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From playbook to game plan: A winning communications strategy

It was fun to see Corner Office Communications featured in the Nashville Business Journal with this guest blog post! The article was submitted to, and originally published by, Nashville Business Journal and can be found online here.

With Major League Baseball finally underway, it’s easy to wonder at the dedication and perseverance driving some teams to victory. No matter the sport, athletic organizations offer business-relevant lessons on the importance of planning, teamwork and execution to achieve success. From the overarching playbook to the singular game plan, we find parallels between a championship season and a winning communications strategy.

Why should your business be concerned with communicating well? Good business is dependent upon relationships, and relationships are only as solid as communication between parties. Both internal and external stakeholders need consistent information to stay in the game. With this in mind, here are three essential components of a strategy for becoming a communications champion.

Angela Novak

The Playbook

A communications plan is the playbook that identifies long-term objectives and tools to achieve them. The driving force behind each objective ― and integral to the plan ― is the audience you want to reach. Internal stakeholders such as employees, board directors and partners as well as external parties including customers, investors and the media are all relevant. Once you’ve identified your audiences you can pinpoint tactics or “plays” for communicating effectively with each.

The Roster

There are many ways to leverage marketing automation today, but a communications plan will not implement and run itself. Well-laid plans will fall flat if no one is expressly responsible. From corporate communications staff and marketing teams to an outside agency or intern, there are multiple parties who can tackle basic levels of outreach. While hiring a communications expert may be ideal, designated responsibility for plan execution is what is mission critical.

The Game Plan

The overarching playbook identifies your long-term objectives, audiences and tactics for outreach, but organizational priorities and goals can vary widely year to year. A communications calendar is the game plan that sets forth activities tied to measurable goals and a timeline for achieving them. Whether you update your plan periodically to reflect these goals or find another way to track them, a calendar keeps the team focused and helps you pivot to capitalize on new opportunities.

Your path to achieving communications excellence should be unique and leverage the strengths of your organization. A little planning, a dedicated team and consistent execution are the key elements of a winning formula. For many business leaders, it is a commitment to communicating well that sets them apart, helping them build trust, foster engagement and rise above the competition.

Angela Novak is founder and president of Corner Office Communications, a Nashville-based communications, PR and investor relations firm. Learn more at www.cornerofficecommunication.com.

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