Updated 20 March 2011
Communications audits are
used in determining whether an organization's public statements and
publications are consistent
with its goals and objectives. This is done through a review of organization
communications, organization records and interviews with key officials.
There are four key questions that must be asked during a communications
What are the organization's
stated goals and objectives as they relate to its target audiences?
How has the organization communicated
those goals and objectives to its target audiences?
What is working well and is
consistent with those goals and objectives?
One method of gauging the success
of an organization's communications is through the use of a
communications grid. Here is an example of one:
What is not working well and
how can it be improved?
are listed on one axis. Stakeholders are listed
on the other. It graphically illustrates where efforts have
directed and which stakeholders may have been overlooked. In this case,
it appears as if the Latino/Hispanic publics have been
underserved. As useful as this visualization is, a communications grid does not address communications content. That has to be addressed
through a close analysis of language and images.
Image courtesy Public Relations: A Values-Driven Approach, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, 2011
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