A communication audit can be defined as a complete assessment of an organization’s capacity to transmit, receive, and exchange information with various internal audiences as well as significant external constituencies such as customers and investors. A communication audit is performed to evaluate an organization’s external or internal communication effectiveness.
So, now let’s discover more about PR audits.
What Is the Purpose of an Audit?
The purpose of an audit is to evaluate the current public relations process and determine how that maps against the company’s objectives, it also identifies the strengths and drawbacks between management and workers, customers, and other groups such as investors, the news media, and regulators and legislative bodies, with the goal of improving future communications by developing a strategic plan and making a series of recommendations, as well as determining where gaps exist that must be bridged.
The Basics of Audits
What, How, Why, Who:
- An in-depth analysis and review
- A person, organization, system, process, project, or product is evaluated.
- Performed to determine the accuracy and dependability of information; to give an assessment of a system’s internal control.
- The purpose of an audit is to offer an opinion on the person/organization/system under consideration.
- Measurable and repeatable.
Strategic communications audits are fundamentally an assessment tool. They do not, however, focus on the results or outcomes of an organization’s communications activities after they have been adopted or among its target audiences, unlike most assessment methods or procedures. Rather, they concentrate on the organization itself, its practice and capability, and how it has positioned the communications function.
Why Communication Audit?
- Organize the communications of an organization
- Identify the process or lack of process – Strengths and weaknesses
- Identify and prioritize or re-prioritize audiences
- Stakeholder research: what they know, need to know, want to know, how they prefer to be reached
- Untapped opportunities…identify gaps
- Drive consistency
A Communications Audit Asks the Following Questions:
- What are our present communication aims and objectives?
- How effective is the present Communications Plan?
- Is the message we’re sending clear and consistent? Do we have a unified visual identity?
- Are our communications reaching critical audiences and motivating them to take action?
- What forms of communication have shown to be the most effective?
- What are our stakeholders’ thoughts on our communications?
- Do our communications contribute to the success of our overall strategic plan?
- What would improve the effectiveness of our communications?
- What possibilities for communication are we passing up?
Potential Communications Audit Methods
Whether the audit is conducted internally or externally, a standard set of procedures may be utilized to collect the data required to make evaluations regarding processes
Interviews, which are probably the most frequent audit approach, help the person performing the audit to have a deeper understanding of communications-related work processes. Respondents can offer a deep qualitative sense of how procedures are carried out and how the organization handles communications through interviews. Interviews with the organization’s external stakeholders or target audiences can also be undertaken.
The second most prevalent audit approach is surveys or questionnaires. They may be given to all employees in a short period of time and enable for answer uniformity and comparison.
Critical Incident Analysis
Staff are asked to identify particular effective and ineffective communication experiences in an interview or questionnaire. The goal is to collect instances of memorable encounters from employees in order to “see” how communications practices are executed within situational situations.
In recent years, network analysis has grown in prominence as a tool for investigating information flow, or the routes and linkages through which information is shared. It inquires as to with whom persons communicate and for what reason. It exposes an organization’s communication structure, which may differ dramatically from its organizational structure. It also indicates where bottlenecks are happening as well as potential paths that are yet unexplored.