a list of six common, and completely avoidable, mistakes that many people make.
- Not dedicating a budget to communications -- You need to determine how much money you have to spend and what various communication components will cost for the entire year so you don’t run out of funds. You don’t want that really cool, high-tech January video to eat up your entire budget for the year and leave you with no money for monthly posters or a regular newsletter.
- Not repurposing your content in multiple ways to reach as many people as possible – People often need to see and hear a message repeated in various media multiple times for the message to stick and cause individuals to take action. You can take one “article” and use it is several ways – social-media posts, posters, postcards, emails, etc.
- Not branding your utility or city with a logo – You should want your community to recognize anything you do as being part of your utility or city. To make sure that happens, give your city or utility its own identity with a unique look/logo. Then, prominently display the name and logo on everything you do.
- Inconsistent schedule – The “hit and miss” method rarely works. People need information on a consistent basis. Determine how often you’ll distribute content and in what formats.
- Not connecting print and Web – Paper and electronic communications are not mutually exclusive. It’s quite the opposite; the two types of media can and should work together. Include Website addresses and Quick Response (QR) Codes on posters and flyers to direct people to more information online. Use email to send out tip sheets or small posters that people can print and post.
- Not using free resources – There is a ton of credible content out there – if you just look for it. Local, state, and national non-profit organizations and government agencies offer tip sheets, infographics, videos, and more. Most of the time, you can find this content on the Websites of these organizations and agencies.
Don’t make these six communication slip-ups. Take time to map out what you’ll cover, when, how, and with what resources; and your communication efforts will be effective with less effort.