Developing a Strategic Communication Plan

7 09 2010

Every organization hoping to achieve some sort of communication goal needs to develop a strategic communication plan.  As I mentioned in the post above “strategic” is the key part.  It needs to have set goals that are in line with the organization’s goals and values.

After establishing an organization’s goals there are a few critical elements that need to be addressed.

Understand your target audience and how to reach it

An organization must know their audience!  Make a list of people who are important to the success of the organization.  This will help you to determine the key stakeholders of your organization. Next identify what media they consume and what people/media they respect.

Research past media coverage and public opinion about your organization or issues

This step will help you determine how your organization and its issues are perceived by your audience.  This will help you determine how much will need to be done to achieve your communication goals

Determine the messages that are to be delivered

One way to do this is to imagine a headline  that you would like to see about your organization and work backwards from it.  Determine how you would state your organization’s goals and how you would describe the organization in just a few words.  These will become your “key messages”

Determine what materials will need to be produced

PR professionals have a set of tools that they use to reach target audiences.  Some of these include:

  • logo
  • one-page fact sheet
  • press kit
  • brochure
  • photos, videos, overheads, and computer presentations.
  • reports and studies
  • Bios of your leaders and spokespeople
  • current newsletter or other publication
  • copies of published articles

Asses the resources that will be used

Spell out how you will manage time, budgets, computers and databases.  Designate someone to be in charge of all communications and recommend arranging training and upgrades as needed.

Write a work plan for ongoing activities for achieving communication goals

Finally establish a written plan.  Your communication goal will determine the ongoing activities you develop to maintain and achieve this goal.