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How to Create a Comprehensive Communications Plan


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Workshop delivered at the "National Conference of State Legislatures" Super Professional Development Series in Madison, WI on October 10, 2012.

Published in: Business

How to Create a Comprehensive Communications Plan

  1. 1. Creating a21st CenturyCommunications PlanFacilitators:Andrew Krzmarzick, GovLoop Community ManagerDon Stanley, Owner of 3Rhino Media / Faculty, UW-Madison
  2. 2. Government 1.0 Town Halls Constituent Meetings These are still important
  3. 3. Government 1.5 Streaming / Updated Websites Recorded VideoImproved access for more people
  4. 4. Government 2.0 Mobile Apps Social Media Engage them on-the-go
  5. 5. "Our children should learn the generalframework of their government…where ittouches their daily lives and where theirinfluence is exerted on the government.It must not be a distant thing, someoneelses business, but they must see howevery cog in the wheel of a democracy isimportant…for the smooth running of theentire machine."
  6. 6. Our Time Together Today •  Introductions •  21st Century Communications •  Approaches •  Examples •  Ideas •  Your Challenges •  Your Solutions •  How-To Demos?
  7. 7. Introductions •  Name •  State •  Title / Role •  Biggest Challenges
  8. 8. The 7 P’s of 21st CenturyCommunications Purpose Promote People Participate Plan Progress Produce
  9. 9. Purpose Why do•  What is your mission? you do what you do?•  What is your passion?•  What are your values?•  What impact stories inspire you?
  10. 10. Purpose:•  Mission: “Connect government to improve government”•  Passion: “Helping people do their jobs better”•  Values: Hustle Smart, Creativity, Entrepreneurial, Service, Humility•  Impact Stories: Next page
  11. 11. Purpose: Recently, Facebook stripped our administrator rights from the CityImpact of Ankenys Facebook page. With it, our custom URL was alsoStories: removed. We can no longer access our Insights page and we cannot post as the City of Ankeny on other Facebook pages. Facebook says that we cannot identify ourselves as the City of Ankeny because it is their policy that users may not manage pages about towns, cities or states. Use of "City of" in our name is too generic. Has anyone else run into this problem with Facebook? 37 comments è Facebook response
  12. 12. Purpose:“My constituents access to state government is often through me.Certainly being a public policy maker is a big part of that.But my role is also as an educator, to help my constituentsfeel part of the democratic process.” - Colorado Legislative Leader, 1996 Source:
  13. 13. People•  Who do you deliver value to?•  What value do you deliver to each?•  What internal resources do you have?•  What external resources can you leverage?
  14. 14. People:Deliver value to:Type of value: Content and Community
  15. 15. People:Internal resources:External resources:
  16. 16. People: Who Do You Serve?
  17. 17. People:Internal resources: External resources:
  18. 18. Plan Outcomes
  19. 19. PlanWhat are your (really)? Comments? Feedback? Fans? Volunteers? Retweets? or Actions? +1’s? People Helped? Pageviews? Responses? Phone Calls? Impact Stories?
  20. 20. PlanNever mistake this… …for this! Feedback? Volunteers? Actions? People Helped? Responses? Impact Stories? (Your Purpose!)
  21. 21. PlanNever start here. Start here! Donations Volunteers Subscribers Evangelists Stories (Your Purpose!)
  22. 22. PlanWhat signify success for you?For each specific outcome:•  What do you need people to do?•  Why are they going to do it?•  How will you know when an outcome is achieved?•  What points of engagement lead to the outcome?
  23. 23. PlanHow will you know when are achieved?
  24. 24. PlanWhere are your stakeholders?The ones you know?•  Your current websites•  Lists: Events, email, snail mail, cell phone numbers•  Memberships: associations, professional groups•  Social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.The ones you need to meet?•  Identify primary keywords for search engines – how do you rank?•  Search engines and alerts: news sites, forums, blogs, associations•  Social media / websites: similar organizations, trending topics, etc.
  25. 25. Plan: = Engage and empower 100,000 awesome people who want to make government better.Where are they?
