What Is a Communication Strategy? (With Definition and Template)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published December 14, 2021

Organizations communicate both internally and externally on a daily basis in order to effectively run their business. Some companies may create and implement a communication strategy to guide their correspondence with employees and clients. If you're interested in developing the communication within an organization, consider learning more about communication strategies. In this article, we define communication strategies, explain the benefits of having one, discuss the elements included and provided a communication strategy template.

Related: 12 Steps to Creating a Communication Strategy

What is a communication strategy?

A communication strategy is a business and marketing tool that helps organizations align their communication and produce meaningful, cohesive messages. These strategies may focus on internal or external communications, or specify the communication strategy for a particular project. The strategy typically outlines the plan for delivering a message to a target audience while describing the purpose, how to accomplish the tasks and the desired business outcomes. Communication strategies may act as a foundational aspect of your organization's marketing and business strategies.

Benefits of having a communication strategy

Implementing a communication strategy into your organization has a variety of benefits, which include:

Increase clarity

Having a communication strategy may help an organization increase clarity regarding how to communicate with each other or with clients. Regardless of the type of communication strategy, it's a tool that outlines various aspects of communication that are relevant to the audience and the employees within the company. Increased clarity may help employees interact with clients and customers more effectively since they have a well-developed understanding of the key messages and communication goals.

Related: 12 Effective Communication Strategies To Use at Work

Guide marketing communications

If your company decides to develop an overarching communication strategy, you might use this as a guide for marketing communications. For example, if you plan to interact with a new client, you can reference the communication strategy to determine the goals and objectives for the conversation. Additionally, the strategy can outline the specific audience, key messages and other important details that contribute to a successful marketing campaign.

Maintain consistency

Another benefit of communication strategies is the ability to maintain consistency across the organization. Consistency is important both for internal and external communications. It may help clients feel that they can rely on your organization. Consistent internal communication benefits employees by increasing understanding and diminishing the possibility for miscommunication.

Elements of a communication strategy

There are a variety of things to include in a communication strategy. However, before you begin creating a new strategy, consider looking through and evaluating the current state of your organization's communication. There may be valuable documents or processes that you want to incorporate into the new strategy. Consider which elements of the current strategy work well, and which don't. This process can help you prepare to develop a new strategy that meets the precise needs of the organization. Some elements of a communication strategy may include:

Description of the strategy

An important element of your communication strategy is a basic description of the product at the beginning. This may be one or two sentences that clearly describe the goals and purpose of the particular communication strategy. Since communication strategies are applicable to many different aspects of professional life, it's important to define which type of communication strategy your plan details. For example, imagine that your company has an existing general communication strategy plan. If you want to develop a more specific internal communication strategy, it's best to identify the scope of the strategy before you present it to the company.

Related: 12 Careers in Strategic Communications To Consider

Communication objectives

Regardless of the type of strategy you create, it's important to include communication objectives. These objective statements can help guide your plan, provide parameters and discuss the types of results you hope to see as a result of the strategy. Your communication objectives may be specific or broader, depending on the scope of your strategy. For example, if you're creating a marketing communication strategy, it's best to include several specific goals that relate directly the marketing department.

Definition of your brand and mission statement

Another element of a successful communication strategy is a definition of your organization's brand and mission statement. These two qualities of your company help frame the rest of your work, so it's crucial to incorporate them into your communication strategies as well. The brand of your organization refers to the perception and reputation of your company according to the general public. The mission statement is a company-created declaration of what the company hopes to accomplish. Consider including a few details about how your strategy directly addresses the brand and mission statement of the company.

Description of your target audience

Another important element of a communication strategy is a description of your ideal audience. This description may include research about why you want to target this audience, what the audience prefers and what types of content they engage with the most. These details help provide a clear understanding of the audience and how to best appeal to them. Consider including information about what language and tone the audience prefers or what campaigns were most effective in the past.

List of key messages

Depending on the type of communication strategy you create, you may include a list of key messages. This provides an outline of the main subjects you want the audience to understand. For example, if your company sells home goods, a key message may be that your goods transform houses into homes where families can thrive. Including this in your communication strategy can help others develop new ways to convey that message, or rewrite the message in new, engaging ways.

Related: Communication Plan Example, Elements and Benefits

List of your main communication channels

There are several types of communication channels available for companies and organizations to implement in their internal and external communication strategies. The channels your company prefers may vary from your competitors, so it's best to include a list in your communication strategy. A few main types of communication channels may include:

  • Print media

  • Email marketing

  • Website

  • Blog

  • Internal communication platforms

  • Podcasts

  • Social media

Description of your tactics

Your company may rely on a few key tactics to communicate your message to an audience. Consider describing what you want employees to do in order to deliver a key message, how this action needs to take place or how often to share the message. This description may vary based on the nature of the communication strategy. However, including specifics can help internal employees follow the strategy carefully and implement it effectively.

Related: Communication Strategy vs. Communication Plan: What's the Difference?

Communication strategy template

Here's a template of a communication strategy that you can implement:

[Company name or department name]

[Date]

[Type of communication strategy]

Communication objectives:

  • [Objective #1]

  • [Objective #2]

  • [Objective #3]

Brand definition: [Description of the company's brand, including persona, reputation and other relevant branding details.]

Mission statement: [Company's mission statement]

Plan for adhering to the brand mission statement: [Describe how the communication strategies relate to the mission statement.]

  • [Strategy #1]

  • [Strategy #2]

  • [Strategy #3]

Target audience

Description: [Brief description of your target audience(s), including the demographics, preferred content or how they view the organization.]

Strategies for connecting with the target audience:

  • [Strategy #1]

  • [Strategy #2]

  • [Strategy #3]

Key messages

[List of important messages that you want to convey to your target audience.]

  • [Message #1]

  • [Message #2]

  • [Message #3]

  • [Message #4]

Communication channels

[Describe or list which types of communication channels you plan to use in order to convey your messages to the target audience effectively.]

Tactics

[Describe or list the main tactics to use in order to effectively implement this communication strategy.]

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