Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The New Year

Finally the holidays are over and the New Year is in full swing. Thankfully.

Lately I've been speaking with clients and friends about their communication plans, or lack thereof, for 2007. It strikes me that most everyone wants to plan, knows its important but somehow it is something that all too frequently falls though the cracks. This isn't just a problem for small businesses but for some of the largest companies and house-hold name brands as well.

I see it much like the married couple who doesn't spend time together talking about their lives, goals and activities -- to one day find out that they have been traveling in different directions. Eventually their relationship falls apart.

The same thing happens with Communications.

If the individuals handling marketing, sales, advertising, employee communications, media relations, etc. fail to plan and communicate internally, their communication efforts will fall apart. Money and time will be wasted. Employees become frustrated. Details are overlooked. Eventually even important messages such as product launches will not be heard by the public and it reflects in the bottom line.

Some have argued that a plan is frequently thrown out the window because of change within an organization throughout the year. While that may happen, flying by the seat of your pants is never a pleasant feeling when there's a big puddle waiting for you at the bottom of the slide on the playground.

The most productive organizations always start out with a plan and make an effort to control their destiny. Afterall walking around with a big wet spot on your fanny because you didn't prepare for the puddle, never ever makes a good impression.

Plan for the puddle.