Moving your plan forward

If you’ve been doing everything we’ve discussed so far, your communications should be starting to work effectively for your business.

Knowing what we want to achieve, being clear about how we’re going to achieve it and working on our communications every day ensure that we continue to progress, even when we’re busy with client work. Having a plan and doing a little towards it, even just 10 minutes a day, is good practice. It helps to keep us focused on what’s important, reminds us to keep in touch with customers and makes sure all our material is up to date.

Some elements of the plan will probably be long term and, especially if they are major projects, progress can seem slow. Perhaps you’re building a new web site, writing a business book, developing an employee communications programme, all of which can take a lot of time. It’s important not to be put off by this and to continue with daily tasks so that short, medium and long-term activities continue in parallel. As long as your development work continues behind the scenes then your web site, book or employee programme will be launched on target to achieve your aims.

Effective communication requires daily action. As your activity increases, you will start achieving your objectives and need to update your plan to set new ones. This will be easier as you’ll know what questions to ask and will have seen what works, what doesn’t and what can be improved.

After our last blog, have you started writing?

z2zine tomorrow: Measuring your success

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Who needs structure?

‘Wilfing’, apparently, is the term that describes aimlessly surfing the web after forgetting what you were originally looking for and wasting hours online achieving nothing – ‘What Was I Looking For?’

One of the reasons why people get sidetracked online is that they are presented with so much information: too much to handle.

It is also one of the reasons why structure and format are important when communicating, and why rules, such as those for grammar, punctuation and spelling, have developed. Within the guidelines of these rules, it is actually easier to communicate than if there were no guidelines.

But don’t rules restrict you? Yes and no.

Unfortunately, in an age when the idea of rebellion against any form of authority or rules is so popular, it is easy to forget that these do have a useful purpose. Yet all rules should be interpreted carefully. If you follow rules blindly, they can be very restricting, but if you follow the spirit of rules and use common sense, they can help you. And rules need to be amended to keep up with changes and remain relevant.

If there were more structure and self-discipline in communication, if people edited their communications more and made them more relevant to their audience, perhaps it would be easier to find the information we need rather than be confronted with so much of the rubbish that is currently created.

Perhaps this would also help to reduce WILFing.

Robert Zarywacz

Telephone: 0333 0444 354