Audits and proposals are friends
• You’ve done this already in your head, in an informal way, this is how we make it
digestible for a client.
• A methodical examination and review; add “proof” to your proposal efforts.
• An evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, project or product.
• Performed to ascertain the validity and reliability of information; to provide an
assessment of a system's internal control. The ‘before.’
• The goal of an audit is to express an opinion on the person/organization/system in
• Repeatable, measurable; Provide a baseline for your planning and a method for
• Audits help explain the current environment to your client and your team.
• Keep you on track and not in la-la land.
Audits and proposals are friends
• Organize the communications of an organization
• Identify process or lack of process – Strengths and
• Identify and prioritize or re-prioritize audiences
• Stakeholder research: what they know, need to know, want
to know, how they prefer to be reached
• Untapped opportunities…identify gaps
• Drive consistency
So we ask…
• What are our current goals and objectives for communications?
• How well is the current Communications Plan working? Um, is there one?
• Are our messages clear and consistent? Do we have a coordinated graphic identity?
• Are we reaching key audiences with our messages and moving them to action?
• What communications have been most effective?
• What do stakeholders think of our communications?
• Do our communications support our overall strategic plan?
• What would make our communications more effective?
• What communications opportunities are we missing?
And we think about…
• Decision Factors
• Expected outcome
• Political considerations?
Then we talk about…
• Information about your current communication strategy is
gathered with tools such as surveys, interviews, focus groups,
network analysis, content analysis, technology assessment,
critical incident analysis, or document analysis.
• Evaluate past communications – do they have them?
• Question your stakeholders (or evaluate) – in real life but not this
• Question your staff/volunteers/board – in real life but not this class
• Analyze media coverage – go for it – hooray for the Internet
• Conduct a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities,
threats) – this is a great start
To analyze and report on…
• Success of previous efforts
• Methods for more successful efforts
• Fixing internal or external issues
• Make recommendations as a pro for better outputs and
more importantly better outcomes
You’ll also need a narrative
• No comparing yourself to others in this effort.
• Each firm/corporation will have a format to organize this
• For class we will use the same generic skeleton but your
results will vary depending on assets.
• Focus is on the organization itself, its practice and capacity,
also how the organization has positioned the communications
What the hell goes in this and why aren’t
you giving me a template?
• The skeleton
• Purpose: state it
• Identify aspects: internal, external, brand, digital/social
• Material reviews (assets/collateral): all you can find
• Brief recommendations (keep it general); your proposal will propel you
the rest of the way – those are your “fixes”
• Proposal plays nice and goes next
• Why didn’t we do this first? I like you to think first. There is no
“right” order. Depends on how the request for services comes to you
from a client.
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Mar. 16, 2018
Mar. 18, 2018
Prepared for CAP 423. A communication audit "how to."