A communication plan tells you how to go about building an image for your organization.
A communication plan is made up of messages you want to communicate to the audience, be it masses, your own employees or an online niche. Generally, your customer is your target audience.
The basic job of a communication plan is to translate your organization’s goals into strategically designed key messages. These messages are then delivered through a number of activities which we call a communication plan.
A simple communication plan could be executable in a year or in as long as three or five years.
So what makes a good communication plan? It is relatively simple. Even if you don’t have any prior experience, these pointers below will help you make and design a communication plan for your business.
The objective of your communication
Before you resort to creating a communication plan find out the objective of your organization.
Dig into the objective and find out how well integrated is the goal with the culture and practices established by the organization.
It is important that your objective for the year is aligned and practically supported by the company’s culture, policies and practices.
If the objective is not in line with the these important pillars of the organization, you might want to talk to your management about it. Let’s assume here that we have an objective that reflects your organization in it’s truest sense. Here is the next step:
Your key messages
Now that you know what direction (objective) you are to follow for your communication plan, the next step is to define the most attractive and true statements that you can say about your organization: your key messages. Are you a customer centric organization? Can you say, we care about our customers? Have you invested a huge amount in a given time? Can you release that number in a press release?
Do you want to come across as the most innovative solution provider to your customer? Are you an attractive company to invest in? Can you make these statements and live up to the promises you make to your customers. If your answer is yes, then you can easily come up with some key messages for your communication plan.
Choose your key messages wisely and keep them handy. We will be using these throughout our communication plan.
Know your audience
Now that you know what to say, find out whom to say it to.
Sometimes you cannot talk to your final audience directly and you have to use an intermediary audience. For example to talk to masses, you may want to talk to the media through a press conference.
Or you can make advertisements that will convey the message.
To reach housewives, you might want to talk to students who will go home and talk about your product or services.
Who will be the representative of your comms plan
In Corporate Communication, it is generally a top management representative who will deliver your message.
Usually, one of your top management representatives will act as a company’s spokesperson and will talk about a certain topic. There could be other channels too.
You can also onsider using a well-versed member of the technical team to talk about your technical network across the country or your technology products.
You could also get the lead of your Corporate Social Responsibility team to talk about initiatives your organization has worked on in the past year. It is possible that your Vice President may not know anything about this so explore your possibilities.
Your key messages will define who will talk about what. The idea to deliver the right messages by the right person, through the right channel to the right audience.
Choose the right medium
It is now the perfect time to decide which medium should be used to make your communication most effective.
If you are talking to people in cities, you might want to use the leading television networks, English or Urdu newspapers or social media.
If you are talking to drivers and your key message are targeted to creating traffic awareness, you might want to use the drive time shows or prominent hoardings around the highway etc.
These five steps are the basics of any communication collateral or execution plans. Be sure to collect, consolidate and transfer information in a clear, concise, simple and manner.
Consumers are smart. If they can receive your message in the first go and it is clear, they will respond to your call to action.
On that note, happy communicating!
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