Good communication plans show clear strategic thinking. Brilliant project communications plans – show brilliance!
They show that you have considered the objectives analysed your target audiences and set measurable objectives.
It also shows that your chosen activities are related to your objectives – they are strategic. You are prepared to ask the really important questions in order to measure and evaluate your communications. Welcome to successful project communications.
How can you draft a winning plan for your project?
You are working with partners developing a project application. You have to write about your project communication activities. You only have some vague guidelines – ‘communication actions must have clear objectives and tailored to the needs of audiences. Your communication plan should use the latest methods and you need to show how will evaluate the measures’.
Here is the good news
You already have a lot of key ideas worked out. The situational analysis, target audiences, objectives of the project. These are vital concepts that you can copy & paste into your communications plan.
Here is even more good news – some tips
This is what you need to include in a good communications plan
You are going to show that you can answer these big questions
- What are your communication objectives?
- What campaign activities will help you achieve your aims?
- How will you measure your success?
A common problem with projects is that the objectives are too vague (i.e. not very smart). Projects partners sometime say ‘the aim is to promote good practices to key stakeholders.’ We need the specific measurable achievable relevant and timebound
We need 3 or 4 SMART objectives – and the key is in the situation analysis and the target audiences which you should have.
Another common problem with project applications is that partners put the media before the message. They plan press releases and media interviews, think if they use social media it will be up-to-date.
Don’t make these mistakes. Think about the different activities media, event, on-line and consider the following
- Scale – does it reach large audiences?
- Precision – can it target your audiences?
- Control – does it allow you to control the message?
- Relationships – does it allow two way communication?
- Cost – does it deliver value for money?
The other mistake is to list measurement activities such as
- The number of events, conference, workshops
- The number of press releases sent, brochures printed
- The number of website hits, Twitter followers, Facebook likes
Well done, this shows that your team is working hard, unfortunately these measures do not tell us what impact we are having on our target audiences. Are they being moved as we planned?
We need measures that tell us about the outcomes – not just how many people received the communications, but how many reacted, were changed, were affected.
What to do now
Many project partners and groups seek the advice of communication experts for advice and training on how to plan project communications. Training is a long term gain – you can use what you have learnt for ever and ever
If you wish to organise training or advice please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on + 32 473 391890 for a conversation.