How to deliver a communications audit that works
Posted by Jen Derrick on 9 June 2023

Carrying out a communications audit can prove to be invaluable for your business.

In case you’re unsure on what one is, here is a quick summary:

A communications audit is an evaluation of how your business and website communicates with its internal and external audiences. It involves looking at the strengths and weaknesses of your communications methods, as well as weighing these up against your competition.

Take a look at our article What is a communications audit? for further information on what one is.  

Pencil, rubber and paper.

A communications audit can also help you to identify whether some communication methods are working better than others. This can prove useful in determining how relevant they are and where the focus should lie moving forward.

The audit can follow whatever format you’d like, but usually communications audits take shape in the form of a table in a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet.

But how do you physically complete a comms audit?

We’ve detailed everything you need to know below, from the key questions worth considering, to the different stages of conducting a communications audit effectively.

 

How do I create a communications audit?

 

1. Review all communications

First off, review all of the current communication methods used by your business. Whether that be social media, emails, your website, any events you attend, meetings, dialogue – the list goes on.

Are these working for you? What sort of audiences are you reaching currently? What audiences would you like to reach and why aren’t you able to attract them currently? How do they compare in comparison to your competitors?

Identifying both the strengths and pain points of your communications will help you to identify gaps and whether your current communication strategy matches up with your business objectives.

2. Gather feedback

Feedback is worth its weight in gold when you are developing a communications audit. Gather insights from colleagues and clients to gain their feedback on what they think is working well, and not so well, communications-wise. The way you collect the feedback is entirely up to you and will depend on your business. It could be that you send out a survey to both staff and colleagues, or perhaps you might choose to ask clients some questions directly in-person or over the phone.

Next up, ask yourself the four essential questions: who?, what?, why? and how?:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do they want?
  • Why do they need your product/ services?
  • How do you reach them?

3. Carry out a SWOT analysis

In case you can’t remember what one is, a SWOT analysis is a method used to assess the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your business. For communication audit purposes, we would suggest using this to evaluate your current communications strategy. Conducting an analysis can create clarity, helping you to identify what you’re good at, what you need help with, what opportunities lie ahead, and what the competition are doing. Having all of these points written down should help you to focus and give you a clear view on what you need to do moving forward.

4. Put your communication strategy into a workable format

Once you’ve got a strategy in mind, work up each of the different elements or stages of what we’ve mentioned above into a format that is easy to follow and makes sense to you – that way you’re more likely to make use of it.

5. Put your communications audit/strategy into action!

Finally, it’s time to put your communications audit into action. Remember, these things take time – success won’t happen overnight. It might be worth tackling the changes that can deliver short wins to begin with, then you can move onto the bigger tasks. Consider putting a short, medium and long-term plan in place. Breaking the actions down into manageable chunks can help to deliver long-term success.

 

Why is a communications audit important?

A communications audit is important because it allows you to identify new ways to tap into and extend your reach to new and existing audiences.

Photo of desk with notebooks and Hey Me business cards.

Conducting a physical communications audit allows you to take a step back and review your communications as if you’re looking at them through the lens of an outsider. It forces you to break down the effectiveness of your communication methods in granular detail, helping you realise whether your current communications are working or not.

Doing this can help you to deliver messages that resonate with your audience, are aligned with your business objectives, and ultimately, prompt impactful change.

Need more help conducting a communications audit? Here at Hey Me, we can help you to deliver a comms audit on a project level. Or we can deliver a series of face-to-face or online messaging workshops that cover all the different elements of a communications audit, either 121 or in a group session. Find out more about that over on our services page.

“Since day one, Amy herself has fit seamlessly into our team, understanding the message we want to convey and the audiences we want to reach. Her upfront audit was invaluable in helping us internally hone our common voice, which has demonstrated itself in the consistency of the content we put out as a brand and as individuals within the company. Behind the scenes, Amy has instinctively adopted our internal communication methods (Slack, SharePoint) and works closely with our in-house graphic design team to ensure our graphics and copy are in sync.” Lucy Prior MBE - previously from 3Squared 2021
“I saved so much time after implementing a more structured approach which has given me the opportunity to focus on creating more content and work more closely with my clients. Amy and her team are easy to deal with and are quick to provide valuable solutions. I would not hesitate to work with Hey Me again in the future.” Karen Duncan - Lanehead Coniston
“I met Amy a few years ago at a Young Rail Professionals event and was able to provide her with an opportunity to manage the comms on a major alliance which she flourished at. Soon after she started, Marie came along to provide HR support across the multiple businesses. It seems only natural that being as dynamic and knowledge as they are, they are looking to work together on this new venture, which I am sure will be a huge success.” Karen Duncan - Lanehead Coniston
“I saved so much time after implementing a more structured approach which has given me the opportunity to focus on creating more content and work more closely with my clients. Amy and her team are easy to deal with and are quick to provide valuable solutions. I would not hesitate to work with Hey Me again in the future.” Karen Duncan - Lanehead Coniston

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