Communication Audits: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:04 What Is a…
  • 1:14 Communications Audit Procedure
  • 4:38 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting
Communication is a part of all our lives. Communication is also a huge part of the daily operation of a business, but if it breaks down, an audit might be needed. This lesson covers the definition and process of a communications audit.

What Is a Communications Audit?

Let's say you own your own company making Christmas ornaments. Over the past five years, your business has grown immensely, and you now employ over 100 employees. While customer satisfaction has always been extremely high, you notice that you have not been receiving the number of orders you usually do going into the Christmas season.

To figure out where the problem lies, you decide to hold a company wide meeting. You realize that the communication between the customer and management is not efficient, and that it is time to perform a communications audit in order to see where your company both excels and struggles with its internal and external communication.

A communications audit is the process of identifying internal and external communication strengths and weaknesses. It is a way for a company to understand past communication practices, how well the target market is informed of your company, how well the current communication process is working, and what future communication methods could be used. When the communications audit is complete, a company should be able to understand and evaluate the goals, efficacy, reach, and satisfaction of their current communication strategy and performance.

Communications Audit Procedure

Let's walk through a typical procedure a company might utilize to better understand their internal and external communications.

1. Know what you will audit.

Communication comes in many forms, so pick and choose which forms of communication you will audit. For example, you might audit any business cards or fliers you hand out, as well as taking a look at the company website. Both are ways a company may unexpectedly be causing a communication problem.

2. Decide how you will conduct your audit.

There are many ways to accomplish an audit, but a few more popular ways include interviews and surveys. You might send out email surveys to customers (maybe offering a perk for doing so, like a coupon or $5 off promo code), or you might assign one person from each department to evaluate their employee's communication.

3. Evaluate past communication methods.

This helps a company identify successful or not so successful ways of communication performed previously. It also allows a company to understand if the target audience was reached and if the company portrayed the message they were hoping for.

You might realize that, in the past, you always had a Christmas flyer go out in the mail in early November that advertised some of your newest ornaments. But, this year you decided not to send one out. You might then ask, did that flyer communicate to your customers effectively? Did it send out the message you were hoping for? How did it compare to an e-newsletter?

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