Stretch Communication

Communications Planning

Who are you talking to, and why?

Brand and materials audits

Without a clear communications plan, organizations often end up creating one-off communications materials to meet specific needs. Many of those pieces of collateral may be excellent, but without a clear brand architecture and a well-articulated communications strategy and plan, they may also be completely missing the mark. And you may be wasting time and money without realizing it. 

Your brand is the essence of your story. It goes well beyond your logo and visual identity, although those are important components. I can audit how your brand is being presented in all your communications materials, from your website to your marketing collateral to your latest presentation to government. The audit will help determine whether your communications plan needs an update.

Goal, objectives and strategy

If you think you need a new website or a press release announcing something new, ask yourself how that output fits into your overall communications strategy. The answer to that question may reveal the need for a new or refreshed strategy. A communications plan, which will include messaging, audience definition and a set of tactics, must be grounded in a goal, measurable objectives and a clear strategy. I have helped organizations spanning multiple sectors to develop their overarching communications strategies. 

Communications plan

Your communications plan should set out a program of activity for a defined period -- a year, for example. It will include the goal, objectives and strategic considerations described above, as well as audience segmentation and messaging. The tactics may be broken down chronologically, by business unit or service, by medium or channel, or by audience group. The plan will also specify the performance measures to be used. 

The obvious value of a communications plan is to align activities against a clear strategy. But there are also less obvious benefits. Having a communications plan in place gives a framework for handling the unexpected requests that come in over the year, whether for sponsorships, advertising placements, speaking opportunities, or event participation.