Blog | Feb 7, 2013 | 1 Comment

It’s Time for a Communications Audit

Do your communications efforts seem unfocused or unsuccessful? Are you about to launch a new initiative and want to make sure your messages will be heard? If so, it’s time for some spring cleaning.

What is a communications audit?

A communications audit evaluates the scope and effectiveness of your external communications. It covers more than the types of communications you produce and how often you send them out, however. It also reviews your messaging and your branding.

As with a financial audit, the most effective results come from engaging an outside consultant. Your CEO, staff, or board may have good insights, but you really need fresh eyes and ideas, too. A good auditor is very experienced, and might even had stood in your shoes as a communications director or manager. In addition to offering honest criticism, he or she should offer positive steps you can immediately take to improve your communications program.

What is the scope of a good audit?

A good audit covers every external communication you produce in print or online (website, video, blog, social media, email, etc.). It should answer the following questions:

There is no “one size fits all” communications audit.

I’m going to be candid here. I have seen some boilerplate recommendations from nonprofit marketing experts who charge thousands of dollars for lists of standard recommendations I could write up in an hour.  This is not what you need. You want an auditor that will understand who you are trying to reach and why, review your existing communications in depth, and write a set of custom recommendations that fits your audiences, your goals, and your brand.

Please don’t settle for less than that.

© Timnichols1956 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos”Claire Wagner”

Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.

One Comment

We’ve used the StyleWriter – plain English editing software – to audit 100 documents from federal government websites. The results showed only 3 percent were in plain English.

If anyone would like to see the results, simply email me at and I’ll send the results.

Nick Wright


Nick Wright


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