Writing a communications plan

Identify your purpose.

communication plan template excel

If you have the names and addresses of your customers and other stakeholders then a personal letter is often a cheap and effective channel. Keep at it Communication is an ongoing activity for any organization that serves, depends upon, or is in any way connected with the community.

Why should you develop a plan for communication? Learn how to develop a plan for communication to raise awareness about community issues and your organization's accomplishments.

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Both ads were meant to make the same points — the importance of basic skills and the need for literacy efforts — but they spoke to different groups. One way to look at planning for communication is as an eight-step process.

Communication plan example pdf

Language There are two aspects to language here: one is the actual language — English, Spanish, Korean, Arabic — that your intended audience speaks; the other is the kind of language you use — formal or informal, simple or complex, referring to popular figures and ideas or to obscure ones. Crisis plans should include who takes responsibility for what — dealing with the media, correcting errors, deciding when something has to be redone rather than fixed, etc. Communication can take many forms, including: Word of mouth News stories in both print and broadcast media Press releases and press conferences Posters, brochures, and fliers Outreach and presentations to other health and community service providers and to community groups and organizations Special events and open houses that your organization holds To communicate effectively, it helps to plan out what you want from your communication, and what you need to do to get it. It might be the changing needs of a key target market, a new form of technology that can be applied to your business, or some other initiative that will fill a market niche you have identified. Keep it brief and punchy, using active speech and plain English. The answers to these questions constitute your action plan, what you need to do in order to communicate successfully with your audience. Planning is a way to organize actions that will lead to the fulfillment of a goal. The tone of your communication plan can also set the culture of the organisation. And finally, you'll evaluate your effort so that you can continue to make it better. There are many objectives you might view as important, but you should just prioritize and choose the most important ones. It gives you a structure to determine whom you need to reach and how. Identify your audience. This helpful tool developed by the Public Health Foundation will help you to address and organize essential factors of communications planning, execution, and evaluation. Literally 25 words or less. You have to make personal contacts, give the media and others reasons to want to help you, and follow through over time to sustain those relationships in order to keep communication channels open.

Having a clear communication plan for your business or project is paramount to ensure the smooth running and happy customers. It may take some experience to learn how to strike the right balance.

Purpose of communication plan

When creating your message, consider content, mood, language, and design. Crisis plans should include who takes responsibility for what — dealing with the media, correcting errors, deciding when something has to be redone rather than fixed, etc. Put your list into your communication plan under the heading of Stakeholder analysis. You will need to consult with all relevant audiences to ensure the plan will meet their communication needs. It should cover as many situations, and as many aspects of each situation, as possible. Planning is a way to organize actions that will lead to the fulfillment of a goal. Everyone would like a higher media and political profile, yet activities aiming towards this may ultimately be self-serving and only communications driven, with no wider impact. Design your message and distribute it to your intended audience. Aligning your communications and organisational objectives will also help to reinforce the importance and relevance of communications and thereby make a convincing case for the proper resourcing of communications activity within your organisation. Keeping your tone positive will usually reach more people than evoking negative feelings such as fear or anger. To get all stakeholders in your business — staff, partners, etc… engaged in the Communications Plan you need to clearly explain why the plan exists and what outcomes you are hoping for. The answers to these questions constitute your action plan, what you need to do in order to communicate successfully with your audience. If you spend some time planning at the beginning of an effort, you can save a great deal of time later on, because you know exactly what you should be doing at any point in the process. Create an action plan.

Evaluation and amendment Consider performing a communications audit to assess the effectiveness of your strategy with both your internal and external audiences. This will help to ensure you have the answers to all of their potential questions.

Business communication plan example

Keep it brief and punchy, using active speech and plain English. Who will lose what, and who will gain what by your use of financial and human resources? Aligning your communications and organisational objectives will also help to reinforce the importance and relevance of communications and thereby make a convincing case for the proper resourcing of communications activity within your organisation. It is also common for communication to be done badly, resulting in confusion between colleagues, staff and customers and in the media. As soon as your organization begins planning its objectives and activities, you should also begin planning ways to communicate them; successful communication is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Messages Strategic targeting and consistency are key to your organisation's messages. You have to make personal contacts, give the media and others reasons to want to help you, and follow through over time to sustain those relationships in order to keep communication channels open. Crisis plans should include who takes responsibility for what — dealing with the media, correcting errors, deciding when something has to be redone rather than fixed, etc. Evaluate your communication efforts, and adjust your plan accordingly.

Institutions and organizations, such as colleges, hospitals, service clubs, faith communities, and other health and community organizations all have access to groups of community members who might need to hear your message.

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How to Write a Strategic Communications Plan: 8 Steps