  26. 26. Plan:
  27. 27. Plan:
  28. 28. Plan: and
  29. 29. ProduceWhat content will you create / share?•  Newsletters? •  Photos? •  Press Releases?•  Interviews? •  Podcasts? •  Resources?•  Publications? •  Announcements? •  Stats/Data?•  Videos? •  Stories? •  Opinions? Produce | Reproduce | Repurpose (Yours and Others!*) * With attribution, of course
  30. 30. ProduceWho is going to create / share it?Staff? Volunteers? Consultants?•  Senior Leader(s)? •  Constituents? •  PR Firms?•  Communications? •  Students? •  Media?•  Frontline? •  Fans?•  Interns? •  Followers?
  31. 31. ProduceWhat makes for great content (online)? 1.  Variety 2.  Short 3.  Images 4.  Action 5.  Milestones 6.  Topic du Jour Credit:
  32. 32. Produce: What makesTitle for great contentImage (online)?Format
  33. 33. Produce:12 minutes Side Note: Go Big Red!
  34. 34. Produce:
  35. 35. Produce:Side Note: Go Cyclones!
  36. 36. Produce:
  37. 37. PromoteWhere are you going to share it?•  Traditional •  Social Media •  Mobile ▫  Website ▫  Facebook ▫  Text (SMS) ▫  Newsletters ▫  Twitter ▫  Apps –  Email, PDF, Print ▫  Google+ ▫  Press Release ▫  LinkedIn ▫  Events ▫  Video Sharing ▫  Niche Networks
  38. 38. If Twitter was a country Population: 140 millionIt would be bigger than Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan
  39. 39. If Facebook was a country Population: 1 billion active users It would be the world’s 3rd largest countryBigger than North and South America combined
  40. 40. If Email Was a CountryIt Covers Continents It would be an empire: 2.9 Billion users
  41. 41. Promote: eNewsletters 1 6 4 72 5 83 9
  42. 42. PromoteWhen are you going to share it?•  Day of Week •  Time of Day •  Target Dates ▫  Weekdays? ▫  AM or PM? ▫  Events? ▫  Weekends? ▫  Breaks? ▫  Milestones?•  Frequency ▫  Daily (once or many times a day)? ▫  Weekly?
  43. 43. Promote:GovLoop Schedule and Staffing for Social PromotionWhere: Newsletter Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Daily AM Daily Daily Daily DailyWhen: Ad Hoc Varies 8a, 12p, 4p 8a, 12p, 4p 8a, 12p, 4p 8a, 12p, 4p (Best = T, Th) (Best = T, W) (Best = M) (Best = T, W) (Best = ?) Rotate Staff /Who: Fellows Rotate Fellows Daily Themes Core Discussions, Discussions,What: Product Push Fun, Quotes Content Content Content
  44. 44. Promote:How are you going to share it? 1.  Calls to action are key •  People want to do something •  Tell them what to do! 2.  Location, location, location •  Your website •  Social media
  45. 45. Being Fantastic on 1.  Human voice 2.  Effective use of photos 3.  Relevant, local information 4.  Diverse information 5.  Blend of fun and serious 6.  Frequent posting 7.  Open forum
  46. 46. Being Twemendous on 1.  Human voice 2.  Lots of @s 3.  Responsive 4.  Blend of fun and serious 5.  Timed posting
  47. 47. Promote:
  48. 48. Promote:
  49. 49. Promote:
  50. 50. Promote:
  51. 51. Promote:
  52. 52. Promote:
  53. 53. Promote:
  54. 54. ParticipateWhere are you going to engage?•  Traditional •  Social Media •  Mobile ▫  Website ▫  Facebook ▫  Text (SMS) ▫  Newsletters ▫  Twitter ▫  Apps –  Email, PDF, Print ▫  Google+ ▫  Press Release ▫  LinkedIn ▫  Events ▫  Video Sharing ▫  Niche Networks
  55. 55. ParticipateWhen are you going to engage?•  Day of Week •  Time of Day •  Target Dates ▫  Weekdays? ▫  AM or PM? ▫  Events? ▫  Weekends? ▫  Breaks? ▫  Milestones?•  Frequency ▫  Daily (once or many times a day)? ▫  Weekly?
