Comments and thoughts have evolved my thoughts on Communication Architecture to the model below. If you are interested in seeing my original thoughts, go here. Otherwise, just pick up and comment this new version.
Communication Architecture is a framework designed to bring focus on the process required to communicate any message effectively. This framework can be built upon in custom manners to fit different organizations and uses. Most organizations will have strengths and weaknesses exposed while implementing this framework, which should bring additional focus on the needed areas for improvement.
5 core factors to consider in Communication Architecture
Target Market: a detailed profile of the intended recipient of a message. the more intimate knowledge of the target, the more engagement opportunities. this person or these people Decode, Interpret, and Encode Responses to your signals.
Resources: also known as Content. There are two types of resources: Internal and External. Internal includes things such as your brand identity, business facts, business products/services, the knowledge in your head and that of others in your organization. External includes things such as industry white papers, blogs, thought leaders, and even competitors. Original content typically strengthens the signal.
Signal: signals are created using the organization’s resources. it is the message that will be shared with others. examples include photos, videos, presentations, surveys, audio, links, notes, and written articles.
Tools: these are typically owned by the organization and used to optimize and implement content. modern tools include wordpress, mailchimp, vimeo, polldaddy, rss, and photoshop
Channels: this is the location in which you choose to publish/share your communication. Also known as a medium, it includes custom communities/forums, websites, email, facebook, twitter, linkedin, yelp, youtube, landing pages, and ads.
When assembled as a Venn diagram you begin to see how these factors work together.
Overlaps symbolize critical Activities in the process of communicating
Create: the act of making a signal based around a resource worth sharing. Example: a property listing into an open house announcement.
Optimize: the act of enhancing the signal using a tool. Example: cropping the property photos and editing the text.
Implement: the act of publishing from a tool into a channel. Example: mailing the postcard or posting to facebook.
Engage: the act of a target market interacting with your signal inside a channel. Example: some likes your facebook status or reads the postcard.
Analyze: the act of interpreting the results from the target market feedback and determining if they can be used as future resources. Example: click rate on the facebook message or response rate of the postcard. [also, analyze includes determining what resources to make to meet the needs/desires of your target market. *through analysis, one can determine if the signal itself should become a future resource]
Job Descriptions & Skills from Communication Architecture
An individual or organization may have strengths in one area or another, but a complete understanding of the whole architecture will help improve communication both internally and externally. The overlapping acts could also be interpreted as jobs within an organization.
Create = Author/Photographer | Skills to win this phase: creativity, originality, wit
Optimize = Editor | Skills to win this phase: tool expertise, critical review of details, skeptical
Implement= Publisher| Skills to win this phase: expert channel knowledge, market timing, strategic
Engage= Community Manager| Skills to win this phase: target market expertise, channel confidence, conversational
Analyze = Data Analyst/Researcher| Skills to win this phase: data driven, product development expertise, scientific
You shouldn’t communicate at all if you don’t have at least one of the DIVE. The more, the better.
Data: plain facts.
Information: organized data given context.
Value: what is the information worth given cost to acquire.
Experience: the quality of enjoyment derived from receiving the value
Building a brand value and experience are critical to long-term success. Almost anyone can share data. Most can turn data into information. The smart find ways to deliver information with value. Those with raving fans create an amazing experience combined with the value.
– any thoughts on this evolution of Communication Architecture?
It is amazing that communication can be so complicated and yet so very simple. If any area breaks down the communication is broken and I guess the cycle must be started again. ie: more information or additional explanation is necessary…..????
Judy- great thoughts/comments. However,I don’t think these Core Factors can ever actually ‘breakdown’. Granted they can be executed poorly, thus requiring more ‘information’.
Let’s take an extreme example of communicating a message:
I walk outside and shout “My House is For Sale”. I have communicated using the 5 Core Factors. My resource was my house. I used an audio signal. The tool was my mouth. The channel was the air. The target market was anyone within earshot of my voice.
However, I failed to add any DIVE beyond the Data step. I need to add more Information, Value, and Experience to my message before I can expect any real results from my communication.
Perhaps these 5 Core Factors should be the 5 Pillars of Communication, because they are the foundation of all communications?
This is fascinating stuff- being a communication major in college (a LOONNGG time ago!) and trying valiantly but clumsily to implement many of these things online, it all makes perfect sense. To me, the creation and implementation are getting smoother, but the moving target and the most difficult thing to hone in on is the value translation, engagement piece. I would love for you to take a look at my blog and give me your thoughts 🙂 http://kmckeeth.wordpress.com/
Brad: The architecture model represents the “Communication” of a message well but what impressed me two weeks ago is the DIVE component.
IMO, DIVE is the most important part of the model and it should be the only reason that we communicate other than making small talk. In regards to marketing and sharing of quality, you need at least 2 letters of DIVE and not 1 as you suggested.
Just sending out raw data, without at least some context and summarization (D+I), is a message that should simply not be sent. I don’t need to know that only 4 houses were sold last month, I need to know why, what that means to me, etc.
We all need to focus on the D+I AND trust that the V and E will develop as all of us improve our messaging.