If you are in communications, then your strategic communications plan is your road map. Your plan comprises objectives, strategies and tactics. An objective is akin to your purpose, goal or target. For example, if you are selling a product with a $100,000 monthly sales goal, then the corresponding objective might be to establish brand credibility, a strategy might be by strengthening media relations, and a tactic might be via a media tour.
Define Target Audiences
Your communications plan will hinge on defining your target audiences -- those to whom you are selling, educating or informing. These will include not only customers, but also the media; financial analysts; and perhaps other influential groups, such as lawmakers. You want to determine the desired behavior of each. For example, you want customers to try your product, the media to write about your product and a lawmaker to sponsor legislation that benefits your cause.
Develop Key Messages
Key messages are integral to any communications plan. Think of key messages in terms of the three main points about your company, product or service that you want to communicate to a target audience. Each target audience segment can have different key messages. For example, the messages you convey to potential buyers of the benefits of your face soap is different from the messages you want to convey to investors about your financial position.
Increase Awareness and Education
Awareness and possibly education are necessary steps prior to asking someone to take action, such as making a purchase, switching brands or changing a behavior. For example, if your company made product improvements, then one of your communications objectives would be to communicate those improvements to your target audiences -- current users and potential users -- using your key messages. As you write your plan, you will develop strategies on how to achieve this objective of increasing awareness.
Develop, Build and Strengthen Relationships
Relationships are key to communications and cannot be ignored as a communications objective. For example, no communications plan is complete without a media component, so one of your objectives may be to strengthen relationships with certain media, while another may be to develop new relationships with other media.
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