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Developing a communications plan

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Tips on how to develop an effective Communications Plan

Tips on how to develop an effective Communications Plan

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  • 1. DEVELOPING A COMMUNICATIONS PLAN Fairfax County: Jeremy Lasich, Office of Public Affairs, May 30, 2013 1
  • 2. Why Plan?  Strategic communications goes beyond dissemination  It creates engagement  It makes a difference  Communications begins with project planning  At the beginning, not the end  Can save you time and money with effort at the beginning 2 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 3. Why Plan?  Think of a Communications Plan as a roadmap: 3 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 4. Elements of a Communications Plan  Plans usually include the following:  Goals  Objectives/Desired Outcomes  Target Audiences  Key Messages  Strategies  Tactics  Measurement 4 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 5. Elements of a Communications Plan 5 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 6. Elements of a Communications Plan  Goals and Objectives:  Define WHAT you want to achieve  Make them meaningful and easily understood by advocates/supporters  Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely 6 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 7. Elements of a Communications Plan  Target Audiences:  Who do we need to talk to?  Start local and go global  Audience research 7 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 8. Elements of a Communications Plan  Key Messages:  Revisit objectives  Three to five key messages  Keep them succinct and simple  Each messages should only have 1 thought  The “sticky message”  A message that sticks with people and usually has personal impact 8 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 9. Elements of a Communications Plan  Strategies:  Define HOW you want to achieve the goal  Think of it as a roadmap  What path are you going to take to achieve your goal?  There is more than one way to achieve a goal 9 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 10. Elements of a Communications Plan  Tactics:  Define WHAT you are going to do achieve the goal  Consider internal and external audiences  Usually includes tools and training 10 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 11. Elements of a Communications Plan  Measurement:  Monitoring and evaluation are crucial part of planning  Communications is difficult to measure, but can be done through surveys and other metrics  Build in evaluation from the start so you have a baseline 11 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 12. Elements of a Communications Plan  Summary:  Set SMART goals and objectives  Identify key target audiences  Develop key messages based on goals  Outline strategies that show how you will achieve the goal  Identify tactics that show which tools you will use to achieve the goal  Measure your success 12 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 13. Example  Chesapeake Bay Regional Education Campaign: 13 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 14. Group Exercise  Goal: Planning a trip to Disney World  Objectives?  Target Audiences?  Strategies?  Tactics?  Measurement? 14 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 15. Group Exercise  Goals and strategies determine your tactics, not vice versa!  You wouldn’t buy airline ticket (tactic) w/o strategy (trip to Disney World).  Don’t make this mistake 15 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan
  • 16. Parting Thoughts 16 DevelopingaCommunicationsPlan Questions/discussion?