I have an amazing doctor. He is terrific at his job, knows my history, communicates simply and, to top it off, is a good bloke.
Most important is I have confidence in the way he practises medicine. Which is kind of what you want when it comes to your health. Everything else runs second.
Similarly, when feeling the pulse of your business you want a no-nonsense, fact-based method that gives you an honest appraisal. Nothing beats a clinical, intricate look-see.
After decades of overseeing newsrooms and seeking to optimise their performance, I have found there are about 20 essential aspects for any health check of your communications to prove meaningful.
The object is to forensically understand your current state, from which you can then review and step-out a you-beaut communications/content strategy.
How deep you need to dive should be determined in your earliest conversations. You will require more investigation if you suspect major surgery is needed.
In some areas it will be as simple as recording whether the company has a strategic mission statement, for example, and what it is. Or noting every social media platform used and relevant statistics such as followers and number of posts.
Here is a checklist of some of the diagnostics you could run:
Some of this information may seem superfluous for your intentions. However, I have been surprised by what I have turned up unexpectedly when digging around.
Such a health check is the vital spade work for any communications review which in turn underpins the DIY Newsroom™.
Stuart Howie is a communications and media consultant. He runs Flame Tree Media and is the author of The DIY Newsroom. Stuart has worked in media and publishing for more than 30 years as an executive, editor and strategist.