Communications Plans are powerful documents that act like a guide for you, your staff, and your stakeholders. When you and your team have a common purpose, agreed upon through editing and discussion, you create a bond with the people you work with that makes everything easier, from internal communications to meetings to external newsletters and marketing.
Let's take a brief look at what goes into a Communications Plan, so you can determine whether or not you have one, or if you need one.
Goals: Where are we at?
The first step in any Communications Plan is to have a wide ranging discussion. This is where the true connection happens, and it can galvanize all involved. Some of the questions we ask are, who are you helping? Why do you love what you do? What aspects of your work do you wish you could do more of? This is partly a planning exercise, and partly therapeutic! Everyone experiences burnout and exhaustion, and you can all lose site of the bigger picture. Knowing where you are and where you are heading will give you that energetic charge you used to have in the early days of your job or business.
Audience: Who are we talking to?
This discussion is still broad, but gets narrower as we get more information and can drill down to specific strategies. We offer advice about which channels are ideal for marketing to a given audience. Not everyone needs an email list for example! Not everyone needs to post to social media. Every business and organization is different, and it's important to understand the demographics and psychographics of your audience, and determine how and where to reach them.
Key messaging: What do we want to communicate?
Once we have had the discussions above, we can develop a language around your company or organizational ethos. Pithy, short, direct messaging is needed to start, as well as medium-length and longer blurbs that can be used in multiple instances. Social media profile descriptions, SEO strategies, website copy, and print media...all of these benefit enormously from short, useful texts that describe who you are and what you do.
Success indicators: How will we know we have communicated effectively?
You may have heard of Key Performance Indicators, but success is not always qualified by how much or how many of x has been achieved. How many followers you have on social media might be less important than how many engage with you via comments or likes, for example. How much money you make might be less important than how many repeat customers you have, or how many show up to your events. Knowing exactly what makes you feel like a success is extremely important to us, so that we can tell you what stats are available to provide you with the perfect indicators for you and your team.
Content Strategy: The good stuff!
This is the most creative and fun part of all Communications Plans. Once you know where you are headed, who you are talking to and helping, and which platforms you wish to "speak" on, we get to craft some excellent content ideas for you! These could be social media posts, newsletter concepts, blog posts, or even video ideas. Every business is unique, and how you plan to make an impact on the people who follow you is the most exciting and energizing aspect of all Communications work.
If you feel you are lacking a robust Communications Plan, get in touch with us. We are happy to discuss more with you completely free of charge, so you can find out if your organization or business needs a Comms Plan to tackle 2023 and beyond with pizzazz!
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