A communications plan is a roadmap required to deliver information effectively to certain stakeholders. It covers the message, target audience, and marketing channels.
In this article, we’ll unveil why a communications plan is essential and how to create it.
Why is a communications plan important?
Developing a communications plan for stakeholders is essential since it enables you to outline a clear purpose for a product launch or new initiative. With its help, you’ll develop a relevant message that will communicate all your ideas and thoughts.
A communications plan can come in handy during difficult periods for your company. When your business experiences a crisis or damaged reputation, you need a roadmap to deliver the right message to your customers, employees, or investors. It can help you improve the situation and gain their trust. If you don’t experience any problems with your brand, you still need to be prepared for various scenarios. A communications plan serves as a step-by-step guide for your team.
Now that you know about the importance, it’s time to find out how to write it. The next section will provide 8 easy steps to create a communications plan for your business.
How to write a communications plan?
Developing a detailed communications plan is critical for both product launches and crises. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of actions you need to do to write this document right. Let's find out how to do it.
- Identify your communications materials. First, you need to analyze your company environment and find out why you need a communications plan. This step is essential for determining problem areas. Say you want to launch a new product and don’t know how to communicate it to your shareholders and customers. Start with auditing your marketing approach to figure out the gaps. Gather all crucial information to identify all gaps within your marketing strategy to prevent repeating them. Once you finish, you’ll be aware of these areas and cover them in your communications plan. Consider receiving feedback from customers to unveil some more problems. Keep these facts in mind when choosing channels, writing a message, and determining the target audience for your new product launch.
- Determine SMART goals. Once you audit your materials, proceed to set your objectives. Remember that your goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely). Figure out what you want to attain with this communications plan. Make sure to write specific goals which you can achieve during a certain period.
- Define your target audience. Creating a relevant and timely plan requires you to define your audience. You should know your listeners to make a great pitch. You can write for clients, employees, investors, media outlets, etc. The message should be different based on the group of stakeholders you want to reach. For instance, consider creating a press release with your brand objectives if you write for media. When you write a communications plan for your workers, make sure it contains some internal information and some space for follow-up questions.
- Outline your plan. Once you finish with the previous steps, you can proceed to creating a plan. Make sure to include the following points in your plan: purpose, roles and responsibilities, and how to create a successful response plan. Consider inviting representatives from your target audience so that they give some input.
- Choose the right channels. When selecting the channels, make sure that you know whom you target and the message you want to communicate. Consider the preferred communication channels of your shareholders. For example, if you want to deliver your message to your customers, you can use social media or email campaigns. When you strive to reach your employees, consider using a special working platform, company email, or offline meetings. Make sure that your channels will help attain your objectives.
- Gather a team of professionals. Based on the purpose of your plan, collect a team of employees. Professionals in this field will help you effectively develop a strategy and promote your initiative to shareholders.
- Set due dates for each stage. Each step of your plan should be completed within a given timeframe. That’s why you need to decide which of them will take you longer to finish.
- Evaluate the results. After you finish the plan, you can see what aspects still need improvement. Present your communications plan to shareholders to see what went right and wrong. It will help you avoid the same mistakes in the future.
Congrats, now you know what a communications plan is and why it’s essential. Hope that our guide will help you once you decide to make it for your business.
Last Updated: 22.03.2023