There is something so appealing about clean and organized spaces. The sense of calm that an uncluttered room can provide is priceless. Just ask Marie Kondo. Chances are you have heard about her simplified method of letting go. She advises that you ask yourself one key question as you assess what to keep and what to get rid of – does this spark joy? If yes, keep it. If no, thank it for its service and let it go. Pretty simple, right?
According to Marie, the goal of tidying is to make room for meaningful objects, people and experiences. We agree. Although we didn’t know it, we have been helping our clients Marie Kondo their communications for years. Our goal is similar to hers, we want to make room for meaningful communications that resonate with target audiences and spur desired behaviors.
Ready to reach your target audience with the messages that matter? Use the following steps to guide your own communications audit.
Step One: Get the Right People in the Room
To avoid wasting time and creating future battles, make sure that you invite key decision-makers to join the communications audit.
Step Two: Put It All out on the Table
Gather all printed marketing materials and lay them out. Print out any digital communications and add them to the mix. Pull up your website and social media channels on a large screen. Every way that you communicate with your clients/members must be evaluated.
Step Three: Make a Visual Assessment
Once you are able to see everything, it will quickly become clear that your communications are either cohesive and on-brand or they’re not. This is the first of many aha moments that you can expect during this process.
Step Four: Take It One Piece at a Time
Like Marie, we have questions to help guide your decision-making process. When looking at each individual communication, ask yourself:
- Who is the audience for this communication?
- What is the goal? What action are you trying to spur?
- How do you know if it’s effective?
- What would happen if you got rid of it?
- After evaluating each piece, it’s decision time.
Step Five: Make the Tough Choices
At this point, you should be informed enough to answer the most important question of all.
Are you going to keep the piece as is, change it or cut it altogether?
As you make these decisions, keep in mind that the benefits of decluttering are numerous. According to Psychology Today, the process results in the following six key benefits.
Benefits of Decluttering
- Creates a Sense of Confidence
Making the decision to discontinue or change a communication piece based on its lack of efficacy is empowering. You know your business and know what is working and what isn’t. The opportunity to make an effective change feels good.
- Is Energizing
Similar to the first benefit, spending the time to get control of your communications can fire you up and make you feel ready to tackle other daunting items on your list.
- Reduces Anxiety
How much time do you spend wondering whether or not you are reaching your target audiences with the messages that really matter? Hitting restart and creating a thoughtful role for each of your communications has a calming effect on the entire team. Everyone understands the what, when and why of all communications so they need not waste time worrying about it.
- Makes Room for New Ideas
This process allows you to take a step back and get a look at the bigger picture. When you identify methods or vehicles of communications that are not working, new opportunities open up to replace them with new, more effective ones.
- Reduces Tension and Stress
We all know that clutter can create stress. Using a disorganized, scattershot approach to your communications leaves everyone unaware of what is happening when. This lack of awareness adds an unnecessary layer of tension to the office environment.
- Uncovers Old Treasures
When you take the time to assess all communications from the last few years, you may come across a gem or two that was effective but got lost in the shuffle. Now could be the perfect time to update it and incorporate it into your new plan.
Now that you know all the reasons you should assess your communications, schedule a team meeting and get started! Just because the declutter process is simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. If you get stuck, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help.