“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
― Henry Ford
Makes sense, right? So when it comes to your business communications, are you still doing what you’ve always done?
Take those quick-and-dirty one-page sales sheets or hastily-assembled presentations. They’re probably still in your inventory. If your business has been around for a while, chances are that you’ve accumulated a slew of one-off communications. Maybe you started out with a communications plan and you got off track. Or perhaps (as often happens) you’ve got a collection of communications that were created by different people or teams in response to specific events, needs or crises.
The same goes for websites. You may have had the time and resources to put together a well-structured, well-designed site. But if you’re like many businesses, especially small ones, your site was put together in a hurry, with not enough content (or not enough of the right content). And then you left it alone for months, or even years, happy to have it off your plate.
Well, Henry Ford wouldn’t have approved. If you’re not constantly creating, innovating and updating, you’re falling behind.
Let’s start with your website. If you haven’t updated it lately, do it ASAP. Then, put a recurring reminder on your calendar to review your site, add fresh content and archive outdated information. How often should you do this? Ideally, at least once a month. But if quarterly is the best you can do, that’s still better than never.
Is your business on social media? The rule applies, but on steroids. On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms, people expect fresh content constantly. And when a customer post a question or complaint, you better be ready to provide a near-instant response. Stale content and lack of response are black eyes. Social media presence is a significant commitment; if you’re there at all, you need to be there all the time.
Don’t overlook your other communications tactics. Are you reaching people where and when they want to be reached? Are all your communications on brand? If your brand has changed, have your communications kept pace? Do they look and read like they came from the same organization, or are they all over the place? Set aside anything that isn’t up to par until you can fix it.
By now, you may be muttering, “I have a business to run! When am I going to get this done?” Fair question. Take responsibility, or make a team member responsible. If there’s no one who can handle this, get help. Strong, effective communications are too important to your business to let this slide.
Remember what Henry Ford said. Don’t continue to do what you’ve always done and expect a different result. Resolve to step up your communication strategy and tactics in the new year, and you’ll reap the rewards.