It’s that time of year when everyone begins eating clean, working out, avoiding adult beverages, binging shows like Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and saying things like “new year, new me!” While many of our New Year’s resolutions may fall by the wayside by the end of February, your communications plan certainly will not if they are grounded in a solid foundation.
You can own 2019 with an effective, measurable and successful communications plan. Here are some questions that can help you map out your goals, objectives and strategies for 2019:
What are the problems that your organization is facing?
The first thing we like to ask our clients when we’re helping them develop communications plan is what communications challenges they face as an organization or brand. This helps us identify opportunities. For example, if your company is experiencing low attendance numbers at events, some digging is required into why that might be. Is the issue price point? Is there an accessibility issue? Are the topics right for your target audiences? Identifying any problem or an issue you’d like to overcome is step number one.
What insights lead you to identify these problems?
Some simple research can help provide explanations for the problem at hand, as well as provide potential solutions. If price is an issue, then an adjustment could be made or introductory rates could be offered to attract new target audience members. If people don’t know about the events, additional media relation support could be needed.
Who do you want to reach?
There are a number of reasons why communication plans fail, but one major issue is a lack of audience identification. Identifying and understanding who your organization’s internal and external stakeholders are can help communications professionals pinpoint the best ways to reach them.
What are you trying to achieve?
Goals and objectives are the very foundation of an effective communication plan. These help outline what you’re trying to achieve and eventually will lead you to identify specific tactics that will help you get there. They will also help you measure success at the end of your campaign. Goals should be broad and long-term. They should also describe what solving your problem looks like. However, objectives are much more specific and SMART (specific, measurable, audience-based, realistic, and time-bound). Here are a few guidelines to develop SMART objectives from the Journalistics blog.
How do we best reach our goals and objectives?
The strategies you outline are the roadmap to your success, while tactics are the tools that help you get there. For example, if you’re looking to educate your audiences through media placements in 2019, a strategy could be to develop a press kit, while your tactics are what’s included in a press kit (bio, fact sheet, press release, etc.) and its format.
Now that we have a roadmap, what do we want to say to our audiences?
Developing key messages will help you identify what it is you want each of your target audience segments to know or take away from your campaign. These should be very concise, active and specific. They should not be company slogans and industry jargon should be avoided, if possible.
Creating your communications plan is half the battle. Monitoring and reporting on the successes and failures of your campaign can help optimize your approach, refine your messaging, and prove ROI to your leadership team. If you could use support in developing a communications plan this year, Scooter Media is here to help! Contact us today to learn more about developing amazing communications plans for your organization.
About Scooter Media
Scooter Media is a full-service communications agency in greater Cincinnati specializing in public relations and social media. Want to learn more about reporting best practices? We’ve got you covered right here.