Sales of sat navs doubled in Europe between 2006 and 2009 to 14 million. Very few people these days begin a journey without first inputting basic data – that is to say, current position and end destination.
But how many companies begin a journey to repair or build a reputation with similar basic data, i.e. where am I starting from and where do I want to end up?
Anthony Hilton, reflecting recently in PRWeek on the spate of corporate crises, said communications directors should be the conscience of an organisation. But giving sound advice requires sound data – where are we starting from and where are we going? – to form the basis on which strategy can be formulated and decisions taken. And that means solid research among key stakeholders, opinion formers and those who provide your company’s licence to operate, in order to understand the “prism of present belief” through which your messages are going to be refracted.
Just as crucially it also means knowing what you are trying to achieve. Companies communicate to change belief or behaviour. In your case, which is it and what is it?
You also only know if you’re taking the right route by measuring your progress and refining your route to avoid trouble spots.
Everyone I know who has a sat nav wondered how they ever managed without it. Their journeys are much quicker and far less stressful!