Good, effective communication can spell the difference between success and failure in any business. Without it, employees won’t be able to seamlessly work with each other towards the accomplishment of a shared corporate goal. Leaders would be at a loss in dealing with a crisis. But often times, crafting of a corporate communications plan is often overlooked by business communicators and even decision makers themselves.
In coming up with a corporate communications plan, any corporate communication executive should keep in mind the following tips:
1. The corporate communications plan should have measurable goals and strategies.
One of the misconceptions that corporate communicators have with any communication and PR effort is that it can’t be evaluated. On the contrary, a good communications plan should have clear and measurable goals and strategies. Business communicators should come up with specific goals as possible.
Example of clear and specific goals would be an increase in traffic to a company’s website, or increase in sales. Experienced corporate communications executives know that generic goals like “raise awareness” should not be included in any corporate communications plan.
2. Target audiences should be clearly specified.
Another tip in crafting a communications plan is to identify the key internal and external audiences. This should guide the plan in crafting key messages for each audience, and the expected result from delivering said messages to intended recipients.
The plan should be very specific about what the firm or unit wants to accomplish with each unit, and how communications can help. Novice corporate communicators should know that the “general public” is not a target audience, and that they should be more specific with the intended recipients of their message.
An example would be to reach out to the Gen X and Millennials. Knowing this can help the corporate communication team to create messages and tactics that cater to each of these demographics. Members of the Gen X may still prefer being communicated through traditional channels like newspaper and TV; while Millennials are best reached through social media.
3. A tactical planning calendar ought to be developed.
A corporate communications campaign will likely not run for a couple of days or even weeks. Thus it is advisable for the communications team to develop a tactical planning calendar that will guide how the tactics will be developed throughout the duration of the campaign. This will also help the team in staying on track with all the strategies to be implemented throughout the year.
For instance, having a tactical planning calendar would guide the members of the team when to start conceptualizing an ad, writing a press release, or having these strategies pitched and approved.
Any corporate communications plan should also indicate immediate, short, and long-term goals. This will help the team determine how to prioritize and roll out various communication components, strategies, and tactics.
4. Develop key messages and persuasive strategies.
While there’s one overarching message in a corporate communications strategy, there’s also a need to develop different key messages for different audiences. This is something that the corporate communications group should prepare for.
For example rational persuasion can be used to influence an audience such as the academe using logic and evidence. This requires the use of facts, data, and logical arguments. On the other hand, emotional persuasion may be used to convey messages for a particular audience like consumers using values and emotions like photographs of happy children.
Crafting a corporate communications plan isn’t as easy as it may seem. But following these tips can help any corporate communicator in developing a communications strategy that will bring in the desired results for an organization.