PBL Task 6 27.10

Learning Objective: How to create an effective communications plan?

  1. What is a communications plan (CP)?
    • Communication planning is the art and science of reaching target audiences using marketing communication channels such as advertising, public relations, experiences or direct mail for example. It is concerned with deciding who to target, when, with what message and how. (Wiki)
    • A communication plan is a road map for getting your message across to your audience.
    • A communication plan describes what an organization wants to accomplish with the information it sends out. It lists objectives, the tools used to produce communications and intended recipients. .
  • Elements of a CP: What, How and Who? “The plan describes what information will be shared and how it will be distributed. The plan also identifies the people responsible for building and managing information, when it should be communicated and where records should be stored” Effective communication plan
  • Types: Internal + External and crisis communication plan
    • Internal business communication plans represent messages intended only for those stakeholders inside a business. These are often owners, managers, and employees connecting by telephone, e-mail, conferences, or face-to-face meetings and reviews. External business communication plans are simply the opposite of the above plan; external stakeholders needing information use it. A crisis communication plan is a special form that works only during a crisis experienced by the business. Wise geek (type of CP)

      Communications include all written, spoken, and electronic interaction with association audiences. A communication plan encompasses objectives, goals, and tools for all communications, including but not limited to:

      • periodic print publications;
      • online communications;
      • meeting and conference materials;
      • media relations and public relations materials;
      • marketing and sales tools;
      • legal and legislative documents;
      • incoming communications, including reception procedures and voice mail content;
      • committee and board communiques;
      • corporate identity materials, including letterhead, logo, and envelopes;
      • surveys;
      • certificates and awards;
      • annual reports;
      • signage;
      • speeches; and
      • invoices. Hieran, how to develop a communication plan

      OR

      Communication includes print publications, conference and public relation materials, legal documents and online content.

      Other types of communication include surveys, reports, speeches and other company documents.

      Marketing communication types include project newsletters, testimonials, presentations and other promotional collateral. Effective communication plan

  • Tools
  • Trends

OR: The 11 vital internal communications trends you’d be crazy to ignore

However, i think this one is definition a trend:
External: Infographic Infographic maker

Internal: Social Media Guidelines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr34T2TIioo


  1. What are the steps in a CP?

How to Develop the Plan

Take the following steps to develop an effective communication plan:

Conduct a research-communication audit. Evaluate your current communications. Some associations hire firms to do this, but the price for the objectivity of an outside auditor can be high. To conduct your own audit, find out

  • what every staff person is doing in the way of communication,
  • what each communication activity is designed to achieve, and
  • how effective each activity is.

To get the answers you need,

  • brainstorm with communication staff,
  • talk to other departments,
  • interview the chief staff executive,
  • interview the board,
  • talk to communication committee members,
  • survey the membership,
  • host focus groups, and
  • query nonmembers.

Define objectives. Armed with information from your audit, define your overall communication objectives-the results you want to achieve. These might include

  • excellent service to members,
  • member loyalty,
  • centralization of the communication effort,
  • increased employee teamwork,
  • improved product delivery,
  • visibility for the association and the industry or profession it represents, and
  • influence on government, media, consumers, and other audiences.

Define audiences. List all the audiences that your association might contact, attempt to influence, or serve. Included on your list may be

  • members;
  • nonmembers;
  • consumers;
  • related associations;
  • adversarial associations;
  • educators;
  • federal, regional, and local governments;
  • related industries; and
  • the media.

Define goals. With stated objectives, and considering available human and financial resources, define goals-in other words, a program of work for each objective. Goals include general programs, products, or services that you will use to achieve stated objectives. For example, if the objective is to improve member service, goals might include improved training for the member-service function, special communications directed at first-time members, a reference manual for handling complaints, and ongoing information for members.

Identify tools. Decide what tools will be used to accomplish stated goals. These tools can be anything from a simple flyer to a glossy magazine. Don’t overlook less obvious tools such as posters, report covers, Rolodex cards, and Web sites. Brainstorm ideas with your staff.

Establish a timetable. Once objectives, goals, audiences, and tools have been identified, quantify the results in a calendar grid that outlines roughly what projects will be accomplished and when. Separate objectives into logical time periods (monthly, weekly, etc.).

Evaluate the result. Build into your plan a method for measuring results. Your evaluation might take the form of

  • a monthly report on work in progress,
  • formalized department reports for presentation at staff meetings,
  • periodic briefings of the chief staff executive and the department heads, and
  • a year-end summary for the annual report.

Developing a written communication plan will take effort. Plan on three or four days the first time you do it. Once in place, the written plan will smooth your job all year long, earn you respect from the CEO and other staff, help set work priorities, protect you from last-minute demands, and bring a semblance of order to your chaotic job. How to develop communication plan


  1. How to measure the results of a CP? (How to know if its working? (Differences in B2B and B2C industries?
  1. How to measure the results of a CP? (How to know if its working? (Differences in B2B and B2C industries?)
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