By Melisa Davies, Head of Content Analysis, Echo Research
As the year draws to a close, it's time for communications professionals to reflect on successes and challenges of 2023 and strategically plan for the year ahead. One crucial aspect that should not be overlooked is your external media and social profile. Do you know how your brand and reputation are perceived in the media, on social platforms and in different markets? Who is driving your media reputation? To make the most of any remaining 2023 budget, consider investing in a properly tailored external media benchmark to guide your strategic planning for 2024.
Benefits of Benchmarking:
Understand Your Current Standing: A comprehensive external profile benchmark gives you an objective understanding of how your brand is projected and assesses perceived strengths and weaknesses.
Identify Competitor Trends: By benchmarking your external profile against competitors, you can identify trends and patterns in your industry and determine the ‘clear’ space you can occupy. Understanding what does and doesn’t work for others can inform your own strategy, helping you stay ahead in a rapidly evolving landscape.
Support Strategic Planning: Armed with such insights, you can align your communication strategy with broader organisational goals ensuring your communication efforts contribute directly to your company's success.
Prioritise Resources Effectively: Not all media, social channels, markets or influencers have the same impact and react in the same way. Find out which channels and regions are most critical for your brand, allowing you to allocate resources where they will have the most impact.
Value of Benchmarking
Media Presence: Evaluate your coverage in key publications and media outlets. Are you getting the right kind of attention and are your messages resonating with your target audience?
Social Media Engagement: Examine your social media presence across channels. Identify which channels are most effective in reaching your audience and where improvements are needed to enhance engagement.
Market Perception: Understand how your brand is perceived in different markets. This insight is crucial for tailoring your communication strategy to meet the specific needs and expectations of diverse audiences.
Brand Sentiment: Analyse sentiment to gauge the overall feelings and attitudes toward your brand. This information is invaluable for addressing potential reputational risks and capitalising on positive drivers of reputation and trust.
Making the Case for 2023 Investment
Strategic Alignment: Show how insights gained from an external profile benchmark directly contribute to achieving your organisation's strategic goals.
Risk Mitigation: Emphasise the importance of proactively addressing reputation risks by understanding and managing how your brand is perceived.
Resource Optimisation: Highlight cost-effectiveness of allocating resources based on data-driven insights, ensuring maximum impact for your communication efforts.
Competitive Advantage: Illustrate how staying ahead of industry trends through benchmarking provides a competitive edge and positions your brand ahead.
Investing in an objective and strategic benchmark is both a cost-effective and strategic move that will pay dividends in the year ahead. By leveraging budget now, you're not just investing in data; you're investing in the future success of your efforts and your organisation.
Be prepared, stay informed and make 2024 the year your external profile becomes a powerful asset in achieving your organisational objectives.
As an independent, full service stakeholder and media research firm, Echo measures and demonstrates the effectiveness of your communications with board-ready actionable insights and strategic recommendations. For over 30 years we have been supporting public and private sector clients around the world aiming for better. We'd be delighted to support you to get the most for the new year ahead.