Writing a strategic communications planning

Remember your employees Do not spend more on communication than on your CSR. If your goal is your destination, then strategy is the road map to that destination.

Elements of a strategic communications plan

Think about your secondary audience This process may also tell you what your audience thinks about your programme or the work your organisation is doing. Resources and timescales The key rules to observe are always to deliver what you promise and never over promise. They can even have a negative effect if you dedicate resources towards this that would otherwise be put towards communicating with key stakeholders. Provide leadership at the highest level. The assessment will include indicators to monitor and evaluate specific communication activities and outcomes to determine if the desired changes have occurred in knowledge, attitudes or behaviour among the target audience s. Analyze past communications strategies that worked and did not work for similar organizations. Example audiences to consider are your staff, funders, key political targets and media.

Developing a crisis management program helps reduce the chance of negative press, financial losses and damaged employee morale. Contributor Lawrence Gikaru is managing director at Apex Porter Novelli, a strategic communications and public relations firm.

How to write a communications plan

Feed the communications strategy into the organisational strategy to ensure maximum alignment and efficiency. It: focuses effort. Tips Have a backup plan for unforeseen events. Frame the issues and market trends driving communications and marketing activities in the marketplace. Determine your budget and allocate where your funds will be spent. The result is a shared belief in which more and more people participate and advocate for the organisation. Communication objectives should signal desired audience outcomes e. Clearly these three aspects not being aligned has led, appropriately in some cases, to the suspicion by many that CSR is simply PR. Existing public opinion can be reinforced. Once the strategy is in place and activated, then work to oversee and coordinate the implementation so that the communication activities are handled coherently and consistently.

Step 1: Communication audit This step begins with research and analysis to understand and take stock of your current situation.

Your goal is your destination — what you want your key audiences and stakeholders to think, believe and do in support of your business or organisational goals. Train spokespeople and top executives who will be communicating to the public and media.

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The best audiences to target in order to achieve an objective may not always be the most obvious ones, and targeting audiences such as the media may not always help achieve your objectives.

Feed the communications strategy into the organisational strategy to ensure maximum alignment and efficiency.

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Clarify what you want to accomplish in terms of brand image, customer engagement and company sales.

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How to Write a Strategic Communications Plan: 8 Steps