How to prepare a Communication Plan?
Your communication plan will help you to define your communication goals and use the right means to achieve them. Timing is of essence. You can plan promotional activities over a specific period of time and during one or more project steps.
1. Determine goals
You have to start by defining the goals of the communication campaign. Goals can be:
- To increase product sales/success: it could be a new "product" or an existing improved "product" that you want to promote.
- To become better known.
- To announce/promote a precise event, policy or political initiative.
2. Identify target audiences
Each goal should address at least one relevant target audience. Knowing well your audience(s) in advance will help you to select appropriate messages and better way(s) to deliver them.
3. Determine resources
You have to envisage the necessary resources:
- human resources/time
- material/financial resources
- technological expertise and technological means available.
4. Identify key messages
Key messages are the concepts that you want your audience to remember from your communication campaign. These messages should be carefully selected and woven through all of your communication materials and activities.
5. Determine channels of communication
You will choose one or more different ways of communication in priority/importance order. Read more in Promotion channels and tools page.
Two main types of communication
- Non-media communication: includes telemarketing, exhibitions, fairs, "open doors" events. A wide audience cannot be reached by means of non-media communication.
- Media communication: electronic media (television, radio, video, Internet, CD-ROM, etc.), booklets, newspapers, etc. Large audiences can be reached in a short period of time.
You have to evaluate the needed amounts to realise your communication plan and prepare a budget. An extra 10% of the final estimate should be included in order to anticipate unforseen/unplanned changes and obstacles in the develoment of the plan.
7. Evaluation (impact assessment)
Each communication activity should be evaluated to measure how much it contributed to the pre-defined goals. Information can be gathered by tracking visits to your Intranet or Internet site, and receiving mails with compliments or complaints or direct feedback when in direct contact with your audience(s).
Read more about communication plan on Helping you communicate on DG Communication website.