By Jen Soriano, creative commons copyright
Communications planning can seem overwhelming. It often gets neglected or ignored. We think “we don’t have time or money to do that!” Or, we spend a lot of time making communications plans
that just sit on the shelf instead of coming to life in our day to day work. I’m not quite sure when and how communications got separated from all the other vital functions of our daily work, but I do know that the more communications can get integrated into your existing planning processes, the more effective it will be. You can use these suggested questions to integrate strategic communications planning into various levels and layers of your organizational work. Before you answer any of these questions remember that you have to have two things: CLEAR GOALS and TARGET AUDIENCES. And following up on any of these questions you always need CLEAR BENCHMARKS and REALISTIC OUTCOMES.
- What do we want our reputation to be in 5 years? 10 years?
- Who do we want to have influence with? How can we build this influence?
- What do we want our major accomplishments to be, and how do we want to share them?
- How will we communicate to our stakeholders about where we are headed in a way that builds engagement and ownership?
- What communications and technology staff, skills and infrastructure do we need to build or share with allies to accomplish these goals?
- What funders can we target to help resource this piece of the work?
- What are the materials (including social media materials) and tacitcs we need to create to engage our constituencies in this work?
- What are the materials and tactics we need to create to share our accomplishments with our key audiences?
- Are our constituences online? Are our audiences online? What level of social media engagement and sharing can we sustain with current staffing?
- Who do we need to consolidate, who do we need to persuade, and who do we need to neutralize?
- What or who do each of these audiences read, watch and listen to?
- What level of social media engagement, pressure, and battling do we need to accomplish our goals? What do we have current capacity to do?
- What ongoing communication can we have with these audiences and how? What high-impact communication can we have with these audiences, when and how?
- What threats and wedge attacks do we need to be ready for and how will we respond?
- What rapid response infrastructure and process do we need to respond to these threats?
STAFF MEETINGS, MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
- What have you read, watched or heard about our issue or our organization recently?
- What blogs, tweets, other social media, or rapid response should we focus on this week?
- What creative work sharing do we need to do to accomplish communications tasks?