Taking Stock of Conscious Communication: A 19-question Scorecard


A wave of change towards a more socially conscious world is coming. Business and consumers are progressively interested in doing more good and less harm. At the centre of this activity is the focus on a higher purpose.

What is Purpose?

Organizations with a higher purpose have answered two important questions related to their mission:

  1. What purpose does our organization serve?
  2. What problems does our organization solve?

Those are huge (and difficult) questions to answer for most organizations especially if they’ve been established on traditional business models. And, getting over this hurdle is just the beginning.

An organization’s communication programs deserve reflection as well–as it relates to “purpose”–and should be audited. An audit:

  • Determines whether communication programs are aligned with an organization’s goals;
  • Takes stock of current communication programs;
  • Uncovers which programs are working (or not working);
  • Scores and rates communication tactics; and
  • Can uncover ways to improve.

To get you thinking about how your programs may rate, here are a few yes/no questions to reflect on. How does your organization score?

Communication for Positive Change: 19-question Scorecard

Organizational Mission

  • My organization puts humanity and the planet before profit.
  • We are strong at implementing our communication programs.
  • My organization knows what it is our stakeholders value about us.
  • My organization’s communication programs are ideal for meeting our goals.
  • We consider communication to be critical to our success.
  • My organization’s entire team understands and embraces our higher purpose.

Organizational Communication

  • My organization’s communications are always honest and ethical.
  • My organization’s communication plan is clear and focused.
  • My organization’s communications are focused more on educating and informing than on self-promotion and selling.
  • We have established guidelines (related to key messages, corporate identity, editorial) for our communication programs.
  • My organization’s communications are based on storytelling.
  • We have an editorial calendar that covers the next four quarters.
  • We have found the right balance of what content to share and when to share it.

ROI & Evaluation

  • We are getting positive results from our communication programs.
  • We are good at listening to feedback from our stakeholders.
  • We have the resources to monitor communication trends that may be appropriate for our organization.
  • We are optimistic about meeting our future communication goals.
  • We regularly evaluate the results of our communication programs.
  • We know how to improve on our communication programs.

How Did You Score?

How did your organization score? Poor, average, good or excellent …

  • Poor (Less than 5 points): Your organization’s communication programs are lacking support and resources and are probably not contributing to your organization’s goals.
  • Average (Between 6 and 9 points): Your organization’s communication programs are making some, but not remarkable progress. Should major change within the organization or sector occur, the equity you’ve built up in your communication programs may be at risk. Current programs should be re-evaluated.
  • Good (Between 10 and 13 points): Communication programs are performing well, but there’s always room for improvement.
  • Excellent (14 points and above): Congratulations! This is exceptional work.

In Carolyn’s Tate’s book, Conscious Marketing: How to create an awesome business with a new approach to marketing (I recommend you read it), she says, “The promotional landscape is confusing, cluttered, noisy and aggressive and it’s extremely challenging to get noticed in such a polluted environment.” She describes the “mass media minefield” and “marketing fatigue” and believes, “… most companies use too many channels in an attempt to make their mark, and they use most of them badly.”

Answering some of these basic questions is a good place to start when considering an overhaul of your communication for positive change programs.

It’s not only a recipe for success; it’s simply the right thing to do.

“You can’t tell where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.” —Unknown

What do you think of the wave of change towards a socially conscious world? What are your thoughts on higher purpose and how an organization’s communication programs align with that purpose? Please comment or reach out to me; I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Good luck!

K. Barker

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