  56. 56. Participate:GovLoop Schedule and Staffing for EngagementWhere: Community Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Daily Daily Daily Daily AMWhen: Ad Hoc Varies 8a, 12p, 4p Ad Hoc 8a, 12p, 4p 8a, 12p, 4p (Best = T, W) (Best = T, W) (Best = ?)Who: Staff / Fellows Rotate Fellows Comment, CommentsWhat: and Sharing Comment @ Replies Share to Comment GovLoop
  57. 57. Participate:
  58. 58. Participate: Invited: 1,500 Going: 51 Maybe: 27 Total: ~5% Comments = 44 Participants = 15 Total = 1%
  59. 59. ProgressHow are you doing?•  Statistics •  Stories Focus on ▫  Opens/Clicks ▫  Impact Actionable ▫  Views/Visits ▫  Change Information ▫  Likes/RTs ▫  Actions ▫  Referral Sources ▫  Sharing 1. Test ▫  Sign-Ups 2. Learn ▫  $$$ 3. Iterate
  60. 60. ProgressHow are you checking? How often?•  Google Analytics and Alerts •  Real-time•  Trackur, Radian 6, Other? •  Daily•  Facebook Insights? •  Weekly• •  Monthly•  Google Alerts?•  Hootsuite
  61. 61. Progress
  62. 62. ProgressWhere can we improve? •  Mission focus? •  Project Scope? •  More / better outcomes? •  Stakeholder engagement? •  Engagement points? •  Engagement vehicles? •  Monitoring systems?
  63. 63. ProgressTesting to increase action likelihood: •  Recommend changes to landing pages and action funnels •  Launch the test, wait, analyze •  If it works, double down; If not, try again (or stop)Feedback systems and methods: •  A-B element testing, funnel path, offers and incentives •  Friends, co-workers, clients, partners •  SurveyMonkey / SurveyGizmo
  64. 64. ProgressBuilding effective campaign pages: •  More bullseye: focus on the outcome •  An effective page: has what I need, tells me how to get it / why it’s good, gives me a reason to take action, feels safe and easy •  Headlines: speak to user’s primary interest •  Calls to action: roughly same place on every page •  Contact information: should be on every page •  Contextual calls to action: top and bottom of every page •  ALWAYS BE IMPROVING!
  65. 65. Campaigns1.  Set short deadlines - adds a sense of urgency;2.  Create an ongoing sense of community.3.  Humanize: let constituents see other people they are helping and the progress that is being made.4.  Maintain a sense of humor.5.  Measure engagement as well as your ultimate goal.
  66. 66. Campaigns1.  Win-Win: Members for us, $$ for them2. Friendly Competition: Mobilize their supporters to get most clicks3. Short Deadline: only 10 days4. Made it Easy: Special blog posts, custom URLs
  67. 67. Progress:Community: Monthly reports along a spectrum: •  Discover (New Visits) •  Consume (Return Visitors) •  Search (New Members) •  Commit (Top Pages) •  Participate (Comments, etc.) •  Contribute (Blogs, Forums) •  Lead (Profile Views) •  Evangelize (Referral Source)Newsletter: Weekly Reports on Opens (Subject Line) and Clicks (Content / Placement)Social Media: Weekly Reports on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ Source:
  68. 68. The 7 P’s of World-Changing,Digital Engagement Purpose Promote People Participate Plan Progress Produce Now it’s your turn!
  69. 69. Activity: Step 1 (5-10 minutes)At your tables or in groups of 3-4:•  Identify a common communications challenge•  Turn it into a scenario: There is new legislation on education reform being proposed and we have to educate the public about it. Not only that, we want to get their opinions in a constructive way, avoiding partisan language. Now it’s your turn!
  70. 70. Activity: Step 2 (15 minutes)Give your scenario to another table / group:•  Use the handout to walk through the 21st Century Communications Approach.•  Fill it out as completely as you can•  Prepare a briefing to the large group Now it’s your turn!
  71. 71. Activity: Step 3•  Report Out•  Large Group Feedback and Ideas Now it’s your turn!
  72. 72. What Other Challenges Do You Face?Any Tools That You’d Like to Learn?
  73. 73. Online community of government colleagues helping each other to do their jobs better.Mission: “Connect government to improve government” ~60,000 Members
  74. 74. “Knowledge Network” 1. Learn from each other online.
  75. 75. “Knowledge Network” 2. Learn from each other in person.
  76. 76. “Knowledge Network” 3. Learn from each other one-on-one.
  77. 77. “Knowledge Network” 4. Learn from experts via webinars.
  78. 78. “Knowledge Network” 5. Learn from experts via podcasts.
  79. 79. “Knowledge Network” 6. Learn from experts / each other via guides.
  80. 80. “Knowledge Network” Partners With: 7. Teach citizens that government works.
  81. 81.