An easy guide to writing a comms plan

An easy guide to writing a comms plan

Claire Walker

Claire Walker

As August draws to a close, it’s time to bid farewell to the holiday season and hope that the sun shines just a little bit longer before the winter chill sets in. September is looming, and that means it’s back to school and time to get planning for 2018. Although 2018 seems a fair way away, you do only have around 100 days left to think, research, plan, budget, negotiate and get the team revved up for a cracking start to the New Year – and you have to do all of this on top of your normal day-to-day tasks. So, it’s never too early to get your 2018 communications plan sorted.

Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s some help. I’ve put together a few starting questions to ask yourself that will help you shape up your 2018 communications plan. As you may know, Firefly likes to work in four phases: insight, planning, delivery, and evaluation. These questions address five things to consider at each phase, and their answers will give you a skeleton communications plan to build on.

Insight

  1. How effective has the entire communications effort been this year?
  2. How did communications efforts relate back to and help business goals this year?
  3. How is your business or brand perceived among the target market?
  4. What are your competitors doing better or worse than you?
  5. What communications could your business or brand do better or differently to reach its target market?

Planning

  1. What are the needs of the business, and how will the communications plan aid them?
  2. What does ‘effective’ communications mean to you and how can you measure it?
  3. What communications tasks do you need to do so you can be effective?
  4. What market share or share of voice do you need so you can be effective? What creative ideas will help you stand out from the crowd?
  5. What do you want your target market to think about your business or brand?

Delivery

  1. What is your ‘kapow’ factor and will your communications stand out, against competitors?
  2. How will you allocate communications tasks within your allotted time or budget restraints?
  3. What key news items or events do you need to factor into your timeline of activities?
  4. Who will be responsible for executing each communications activity?
  5. How often will you re-evaluate your communications delivery plans?

Evaluation

  1. What was good and bad about your communications measurement in 2017?
  2. How could measurement be improved going forward?
  3. Which current KPIs or goals need to be reconsidered or adjusted for 2018?
  4. Which new goals and KPIs in 2018 do you need to support the broader business goals?
  5. Will the achievement of your goals and KPIs in 2018 means achievement of your broader business goals?

Sometimes an outside perspective can go a long way into creating a fresh and effective PR plan – from insights you may not have spotted to new creative ideas. You can use these other blogs our Firefly team have previously penned for our website as more inspiration:

If after that you are still unsure, please call in the experts. We can help with planning requirements on a project basis, and there’s no obligation whatsoever to engage us for the delivery of that plan. Get in touch at hello@fireflycomms.com.

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