Last week, I attended and spoke at the International Foundation’s Technology and Benefit Communications Conference, held in Boston, MA. I spoke on the topic of “Next-Generation Tools to Enhance Your Communications,” or next-gen tools to communicate benefits to employees.
At the end of the conference, there was an Open Forum, during which select speakers took questions from the in person and virtual attendees. The final question of the Open Forum was “what is one thing you would recommend to communications professionals?” I was really impressed with the advice from Megan Yost, Senior Vice President and Engagement Strategist at Segal Benz. Her advice? When proposing new initiatives, include the marketing and communications plan in the project budget.
Megan’s advice is brilliant. Most professionals budget for whatever technical or operational project they are proposing, e.g., a custom database application, a website redesign, etc. But few include all of the costs needed to properly promote the new initiative, costs like copywriting, email drip campaigns, travel, presentation costs, etc. Instead, these communications costs get rolled into the overall comms budget or request separately once the project is ready to launch.
If you think about it, a project is more likely to succeed when ALL project components are properly funded, including the marketing needed to promote the new initiative to the proper audiences. I love this advice from Megan, which is why I’m blogging about it.
The next time you’re working on your digital budget for the coming year, be sure to consider all comms costs and included them in the budgets for individual projects. Don’t risk not having the budget needed to promote your amazing, new initiatives.