Associations spend considerable resources on communicating with their stakeholders. And yet, it’s often not clear whether these efforts are effective. Undertaking a communication audit is one way to guide your efforts.
The first step is to determine the objectives of your audit. Your objectives may include the following:
• Are your key audiences receiving/reading your communications?
• How useful are your communication topics?
• What are the preferred communication vehicles and frequency of communication?
Having established the key objectives it is now time to develop the questionnaire. Typically you will be listing all the ways in which members and non-members can receive information from your organization. This will include print, for example, your magazine, your online newsletters and email as well as social media and your website.
Respondents may be asked to indicate their awareness and frequency of reading material from these sources. At this point you may also ask their preferred method of receiving information.
I recommend you zero in on specific topics of interest. If, for example, you’re looking at content in your magazine and newsletter, I would list the titles of articles from your most recent edition. Ask respondents if they read the article. If yes, get them to rate the information on a usefulness scale.
Information from your communication audit can be tied into your member profile information. For example, in all likelihood, members who are at different stages in their career will have their own content, vehicle and frequency preferences. To the extent that it is possible, you will want to meet the needs of these various groups.