Today and more than ever, communication and good use of it is a fundamental factor for any type of company. This communication must be in accordance with the values of the company itself as well as must be adjusted to the communication objectives to be achieved and the type of client to which it is addressed with a message and a tone appropriate to it and that arouses its interest. A communication that covers any channel either internal or external to the company. In this context and keeping in mind the importance of communication, it is necessary to have a good communication plan before embarking on the adventure of communicating.
What is a communication plan?
A business communication plan is a roadmap for all departments of the company that clearly establishes the communication objectives to be achieved. In addition, it facilitates the organization of tasks and that all of them are carried out in a coherent manner and focused on specific objectives.
It is very important that we define from the beginning both the internal communication plan and the external communication plan.
A good internal organization favors the achievement of the objectives of external communication because the workers are clear about the purpose of their work, the delivery dates and who is the person they can support and to whom they will have to present the metrics and KPIs of your work.
The communication of the brand abroad follows this same scheme to ensure that your image attracts and loyalty to your client.
Why is the communication plan important?
Once understood its importance, let’s see the basic points that a strategic communication plan must contain.
1 # Contextualization
As contextualization we understand both external and internal analysis of the company or SWOT analysis. For this, it is very useful to resort to statistical studies and data, as well as tools that provide us with the maximum information on where we are and how the market is around us that will help us to establish the objectives in a coherent way …
- Analysis of the environment: At this point, we must carry out a market study to analyze everything related to the external to the company. In other words, how is the market in which we develop our activity, who is our competition, how does it behave, etc. For this, either outsourcing or outsourcing can be used, that is, by hiring a company that carries out the market study or, as I have said in the previous point, through a process of research and analysis of studies and data Statisticians who provide us with the maximum information of the environment of our company.
- Analysis of your company: In the same way that we have to analyze everything related to the external to the company, it is also necessary to perform an internal analysis of the company to detect possible opportunities, threats as well as our weaknesses and strengths. For this, it is very useful to perform a SWOT analysis.
The SWOT analysis is a methodology for studying the situation of our company, analyzing its internal characteristics (Weaknesses and Strengths) and its external situation (Threats and Opportunities) in a square matrix. It comes from the acronym in SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
Through this analysis, we will know the real situation in which our organization is and will help us plan a communication strategy for the future.
2 # Definition of objectives
This is one of the most important points to consider in the development of a strategic communication plan. The effectiveness of the communication plan will depend on a correct definition of the objectives to be achieved. A correct setting of objectives requires taking into account the so-called SMART rule, that is, these objectives must be …
EXAMPLES of communication objectives could be …
- Increase my followers and my fans on my social channels
- Get more visibility of my brand: that the media publish at least 3 articles about my company or my products.
- Encourage interaction with my community on social channels
Keep in mind that when defining objectives, the actions to carry out these objectives must be defined. That is, we must cover those objectives that our company resources allow us. The optimum would be to establish no more than four communication objectives.
3 # Target audience
Whom are we talking to? Who is our target audience? How old are you? What do you work on? Is it mainly male or female? What level of income do you have? Where he lives? What interests do you have? What do you do in your free time? Etc. These are some of the questions that cannot be left unanswered in our business communication plan.
We have to decide who we are going to direct our communication, for this it is essential to know our target audience very well, as well as the media and communication channels they use every day. This will depend on the tone, the message, the channels, and in general, everything related to the communication we use. What would be the use of a social network like Instagram in which 7 out of 10 users are between 16 and 34 years old if our target audience is between 50 and 70 years old? Perhaps this type of user prefers another type of traditional channel such as radio. What I mean is that it is about economizing and optimizing efforts to obtain the most optimal communication results.
4 # Message
This is what we want to communicate to our target audience that we have defined previously and with an appropriate style and tone of communication.
Keys to a good message …
- Sure, concise and direct
- Grammatically and orthographically perfect
- With a language appropriate to your target audience (adapted to your language, formal or informal …)
- Appropriate tone to your target audience and your objectives e.g. motivational, instructive, etc.
- Message with content according to the needs and interests of your target audience
5 # Resources and budget setting
In order to implement the communication plan, it is necessary to know exactly the resources we have (material and non-material) and how much we will allocate to the actions necessary to achieve the objectives established in the communication plan …
- Economic item to allocate
- Employees and / or necessary human resources
- Ways to obtain the necessary resources for the execution of the communication plan, etc.
6 # Channels
The analysis of all the previous points will give us enough data to be able to choose which channels we will use to communicate with our target audience.
Offline communication channels …
- Radio and television
- Specialized magazines
- Street furniture, signage, billboards …
- Public relations and other events
Online communication channels …
- Social networks
- Newsletter, newsletters
7 # Action Plan
After having studied our environment, established our objectives, analyzed our target audience, defined our message, chosen which channels we will use, evaluated our resources and established our budget, the time has come to get down to work with the actions that will help us to fulfill our objectives established in the communication plan. Now we have to choose the action or actions that will help us achieve each goal that we have previously set.
Ex. Objective: “Increase my followers and my fans my social channels”
- Publish a daily post of interest to my community
- Use Facebook Ads to promote the publications that most interest my users and thus reach others to increase my community.
8 # Calendar of actions
As I mentioned earlier, it is worthless to set a goal if it is not set for a certain period of time. The same goes for actions. In order to measure the results, it is necessary that these actions be established within the framework of a calendar. Each action will have a specific duration as well as continuity, some will be repeated daily or weekly and others will be punctual. It is necessary to define what we are going to do and when we are going to do it.
9 # Evaluation of results
It is useless to develop all of the above if in the end we do not measure results. This evaluation of results will indicate if we are fulfilling objectives or if otherwise we must improve or change some of the actions carried out for compliance.
And you? Are you interested in the world of communication? Would you like to carry it out in your company project or take it to any organization and teach your innovative skills?