The temptation at the end of a review process is to write all the findings up into a massive report – and to be honest, sometimes you need to do that. Providing the evidence to support any recommendations is essential… but you do need to make the recommendations first.
Getting your audit report right
So, that’s why we always include the following at the start of our reports on any audit:
- A summary of the research that was done (and what each aimed to investigate)
- A summary of the key areas for activity and change – a narrative, your opinion
- Top ten most important actions required, as a result of the audit – a list
- A R(ed), A(mber), G(reen) report on all of the areas of study, with associated actions
The first three sections are pretty self-evident but let’s dig into the final on a bit.
This is presented as a table with three columns (examples included):
Setting it all out like this makes it easier to see the most important activities at a glance, as well as the things you’re already doing well.
So you’ve created a great report with the summary set out as we suggest. This is the point at which you need to do three things:
- Review your tactical marketing plan (and possibly even marketing strategy) to factor in any areas for development/action highlighted in the report
- Review your associated budget to support this
- Decide how you’re going to communicate this and report on its progress to the powers that be
In some cases this is simply a case of keeping it within your department and putting things into action. But in others it might be appropriate to deliver a summary of your proposed actions to decision-makers and the wider team. You will know what is best for your firm/chambers.
The most important thing is that you have been able to show, through your final report, what needs to be done, why and how, as well as how you’re going to report on progress. This might be as simple as just adding a ‘progress’ column to your RAG report… Either way, you’ve spent your summer really getting to grips with some of the tricky areas of your marketing activity and now it’s time to start on those improvements!
If you’ve enjoyed this series and want a few more suggestions for summer work, take a look at an article we published last summer with 15 summer marketing tips. It’s an oldie but a goody!