Updated May 31, 2023
“A communication is a key to strong relationship fostered by mutual corporation and understanding And communication plan is a tool for it”.
develop an Effective Communication Plan – We as humans are driven by communication which is a source of our life and activities, and so are the ventures of the organizations and their prolific creations, strategies, or ideologies that they want to present to their audiences or within their own corporate or non-corporate circles.
This intensity to project drives these organizations towards adopting communication plans that would speak voluminously about them and their thematic proposals and schemes.
What is a communication plan & why is it so imperative?
A communication plan is a strategically oriented written document presenting the company’s objectives and aims and its undergoing activities or projects.
We can also say it is an informative piece that explains to the stakeholders and concerned team what the company aims at and its future plans.
The following components constitute a communication plan:
- Aims and objectives
- Process and action plan
- List of stakeholders or a team involved in the projects
- Finding out people to whom the communication plan should be addressed?
- How are you going to evaluate your projected profits?
Communication can be in any form, such as reports, electronic media, print publications, conference material, surveys, marketing or sales tools, speeches, etc., to enable the project heads or a management team to plan their project per the company’s expectations and realize it their targeted goals.
They can set up the desired standard and tone of communication to set a certain pace of the project and consistent workflow. It also helps the project planners set their priorities and utilize the resources optimally.
As pertinent is a communication plan, the way to develop it is equally important, which is insinuated by the needs of the corporate entities.
Tips for developing an impactful communication plan!
Study the communication trend and Audit Your Research:
Find out about the communication trend in your organization. Some the organizations are hiring firms to make out what’s going on, but this expenditure might be a burden on your company’s budget.
So you can save by studying how the others in the organization communicate, interact, and accomplish their day-to-day operational activities and get concrete results.
To get the answers, you need to fix an appointment, brainstorm with your staff members and manager, and find the results or any drawbacks or issues that might hamper their communication process.
Select the person who would be taking the lead
Before starting the actual process, it is imperative to find a spokesperson who would initiate the communication process and formulate the communication plan. One should meet the following criteria:
- He should always be ready to cooperate, coordinate with the other members of the team and staff, and set up communication plans and goals.
- He should be capable of allocating the time and staff to meet the communication needs.
- Have the capability to decide the requisite communication system and its effectiveness and impact it might have.
- He should engage the evaluator as well as others in generating and revising the different communicative strategies and communication plans.
- Have the ability to generate many creative ideas for the successful implementation of the communication plan,
Develop communication and trust among your peers and community
You should maintain strong communication and trust and manage the expectations of the people concerned, especially those who are the partners in your efforts. This creates a secure environment and reduces all the chances of any risk or rumors.
The correct and timely information can help communities actively participate in the programs, get feedback and can, have meaningful engagement, and understand the benefits they can get from the program.
Define the Objectives and Goals
After all the information from the company, establish the objectives and goals of the communication plan and what you want to achieve. Your objectives conjure the objectives of the company, which includes
- Your services towards the company,
- How well can you create impact
- How can you centralize your communication network
- Build teamwork
- Improve the product delivery
- To what level is your communication plan impacting the stakeholders, media, and government?
The goals are the resources required, whether human or mechanical, the process adopted for the project, the kind of products or services the company intends to produce or promote, and the improvements needed in the current processes or functions.
Find out the potential audiences /readers of your communication plan
You need to find out the potential audience your associations might contact or try to influence you. These audiences are your consumers, members, concerned associations, educators, industrialists, media, etc.
This would include your study and research on the people who might directly have an impact on the ongoing projects or the activities and find out the groups who are part of the organization or an outsider but are related to the project.
This would enable you to prioritize your targeted audience and make better decisions.
Activities that you need to put in before or after communication plan implementation
You need to judge the kind of information and activities you need to share your information. Form different groups or communities, conduct reviews, and evaluate the processes.
Involve in the community meeting each month and create a forum where concerned people can converse or share a concern. It is also very imperative to share your research or findings with the evaluators and perform surveys.
Design your key points
Find and design the important points or messages that you want to deliver. It would help you to filter the unnecessary facts or information and deliver what is best, accurate, and effective.
This would also help you understand the people’s needs and expectations and the kind of questions they can ask. And help you to understand how the program and project can affect the community or state.
