In The Loop
How to Implement an Effective Communication Plan for 2022
If you have ever planned a big event, like a wedding or charity fundraiser, you know that you need to manage the small steps before the big day. It’s the same in business. Nonprofit organizations and businesses alike will benefit from implementing a communication plan, whether it’s based on the calendar or a specific project. Creating a roadmap for all of the players involved ensures a smooth journey.
What is a Communication Plan?
A communication plan is crucial when pitching new initiatives, launching new products or services, or in times of crisis. It’s vital to get the right information to the right people at the right time.
Determine how and when each target group will receive information and deliverables. This applies to people inside your organization, such as project managers, and people outside your business, like graphic designers. It should specify who has authority over the communication of confidential or sensitive information and how that information should be disseminated.
Keep in mind; this is not a public relations plan. The primary function of PR professionals is maintaining a positive relationship between a company and the community. They do so by using public-facing communication, such as press releases, special events, speeches, and social media, and may also include a social media content calendar or a business strategy plan.
Communication is critical in keeping things moving forward with your stakeholders. For smooth operations inside your business or organization, everyone should be using the same tools and channels.
Include a list of the main communication methods and channels you will be using to contact stakeholders, such as emails, phone calls, in-person meetings, video meetings, Slack, social media, or any others.
- Google sheets are a great tool because it’s cloud-based, allowing participants to edit documents in real-time using any device connected to the internet. And it’s free!
- Software subscription-based platforms like BaseCamp, Asana, or Monday are more sophisticated tools. Managers can keep track of who is assigned to specific tasks and levels of completion. These programs keep track of project milestones and accountability with features such as:
- Message boards
- To-do lists
- Group chats
- Auto-check in questions
Using a platform like this is efficient because having all the information in one place saves time going through emails, document folders, Slack messages, and the like.
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. ~ Henry Ford
Executing a plan efficiently is possible when everyone is on the same page. When everyone has a common goal, it encourages collaboration. When people are assigned to specific deliverables and their role is clearly defined (and they know everyone else’s role), the context of the big picture comes more clearly into view.
Creating a communication plan will keep you and your team on track to communicate effectively and avoid missed opportunities that might result in last-minute fire-drills or rushed projects. With a clear plan in place, you can also handle issues that may arise unexpectedly, like changing clients’ needs.
Regardless of your project or business size, having a solid communication plan in place can be the difference between success and stress.