What a wardrobe revamp taught me about strategic communications

By August 9, 2018Uncategorized
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By Jono Bradford, Communications and Media Advisor

I have a confession.

I have been in a slightly toxic relationship with fashion for many years. I obviously want to look good, but don’t want to do anything to achieve it. Endlessly walking through stores to find the right shoes, shirts, hats and handkerchiefs just isn’t appealing to me.

In the past I’ve done what many have done before me: identified what I wanted, set a budget and set about achieving my goal with laser-sharp focus.

I’ll be first to acknowledge that results of this plan have been haphazard, to say the least.

There’s the catalogue of colourful work shirts including one orange number that makes me look like I’ve just stepped off a work site.

There’s a cupboard full of t-shirts that are either too small, too large or too cool for me to wear that I’m too embarrassed to take back.

And, let’s not mention the black leather jacket that was quickly hidden away after my girlfriend at the time told me that I looked ridiculous and refused to go out in public with me if I wore it.

I’ve probably wasted thousands of dollars on clothes that I don’t wear because I was trying to save time and taking the easy way out.

So, when considering a winter wardrobe revamp I took a slightly different tack and asked for assistance from a friend who studied fashion photography. I gave her a list of things that I needed, set a budget and thought that was it. I wasn’t prepared for the barrage of questions that came next.

“What do you want your new wardrobe to say about you?”

“What’s the goal of the wardrobe revamp?”

“Do you want to step outside your comfort zone, look more professional, build a versatile work wardrobe?”

“Who’s your inspiration? Whose personal style do you want to adapt to make your own?”

And on it went…

It was at that point when I realized that I was having the exact same ‘rabbit in a headlight’ moment that many of our clients face in one of their first meetings. It’s the classic tactic vs strategy debate.

Tactics

Tactics are highly practical things companies do every day such as writing blog posts, sending press releases, etc.

Strategy

Strategies are strong overarching visions intended to fulfil your predetermined goals and objectives. A strategy is a plan that ensures all your day to day activities (tactics) contribute to your monthly, quarterly and annual business goals.

Tactic

Strategy

Clothes

Buying a jumper

Developing a personal style guide of what to wear that determines what jumper to buy

Communications

Tweeting company news

Developing an online engagement guide that positions your company as experts in a particular field

I’m not going to lie. Creating a personal style strategy took some time, effort and lots of coffee. But having this strategy in place means that future purchases will be more precise saving time and money in the long run.

The same goes for communications. A solid communications strategy means that day to day activities are precise and repeatable. A strategy also means that you continue to reach your communications goals even when employees move on.

While you’re not going to see me on the catwalk anytime soon, it’s good to know that I’ve finally learnt how to dress myself at 36 years old.

Jono Bradford is a Communications and Media Advisor for Platform Communications. Visit www.platformcommunicaitons.com.au or call (08) 6467 7640.