How to Make a Strategic Communications Plan in 3 Steps

3 Steps to Developing a Strategic Communications Plan

A strategic communications plan helps businesses make sure their marketing and communication strategy is in alignment with business goals. Additionally, a strategic communications plan supplies team members with guidance throughout the entire process.

Even public relations and social media experts may struggle to develop a strategic communications plan. Thankfully there are best practices and steps to assist with communications planning efforts.

3 steps to develop a strategic communications plan include-

1. Communication

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Proper communication is crucial for achieving business goals. Unsurprisingly, communication is a major component throughout the communications planning process.

Staff members must make sure that both marketing and communication plans are in alignment with high level business objectives. Additionally, the target audience should be identified during this step of the strategic communications planning process.

Key messages are crucial for public relations campaign success. Key messages are defined as the core messages a business wants its target audience to understand and retain.

Any communication plan that fails to deliver key messages to target audience members will not be successful. Best practices for better understanding a target audience include modeling different ways to communicate key messages and buyer persona creation.

Strategic communications planning teams must make sure to gain a better understanding of both key stakeholders and target audience members.

2. Designation

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Human capital is the most invaluable asset and resource that a business possesses. During strategic communications planning initiatives it is absolutely essential that team members are qualified and experienced.

A designated communications director is responsible for both leading and coordinating the entire strategic plan team. As such, the communications director must make sure they completely understand their role as well as the roles of other team members.

To help team members better understand their responsibilities during the strategic communications plan a communications director may recommend case studies in addition to other research. Once an outstanding communication plan director is selected, tasks and responsibilities can be delegated.

The tasks that strategic communications plan team members are assigned are largely dependent on the strategic communications plan itself. For example, while one business may have a social media campaign planned, another may supply program webinars.

The strategic communications plan team must also optimize internal communication interactions. Internal communication interactions can range from strategic communication team meetings to more casual social media interactions between coworkers.

Generally, a communication plan will be established for the upcoming six months. Some businesses may choose to define communication plan duties for the entire upcoming year.

However, it is important to note that no matter how excellent strategic communications plan designation is, without proper resource allocation it is wasted.

3. Allocation

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After the designation step is completed resource allocation must be considered. Best practices for proper resource allocation include the analysis of both strategic communications plan case studies and financial statements.

Businesses must make sure they can afford their strategic communications plan before implementing it. Beginning strategic communications planning without enough resources available can be devastating to a business's bottom line.

Key stakeholders will likely have a lot of input about the strategic communications plan. Communications directors should make sure to request feedback from key stakeholders and team members.

It is also helpful to consider different ways that the strategic communications plan can be executed. Strategic communications planning team members often discover different ways to complete the same tasks but for much less money.

For example, a business may decide to use an internal public relations or social media employee instead of hiring a third party consultant. Different techniques that strategic communications planning team members explore may even save the company on another resource- time.

The communication strategy must make sure that a timeline is maintained. Not only can a timeline be utilized to provide key stakeholders with progress updates but it also encourages team member accountability.

Additionally, a timeline will avoid the strategic communications plan team members from engaging in duplicative tasks accidentally. As a result of proper resource allocation, a business can save employee time and costs.

Strategic Communications Plan- Key Takeaways

  • A strategic communications plan helps businesses make sure their communications strategy is in alignment with their marketing strategy as well as company objectives.
  • 3 steps for strategic communications plan development include communication, designation, and allocation.