You’ll know your communications strategy report is a winner if it accomplishes five goals. First, it announces the information your team has gathered on a particular topic. Second, it moves readers to take some action, even if that action is nothing more than reading your report. Third, it educates readers by giving them a structured format to understand your report's message. Fourth, it informs by providing new information. Fifth, it offers data and recommendations that help readers make informed decisions.
- Skill level:
Start the report with an introduction. Summarise its subject and goals. For example, a government-backed policy group assigned to an international mission prepared the report, the introduction would provide details about the mission and explain why the country supports the mission.
Prepare a table of contents. List the report's separate sections and their respective page numbers. Insert lower case Roman numerals as page numbers for the contents. For example, the first page of the contents would be numbered "i," and the second page would be "ii."
Name the next section "Objectives." Explain what you hope to achieve by writing a summary statement, followed by a bulleted list of objectives. For example, you can say, "XYZ Company remains committed to creating an inclusive and diverse work environment. To this end, management believes the following goals can help achieve that objective." Then list actions the company intends to take toward reaching those goals.
Describe your research methods. For example, did you review all available literature? Or did you obtain data through interviews?
Explain the report's structure in a separate section called "Overview of Report." Divide the report into meaningful parts, rather than by page numbers, as in the table of contents. For example, you might say that sections 1 through 5 can be summed up as the company's current communication strategy model.
Write the body of the report by focusing on the results of your research. Consider the objectives you outlined. Write conclusions in separate sections, using tables or graphs to make key points.
Include graphics if they help make your points more effectively. For example, if your report argues that customer service can be improved by creating a more efficient flow of communication between departments, you might include a graphic that displays all departments with arrows showing how communication should travel.
Finish the report with a section called "Conclusions." Restate the goals and major arguments you have made in the introduction and body. Follow with a bulleted list of items you are urging readers to act on.
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