Public Relations consultants and firms help companies to disseminate information by helping them to find something news worthy and how to respond honestly and promptly to issues. To be able to spread information about an organisation or a brand, there is a need for an effective communication plan.
Research and communication plan goes hand in hand, without a thorough research there will be no solid communication plan. For example research helps you know or let me say define your Target Audience/Groups, how they feel about a given topic, how they react to certain issue.
However, in creating a strategic communication plan, (mark the word strategic), the following need to be considered.
The ideal thing to do is to first identify why you are creating this plan. What issue is the plan going to address? Is the plan to launch and promote a new product? Or supplement marketing sales or activities? Know clearly the purpose for which you are designing a plan so that you as well as your client will be on the same page.
In presenting a strategic communication plan, analysis is key. If the issue identification is more of a problem identification for a client, you will need to explain how you arrived at knowing that the increase in the complaints received either by text or mail has been the reason for the decrease in sales. Situation analysis put things logically.
Imagine a show without an audience? That is why a performing artist will rather perform in a stadium filled to brim, rather than an empty auditorium with a fat dollar cheque. Target Audience/Group is key, they are the kingmakers, without them a product or service won’t be used or purchased. Identify them in your plan, and make sure you know and understand them well, because the communication plan is about them. They are the ones you must reach with your communication plan, to reach your goal, otherwise the plan is futile. They could be customers or potential ones, but do well to describe them in details, being able to comprehend them will aid in communicating your message.
Yeah, It’s a goal! “A goal is a broad overview of what to accomplish, the objectives. That is the overall achievable and deliverables! What do you intend to achieve with the communication plan? Create a clear cut goal, this goal is what will be the end result of the communication plan. The goal is what will solve the issue or problem identified earlier in the plan.
This is where you talk extensively about deliverables, set targets, time line and deadlines. Here you talk in specifics, how long it will take to achieve the desired results, the dimensions that will be explored.
ACTION PROGRAM, COMMUNICATION PROGRAM AND BUDGET
This is the closest to the implementation stage, where solving the problem is no longer on paper. Here you dot you I’s and cross your T’s, the action program for each step of the plan is mapped out, answering how the identified goal for the plan will be achieved. The communication program is highly sacrosanct, the success of your communication plan lies on the execution of the action and communication programs you choose. How will you communicate with and to your publics, the media, vendors etc? Outline how much it will cost to achieve your goal at the stipulated time, be sure to present accurate estimates to avoid back and forth of approval of budgets. Choose your execution plan wisely, your goal maybe airtight, doable but is your execution plan too?
After all said and done, it is befitting to evaluate the success of the methods and process chosen in working and achieving the plan. Look at things in retrospect, measure the success of the plan, what would you have done differently? Did you meet the set goal? Did you achieve your objectives?
You will be able to answer this questions correctly and adjust where necessary with sincere feedbacks from the people directly affected or should I say impacted by your plan.