The philosopher and communication scholar, Marshall McLuhan, said that everything communicates, that is: what we do, what we don’t do, what we say, our gestures… everything transmits information to the people around us and, therefore, everything communicates. Companies know this very well, especially in the digital age in which we live, impacting the public has become easier, but also more competitive than ever. To achieve efficient communication, corporations design their own communication plan, a document that includes all the guidelines to transfer information and intangible values in the best possible way.
If you also need to organize your ideas and want to know how to make a communication plan step by step, stay with this post, because we are going to see all the details.
What characteristics should a communication plan have to be efficient?
Although there are as many communication plans as there are business objectives, they all share some characteristics that are the key to their effectiveness. For example, we must always be clear about who is in our target, to direct the message to them. Below, we present many other points that we must respect to develop the company communication plan.
- Maintain clear objectives: the plan should begin with the definition of specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound communication objectives (SMART objectives). These objectives must be aligned with the general objectives of the organization.
- Define your target audience: You must identify and understand your target audience. This involves knowing their needs, preferences, values and behaviours to adapt your communication effectively.
- Maintain consistency in the tone and content of the message: messages must be clear, consistent and aligned with the identity of the brand or organization. They should be easily understandable and memorable.
- Think about the most appropriate channels to distribute messages: select the appropriate communication channels to reach your target audience. Take advantage of all the advantages and opportunities that the new ICTs give us, as well as, do not forget traditional media, social networks, email, and corporate events, among others.
- Plan strategically: Design a strategic plan that includes a timeline, budget, and detailed action plan. This will help you maintain constant focus on your goals.
- Measure and evaluate results: You should establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your plan. Then, regularly track and evaluate progress to make adjustments if necessary.
- Your plan must be flexible: It is very important that the plan is flexible enough to adapt to changes in the environment or in the organization’s objectives.
- Encourage internal participation: Involve members of your organization in the communication process. Make sure everyone is aligned on the messages and objectives of the communication.
- Coordinate all communication activities: this way, you will guarantee a consistent image and message on all channels.
- Post-implementation evaluation: After executing the plan, conduct a thorough evaluation to identify lessons learned and areas for improvement.
How to create a communication plan?: Find out step by step
Although each communication plan must be unique and personalized for each organization, by following these steps you will be able to organize strategies, actions, objectives, and, in addition, you will not forget the most important points.
See how to create a communication plan step by step!
Analysis of the company’s starting situation, review what its current communication plan is like
It begins by evaluating the current situation of the organization, identifying its objectives, values, audience and available resources. Detect the points to improve and the most urgent aspects.
Definition of short-medium term communication objectives
Establish clear and specific objectives that you want to achieve through your communication plan. These must be measurable and aligned with the overall objectives of the organization.
Audience segmentation into different targets
Define and understand your target audience. Segment your audience into more specific groups to better adapt your communication.
Selecting key messages
Determine the main messages you want to convey. These messages must be consistent and relevant to your audience.
Choosing the most effective digital and offline communication channels for your plan
Select the appropriate communication channels to reach your audience. This may include traditional media (press, radio, television), digital media (social media, website), events, etc.
Development of the communication action plan
Design a detailed plan that includes the specific tactics and activities you will implement to achieve your goals. Establish a schedule and assign responsibilities.
Calculate and establish a budget for company communication
Calculate the budget necessary to execute the plan. This includes design costs, advertising, staff, events, among others.
Measurement and evaluation of the communication plan: Has the message reached who we wanted?
Define key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your plan. Determine how you will collect data and how often you will conduct evaluations.
Creation of a contingency plan
Anticipate potential obstacles and create a contingency plan to address them if unexpected problems arise.
Don’t forget the internal communication part
Ensure that all members of the organization are informed and aligned with the messages and objectives of the communication.
Finally, based on the results of the evaluation, adjust and improve the communication plan for future interactions.
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