When deciding on the message, understand and evaluate the situation in which the communication process is implied, the mood of the audience, the language in which the message has to be conveyed, the type of message to convey, and overall design.
The message should be drafted while keeping the type of audience in mind. Also important if the audience is young, old, or children, and then frame the message accordingly.
As said by James Thurbe, “ Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair trigger balances, when a false or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act.
Evaluate the Sensitivity of the audience
Find out the mood of the people and determine how the people should react to the mood and sensitivity of the situation. No message should have any word or statement that shows disrespect to any language, culture, religion, or faith of the people.
Find out the general mood of the audience and retain a correct balance for communicating; retaining a positive tone will help reach more people rather than spreading negativity that may ignite fear or anger.
Know about the language your audience speaks and whether the language you use is formal or informal, simple or sophisticated. Simply if you are reaching out to the people, you have to write and use the people’s language else for dignitaries or the corporate world, sophisticated language is required.
The situation might come in deciding whether to choose an informal or a formal language. Sometimes too formal language might make the listeners feel you are not speaking to them.
The language should be a straightforward communication plan showing what you want to say and feel.
Find the mode of communication
Think of the best mode of media for communication, which could be either electronic or print, or verbal. These mediums could include pamphlets, flyers, covers, websites, cards, and television.
Discuss the ideas with the managerial team and other staff and come out with the idea that would really get you success. The medium needed for communication also depends on the audience being targeted during the communication process.
You need to ensure that the mode of communication you choose gets your message across to the concerned departments or people on time; for instance, some may require a PowerPoint presentation, while the press may need an interview with the head of the project team.
Correct decision made on the choice of media entails your success in communication patterns and the framework you choose. You need to make sure that the evaluation team members are comfortable with the different kinds of communication types.
Given the various types, it is critical that members of your evaluation team are comfortable with the type of communication you are using or implying.
The type of Tools or medium in the communication plan includes:
- Meeting Summaries
- Status reports
- News Letters
- Internet/Intranet Web page
- Small group meetings etc
Find the factors that can affect the Communication Method
Work on the different factors or reasons that can impact your selected communication methods, look at the local situation and case, and find out the kind of communication channels available in the community and the type of activities that can be incorporated.
You also need to find out the type of audience- their religion, culture, age group, sex ratio, whether they are literate or illiterate, and more young or married people. Most important of all, how these people can be reached.
A very important factor that people generally ignore is the extent of the risk involved in spreading the communication message to the people. Another aspect of it is whether the communication process could be two-way or one-way, for instance, whether a program requires feedback.
Set up the Matrix
The best idea is to have a matrix with the communication plan related to the specific project, like reviewing the meetings and setting the status message.
Explain the project’s theme, the key points of discussion, how the project will be delivered, how the targeted audiences and the responsibilities they share. This can help in setting expectations and setting boundaries for the communication plan.
This process would lead to the conversion of the matrix into an informative piece, a graphic that could be shared and utilized by anybody whosoever is working on the project.
Set up a time schedule
Once you have found out your goals and objective, organize all the data in a format of a calendar and mention briefs about the projects that would be covered or the tasks that need to be accomplished as per the priority, and separate each task logically as per the week, and month.
Analyze the result
Create a method for coming up with a result; the evaluation process should be your monthly report, presentation or staff meeting, department report, or briefings of a staff executive.
Your analysis or evaluation depends on the number of times you need to present the results. The situation might come in when you have to present the results to the concerned team, even before your evaluation process gets over.
You should also find out when constituents might want to review your result process.
It is imperative to find out the estimated budget and the anticipated results from the expenditure. Calculate the cost involved and how you are going to gain from the investment.
Find out about the anticipated hurdles or emergencies
As stated above, communication involves many paradigms and routes, where hurdles or emergencies can erupt the functionalities.
The worst case can happen when a press release or a flyer is printed, an email and communication address is misprinted or erased, or a critical and important word is misspelled; a reporter might get the wrong information.
A disaster might happen when an organization for you to which you are devoting your skills deny giving you credit. These issues must be anticipated before the communication plan and alternative solutions are found to overcome and rectify these issues.
A communication plan conveys the organizational vision and requires careful strategic planning. It is best to prepare a communication plan three or four days before the schedule and evaluate the same thoroughly.
A clear communication plan brings order and eases to diverse tasks.
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