Tips To Create An Effective Communications Plan

With a new year just starting, now is the perfect time to look ahead and set your communication goals for 2013 and build a solid plan to get you there!

The thought of mapping out all of your PR, Social Media, Advertising, and Marketing activities for the upcoming year may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

A good place to start is by reviewing last year’s communications plan and reflecting on what activities went well, what didn’t, what were the most effective tactics and how you can make them even better this year.

Once you do some reflecting, here are some great tips to help you craft a winning communications plan:

Set specific goals: The core of any business or communications plan is centered around strategic goals. In order to measure success, your goals need to be as clearly defined as possible; make sure your goals follow the SMART principle (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound).Also, always make sure to align your communication goals with your business goals – your communication goals are there to support your broader business goals so make sure to keep this in mind.

Get down to the details: Once your communication goals are set, define your objectives, audiences, strategies, and tactics for each goal. Make sure to be as detailed as possible, after all, communication planning is all about the details! Make sure you outline strategies and tactics that are targeted to each specific audience in support of your overall goals and objectives.

Set a timeline and milestones: Creating a timeline and setting milestones sets a clear path for your communication activities that will keep you on track throughout the year. It’s always better to create small milestones for your big goals – breaking big goals down into smaller goals makes them less overwhelming and more manageable.

Create a budget: Anticipate costs for each month –your overall initiatives and timeline will be a big help here in determining how much you will need to allocate for each month. And always put aside a reserve for unanticipated costs that will arise throughout the year.

Identify evaluation methods: One of the most important, and often overlooked, component of any communications plan is specifying how you will evaluate your efforts. Set evaluation methods and metrics for all of your communication activities – measuring the effectiveness of your PR, Social Media, Advertising, and Marketing activities allows you to assess and plan future strategies according to what worked and what didn’t.

Follow these tips and you will be able to produce an effective communications plan that will be your roadmap to success in 2013! And remember, your plan isn’t set in stone, revisit it throughout the year And adjust your strategies along the way if you see that what you’re doing isn’t working.

Happy planning!

went well, what didn’t, what were the most effective tactics and how you can make them even better

Tags: Advertising, budget, communication, goals, Marketing, milestones, planning, PR, SMART, social media, strategies, tactics,
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