Do you have a communication plan in place?

Are you looking to launch a new product or initiative and need to officially determine the messages you want to deliver to your intended audience(s)? This is where a communication plan comes into place. There have been many options presented during the pandemic to optimize communication to attendees about upcoming events. How are you handling it? Do you know what is needed to communicate properly to your attendees? What part does this play in your marketing plan? Review our notes on putting a communication plan in place.

What is a communication plan?

According to HubSpot, a communication plan allows you to identify the appropriate messages, to whom you are targeting, and which channels to deliver these messages. You might be at the point where you have your idea but you do not have all the details on how you are going to get the message out. This is ok. Taking time to align your message succinctly to the appropriate target audience is key to effectively communicating.

However, did you know you can also use a communication plan for when a disaster strikes. For example, recently, Peloton made the news as being advertised in a movie as the action leading up to a character’s death. In turn, their response messaging has been limited and might be generating some negative attention. It may be unlikely that your product would be in the exact situation, but not so unlikely that you will never find yourself needing a procedure to effectively handle tricky situations.

How do I write a communication plan?

A communication plan does not need to be formal, but it should be written down for reference. It is important to be clear and concise in your plan as you communicate it to others.

7 Steps to Writing a Successful Communication Plan

  1. Review your current communications materials. Think about whether your communications have been successful in the past. Once you have a good understanding of how your current material is communicated, you can determine how to apply it to your communication action plan.
  2. Set SMART goals for your communications plan based on the results from your review.
  3. Understand your audience to whom you plan to deliver your communications plan.
  4. Outline and write your plan, keeping your audience in-mind. Define the following: project size, information about the client’s company, project deliverables, timeline, and project team.
  5. Determine the channel(s) and who will help you accomplish them.
  6. Estimate a timeline for how long each step should take.
  7. Measure the results of your plan after presenting to stakeholders, and determine successes and areas for improvement.

What is a good communication plan?

A good communication plan starts with knowing the frequency of communication and minimizing any potential email fatigue. In some cases, organizations don’t know how many emails or touchpoints a member is receiving during a given time. Often, this is due to different teams sending communications to the same constituents, without a content calendar in place. It is important to make sure there is not too much overlap in your communications leading to increased unsubscribed rates.

An effective communication plan will include the following:

  • Utilization of several different channels (Social media vs email etc.)
  • Successful calls to action that attract truly engaged learners
  • Strategic timing for communications that work well for your association

Once your plan is documented, consider your channels and how you are going to reach your initiatives through these channels. Utilizing these actionable takeaways and our recently published report, you can guide your association’s strategies to success. 

Freestone allows associations the tools and functionality to help you deliver a high volume of live and on-demand programming through a user-friendly, intuitive online environment that keeps learners engaged. 

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