This week the Artist INC II Fellows are devising their communications plans. A tool frequently used by businesses and organizations but often missing from the artist’s communication plan is a SWOT analysis. A simple but effective tool that every artist is equipped to complete for themselves with no special training or equipment, a SWOT analysis is something all artists should have in their project planning arsenal. SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, with strengths and weaknesses being internal and opportunities and threats being external or part of the environment. To complete a SWOT analysis all one does is contemplate and record their personal strengths and weaknesses relative to the project pursued and the opportunities and threats posed by the environment the project is being pursued in. As a first step in communications planning, a SWOT analysis can bring to light many issues and ideas related to who you’ll communicate to, what you’ll communicate, and how you’ll do it.
In preparation for this week’s session, Artist INC Peer Facilitator Larry Thomas, prepared his own SWOT analysis (see below) for his project Crypsis in Black and White and agreed to share it here. He also found an excellent post on Mind Tools, Personal SWOT Analysis: Making the Most of Your Talents and Opportunities, that identifies a number of questions to consider in preparing your personal SWOT analysis. Here’s a sample of the weakness questions:
- What tasks do you usually avoid because you don’t feel confident doing them?
- What will the people around you see as your weaknesses?
- Are you completely confident in your education and skills training? If not, where are you weakest?
- What are your negative work habits (for example, are you often late, are you disorganized, do you have a short temper, or are you poor at handling stress)?
- Do you have personality traits that hold you back in your field? For instance, if you have to conduct meetings on a regular basis, a fear of public speaking would be a major weakness.