Strategic communication includes purposeful and deliberate messaging. And it’s highly effective in passing messages internally to employees or externally to targeted audiences such as customers, clients and suppliers. A reliable and effective communications plan is crucial to every organization’s success in the contemporary marketplace. Without an effective and clear communication plan, organizations won’t be able to reach their targeted audience, nor will they be able to empower and inspire their employees. However, this type of communication requires careful planning and must be executed concisely. In this article, we will highlight what strategic communications are and what an effective strategic communications plan is made of.
What is Strategic Communications?
Strategic communications are the practice, usually outreach activities, companies use to advance core messages to achieve their business goals further. While organizations adopt different communications, marketing and public relations strategies to achieve their business goals, each must follow a strategic communications plan. Templates for this strategic planning usually have numerous similar features and designs. The plan must define communications goals and have a clear intent. It must also accurately describe the target audience the messages are meant for. This will ensure that the messages reach the right people. By following these templates for strategic communications planning, organizations would develop practical communication activities that will be used to reach critical audiences using marketing plans and business objectives.
Components of an Effective Strategic Communications Plan
This section will highlight what an effective communications plan should have. If your strategic communications plan follows this structure, you’d have succeeded in creating a great strategic communications plan. Let’s get into it.
Purpose of The Communications Plan
Having a clear purpose and definition for your communications plan helps to inboard everyone. You must ensure that your message is passed to the right people in the exact way you’d like them to hear it. Your communication objectives must offer answers to some crucial questions. They include who you need, how to reach them, what communication will say, and how to deliver your primary message to benefit and impact your audience and yourself. Finally, it would help if you also considered the channel(s) you intend to use for your delivery.
Your Target Audience Matters
You can change your target audiences from time to time, and they may include the media, your employees and customers. You must decide on and define the people that must hear everything happening in your organization. Every communications plan differs from one to another. So, a one-size-fits-all approach will not work. The best way to create an effective communications plan for your target audience is to develop an audience map that highlights core audiences and what they love to hear about your organization before they will take action.
How Your Message Will be Delivered is Crucial
Your communications strategy offers the structure for your organization’s outreach activities. This also includes the message that needs to be passed through communication mediums like email marketing, social media platforms, video content on Vimeo or YouTube, blog posts, etc. Although it might seem repetitive, the more specific your visuals and messaging are, the higher the possibility of getting your target audience engaged and taking action.
Communication Must be Strategic
If an organization wants its strategic communications plan to be effective, then it must use its communications strategically and wisely. However, timing is also crucial if an organization wants to communicate effectively. Therefore, a company’s strategic communications plan must indicate the time the message should be shared, specifying if they want the message to be communicated now or later on. The company’s communications team must consider this when developing its timing and messaging plan. Additionally, it’s advisable to use two efficient strategies. One will cater for “now”, and the other will be on standby in anticipation of any event that may happen later. An organization with a good crisis communication plan will be adequately prepared for unexpected turns of events.
Let Professionals Be Responsible For The Communication
After an organization has created an effective communications plan, communication with external audiences should be handled by communications professionals. However, the HR department will still need to manage internal communications about changes that will affect employees directly. Key messages should be defined and placed in internal and external categories. After they have been defined, the next step will be to decide who will deliver these core messages. This is because both communications professionals and HR heads know how to handle their audiences and will deliver the messages in a timely and concise manner.
Having a strategic commitment plan as an organization is a huge plus. It helps to deliver your messages to the right audience at the right time in the right way. This article has highlighted five crucial components an effective strategic communications plan must have. Considering these components, you will efficiently structure a solid and reliable communications plan that would significantly increase your business’s success and bring desired results in little to no time.
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