Consider the communications audit: an assessment of the effectiveness of current content, formats, and frequency. Through qualitative and quantitative measures, communication audits help drive what content to publish, to whom, when, where, how and why.

Is now the right time to take a critical look at your content? Here are seven signs that point to “yes”:

  • More opt-outs and fewer click-throughs in your electronic communications.
  • Lack of an active following on social media, and social media postings are sporadic.
  • Certain audiences are under-represented, and feel content isn’t applicable to them or written at their level.
  • No design cohesiveness, making it difficult to know whether communications are coming from the same organization.
  • Constituents receive more than 3 emails each week from your organization.
  • Users complain that your website is difficult to access and navigate.
  • The last content audit your organization conducted included a print newsletter.

So, you determine it is indeed time for an audit. What’s next? There are two considerations:

  1. What communications will you evaluate?
  2. What are your methods and filters you will use to evaluate these communications?

Ideally, you will audit all content—from print publications to e-newsletters, websites, social media, community forums, demo videos, case studies, webinars, guides, ebooks, infographics, news releases, and more. And you will do so through qualitative and quantitative measures—from focus groups to member surveys, Google Analytics to industry best practices.

You will probe what information is most relevant, effective, and unique as well as uncover information voids. You will learn about customers’ format and delivery preferences, and what you want their opinions of your content and communications to be. You will solidify how to keep from over-communicating and overloading as well as ensure brand consistency in design and voice. You will understand how your communications compare to benchmarks and best practices.

Did you know that .orgSource performs communications audits for clients? Some outcomes for these organizations include: publication redesigns, consolidation of communications, allocation and development of the proper communications resources, among other enhancements.