The 4 key steps of a communication audit

Zora Artis

Zora Artis

Are your communications really adding value? Without conducting regular audits or assessments, you can’t be certain. An audit, Zora Artis tells us, provides an objective picture of what is actually happening in the organization, rather than what we think is happening. Most important, it helps communicators understand how they are adding value and it can help spot areas for improvement.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to help you do a better job as a communicator and it increases your value to your organization, so I can’t see why you wouldn’t do it,” says Artis, founder of Zora Artis Consulting in Melbourne, Australia, on the CW Radio podcast.

But, where does one begin? Artis breaks the audit process down into four key areas:

1. Identifying and setting the scope and framework
To start, gain a thorough understanding of the organization and its strategy. More specifically, find out the issues the audit should investigate and understand what you are trying to achieve.

Also in this phase, Artis recommends gaining senior management buy-in, identifying your audiences and agreeing on a methodology.

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2. Discovery process
This step is focused on research. Primary research could include interviews, focus groups, surveys, etc. Secondary research will primarily review paid, earned and owned media.

3. Distillation process
The distillation process involves assessing the collected data. At this point, Artis says it’s important to identify patterns in your research and draw out key insights.

4. Interpretation
Finally, identify the communication gaps and opportunities. Review areas like message quality and delivery, the quality of relationships with audiences, and audience communication overall, Artis says.

Listen to the complete interview to hear case studies illustrating the bottom-line impact a proper communication audit can have on an organization.


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