What is the number one mistake of communications strategies in development cooperation?

Sketching out a strategy without clarifying exactly what kind of content you want to post — who’s going to generate and produce it.

It’s an utter waste of time to elaborate on all the different formats and tactics you want to use if you have no clear indication of what you want to say or show and who will be doing this work.

Focus on a couple of formats and add a content strategy to your communications strategy — integrated or separate. Doesn’t matter.

It needs to include a basic resource plan and needs to say what you you want to speak about. Which content (message) is matched with exactly which target group?

Most development organisations believe that it is clear that they want to talk about — their own work!

I believe if they actually wrote that into their communications strategy, they’d probably realize how problematic, simplistic and non-conducive that is.

Public relations is about getting others to talk about you.

You don’t want to crash into the door.

The critical part of your strategy is that one thought or two on how you artfully facilitate that.

Just yesterday I came across a communications strategy, 30 pages, and only half a page on website content.

Nothing on the content for all the other tools they had listed.

Even that half-page did not say much about what the contents of the content should look like. It basically repeated the formats that should be used on the website. Videos, articles etc.

I know how much time and resources it takes to come up with a written strategy.

You can spare your project that time. If you don’t clarify these critical points, your strategy will have not much practical use.

Your communication will remain adhoc-ish, on-demand by your stakeholders anyway.