A strategic communication plan helps share a clearly defined intentional message with everyone involved with the organisation
An Emotionally Intelligent and clear strategic communication plan helps us share our message while keeping our staff and customers engaged. A communication strategy is effective in:
- Reinforcing your organisation’s vision and mission statement
- Introducing organisational change by sharing the challenge and its potential solution
- Announcing new leadership to the organisation, by creating multiple opportunities for employees and customers to hear from them
- Re-branding the organisation, or creating a new impression of your organisation
Key areas to focus on when writing a strategic communications plan:
1. Define your message. Create a clear message that you want to send during your strategic campaign – with a keen eye on what is in it for the audience. The message should be tailored for the audience to increase buy-in. Keep it simple and on point. When communicating take the time to simplify; less is more.
2. Tailor your message for your target audiences. To communicate in an emotionally Intelligent manner your communication needs to be sculpted for the needs of each audience in order to communicate clearly and effectively. Discover what information they need to know and share that with them. Don’t over-share by giving them every bit of information you have. The idea is to engage them, not bore them. Your message may need to be specifically tailored for different levels of the organisation. Leaders, middle management, general employees, business partners, and the general public may need different information. Though much of the shared information may overlap, each audience will need a well-defined tailored message.
3. Clarify your destination. Where are you going with this? What do you want each audience to do in response to your message? Some strategic communications plans aim to increase awareness, whilst others are designed to stimulate a change in thought or behaviour.
4. Pick the appropriate communication channels. There are many options available to an organisation. Keep in mind that the communication needs to be delivered in a digestible format the audience can relate to. These may include social media or face-to-face communication depending on the target audience and their generation. Which channels you choose may also depend on your budget. Email and social media work for a smaller budget while a larger budget can include additional elements such as radio and television adverts, or billboards. Consider multiple outlets for each audience as we tend to remember information better when we receive it in multiple formats.
5. Set a time frame. When will you share this message and how? Act with purpose. This time frame is normally tentative and needs to be updated as you implement your strategic plan for communication. Remember change is a process, our beliefs and actions don’t change overnight.
6. Identify ways to get feedback. Feedback is essential to an effective strategic communication process. Feedback ensures your message is getting across clearly and that there are no misunderstandings. Pay attention to how your message is being received and adjust your strategy, as needed, to ensure it is effective. Utilising a small group of people to work on the communication plan can increase perspective and buy-in to the process.
Writing a strategic communication plan
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