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6 steps to creating an effective communication plan

By Yulia Dianova

35566546_s.jpgDevelop a strategy for delivering information to your target audiences

When you want to introduce a new service or product or launch an initiative within your company, you’ll need to communicate this new information to your target audiences. You need a communication plan. A communication plan is your road map for getting your message delivered to your audience. It’s an essential tool for ensuring your organization sends a clear, specific message with measurable results. Writing a communication plan can be time-consuming. Here are six steps that will help you create an effective communication plan for your business.

  1. Perform a situation analysis.

Conduct an audit to evaluate where you currently stand in terms of communications. You need to gather and analyze all relevant information within your company. To conduct your own communications audit, you may need to do the following:

  • Brainstorm with communication staff.
  • Conduct surveys and focus groups.
  • Talk to other departments in your company.
  1. Define your objectives.

After you collect and evaluate all information, define your overall communications objectives. What are the results you want to achieve? What do you want to accomplish by implementing this communication plan? Your objectives should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable.
  • Achievable.
  • Realistic.
  • Time-focused.
  1. Define your key audiences.

You need to know to whom you are delivering your messages. List all the key audiences of your organization. These may include the following:

  • Members/non-members.
  • Clients.
  • Related associations.
  • Educators.
  • Local government officials.
  • Media representatives.
  1. Identify media channels.

Plan to deliver your messages to your key recipients through multiple media channels. Decide which media channels would be the most effective to get your message delivered to your target audiences.

  1. Establish a timetable.

In order to achieve your communications objectives, you need to plan and time your steps for the best results. Based on your research and your resources, develop a solid timing strategy to execute the steps of your communication plan.

  1. Evaluate the results.

It’s always important to measure your results to understand whether you achieved your objectives. If you aren’t satisfied with the results, make necessary adjustments in order to perform better next time. Your evaluation might take the form of the following:

  • Annual reports.
  • Monthly reports.
  • Progress reports.
  • Reports from other departments.

Developing a written communication plan will take some effort – and it’s worth it. A communication plan is your main tool for successfully delivering your messages to your key audiences in order to develop your mutually beneficial relationships. A well-written plan will help you achieve your business objectives and maximize your performance. Download Axia Public Relations’ e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment to learn other ways to make the most of your PR efforts.

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Yulia.jpgYulia Dianova is a public relations professional who is skilled in building relationships with target audiences. She provides counsel to organizations that seek PR help to further their growth and reach their goals. Yulia earned a master’s degree in public relations management from University of Maryland University College. She is fluent in Russian and English and is always looking for a new challenge. Yulia has worked for Axia Public Relations since July 2015. Learn more about Yulia Dianova. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.



Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations, corporate communications

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