A SWOT analysis
is designed to identify the environment in which an organization
is operating. Doing so aids in the development of communication
strategies. When conducting a SWOT analysis, one considers internal factors that one has some measure of control over and external factors in the future over which one does not have control.
- Strengths (positive
current/internal factors) -- What do we see as our organization's present strengths,
especially as they relate to the issues we are presently confronting?
- Weaknesses (negative
current/internal factor) -- What are our organization's present weaknesses, especially
as they relate to our competitors? Remember that a competitor, in this context,
does not necessarily mean a rival company, product, service, or point-of-view.
It could be anything that competes for the attention of the publics being
(positive future/external factors) -- What potential opportunities
exist in the future especially as they relate to the issues we are
presently confronting? Keep in mind that some things that are strengths
in the present could continue to provide opportunities in the future.
Addressing current weaknesses can also create opportunities in the
(negative future/external factors) -- What are the threats we face in
the future and, therefore, must be prepared to face? Remember
that a threat, in this context, does not necessarily mean a direct
threat. It can be anything that can prevent an organization from
reaching its goals. Keep in mind that some things that are currently
weaknesses could evolve into threats in the future. Things that are
currently strengths could also evolve into future threats.
When writing the draft of
the SWOT analysis section, it is recommended that you follow this
structure: (1) A brief explanation of what a SWOT analysis is for those
unfamiliar with the concept; (2) The SWOT grid, typically filled with
bulleted points (Don't make these bullet points so ambiguous that they
are misunderstood); (3) A brief narrative explaining the
rationale behind the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
and threats; and (4) Any conclusions that may be drawn as a
result of the analysis.
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Updated 21 January 2017