Aim The aim of a communication plan states the overall goal of the communication effort.

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1 Develping a Cmmunicatin Plan- Aim Aim The aim f a cmmunicatin plan states the verall gal f the cmmunicatin effrt. Determining the Aim Ask yurself r yur team what the verall gal f the cmmunicatin plan is. A cmmunicatin plan generally has ne main aim. Examples culd include: Substantially increase public use f yur rganizatin s internet prtal, Explain and prmte the benefits f a newly develped technlgy, and Ensure that a stakehlder grup is infrmed abut the availability f imprtant services. It is pssible t have mre than ne aim, but be careful that yu d nt set mre aims than yu can feasibly achieve. Backgrund research may be necessary befre yu can determine the aim. Fr example, yu may need data n the numbers and type f peple accessing the current website, r a survey f what stakehlders currently knw abut yur rganizatin.

2 Develping a Cmmunicatin Plan- Objectives Objectives Objectives specify exactly what needs t be achieved by yur cmmunicatin plan. The key t develping bjectives is that they are SMART. Specific The bjective is clear abut what yu are ging t d and exactly hw are yu ging t d it. Questins t ask include: What am I ging t d? Why is it imprtant? Wh is ging t d it? Measurable Yu shuld be able t measure the bjective (Example: % peple cntacted, number f presentatins cmpleted). Achievable The bjective is achievable given market cnditins, time perid, resurces allcated, etc.? Realistic The bjectives can be achieved using the time and the resurces available. Time-bund The bjective is clear abut hw much time it will take t achieve. Objectives are written in an active tense and use strng verbs like plan, write, cnduct, and prduce, rather than learn, understand, and feel. Resurces fr develping cmmunicatin plan bjectives: The Practice f Leadership Blg: RAPIDBI Rapid Business Imprvement

3 Develping a Cmmunicatin Plan Key Messages Key Messages Key messages are the mst succinct statement f the message yu want the target audience t receive. Key messages shuld be clear, benefit-riented, and written in language that yur target audiences can understand and relate t. Why are Key Messages Imprtant? Key messages are imprtant because they help everyne fcus n exactly what is being cmmunicated, thereby reducing the pssibility f mixed messages. Develping Key Messages Determine yur audience s current awareness, knwledge and attitudes twards the issue. Determine the respnse yu want frm yur target audiences. Are yu educating r infrming the audience, r are yu trying t change attitudes r behavir? There is a limit t the number f messages which can be cmmunicated. Limit the number (between 3 and 5) and cmplexity f yur key messages, and vary the message depending n the target audience. Keep yur messages cnsistent. Make sure that everyne is cmmunicating the same message. Avid jargn and acrnyms, and keep the message cncise. Keep the message shrt, with ne memrable sentence that takes secnds t say. Make the message specific t the target audience. Resurces fr develping cmmunicatin plan key messages Lupinwrks-Resurces fr Business and Technical Writing Wrld Health Organizatin Water, Sanitatin and Health: Develp Key Messages

4 Develping a Cmmunicatin Plan-Target Audiences Target Audience Target audiences are the grups f peple that yu want t receive yur message. Smetimes the target audience can be a single, hmgenus grup f peple. Other times yu may have multiple audiences. Determining the target audience Wh d yu want t hear r see yur target message? Wh needs t receive yur message? D yu have primary, secndary r tertiary audiences? Avid identifying very brad target audiences (like all pliticians ). Reduce the audience t a tightly defined audience (r set f audiences), which may then be targeted mre accurately. What is yur purpse fr reaching the audience? Fr example, d yu want them t becme clients, stimulate discussin, tell them what t d, educate them, r help them t develp pinins? D yu have the necessary resurces t reach yur target audience? What are yu prepared t invest t achieve yur desired result? Is anyne else cmmunicating the same infrmatin (r have they in the past)? Can yu learn frm them r partner with them? Des yur target audience have any special needs? Fr example, d they have lw literacy rates, limited access t media, r disabilities that may prevent them frm receiving yur message? Becme familiar with yur target audience. Depending n yur cmmunicatin aim and bjectives, yu might want t knw: Age and ther demgraphic characteristics, Gegraphical lcatin, Prblems they want t slve, Educatinal needs/gaps, Recreatinal r leisure interests, Where the audience likes t get new infrmatin, What grup activities d they participate in, r Specific behavir patterns related t the utreach gal. Resurces fr determining cmmunicatin plan target audiences Greenmedia Tlshed: Target Yur Audience

5 Develping a Cmmunicatin Plan-Tasks and Timelines Tasks and Timelines A key cmpnent f the cmmunicatin plan sets ut tasks t be dne, their timelines, and wh will be respnsible fr them. Failure t develp an adequate tasks and timelines schedule can lead t cnfusin, missed deadlines, misunderstandings and tensin and, ultimately, failure t achieve bjectives. Ideally, ne persn shuld versee the entire effrt and act as prject manager. Develp a step-by-step timeline t keep yur prgram, staff, and partners n track. Make sure t build in reasnable review time fr all prducts and activities. Ask yur staff and partners t review the timeline t ensure that they can carry ut their respnsibilities in the prpsed timeframe. Yu may want t use sftware packages like Micrsft Prject t help plan the prject if it is very big and has lts f tasks and deadlines. Develping a Cmmunicatin Plan-Tasks and Timelines Tasks and Timelines A key cmpnent f the cmmunicatin plan sets ut tasks t be dne, their timelines, and wh will be respnsible fr them. Failure t develp an adequate tasks and timelines schedule can lead t cnfusin, missed deadlines, misunderstandings and tensin and, ultimately, failure t achieve bjectives. Ideally, ne persn shuld versee the entire effrt and act as prject manager. Develp a step-by-step timeline t keep yur prgram, staff, and partners n track. Make sure t build in reasnable review time fr all prducts and activities. Ask yur staff and partners t review the timeline t ensure that they can carry ut their respnsibilities in the prpsed timeframe. Yu may want t use sftware packages like Micrsft Prject t help plan the prject if it is very big and has lts f tasks and deadlines.

6 Develping a Cmmunicatin Plan-Evaluatin Evaluatin f the Cmmunicatin Plan The main reasns fr evaluating cmmunicatin activities are: Accuntability: Withut evaluatin, yu d nt knw (and cannt prve) what yu have achieved. Yu cannt justify yur expenditure f time, energy and funds. Imprvement: If yu d nt evaluate the cmmunicatin effrt, yu will nt knw what wrked and what did nt. Evaluatin is imprtant fr finding mistakes and imprving the cmmunicatin effrt. Evaluating the Cmmunicatin Effrt Evaluatin invlves assessing whether the plan s bjectives have been met as a result f the cmmunicatin activity. Therefre, evaluatins will be valuable nly if the bjectives are clear and apprpriate. Evaluatin is an integral part f all cmmunicatins prjects, nt an ptinal activity. Evaluatin needs t be planned fr at the beginning f a cmmunicatin effrt, nt left until the end. Evaluatin requires adequate funding. As a rule f thumb, ten percent f a cmmunicatin prject s budget shuld be allcated t evaluatin. Smetimes simple things, like having a gd press list r establishing nging prfessinal relatinships with key reprters, are the mst significant measures f success, especially fr lcatin-specific r small-budget effrts. Questins an evaluatin plan might ask include: Hw will we knw if the cmmunicatin effrt is having an impact? Are there different indicatrs fr shrt-term and lng-term impacts? What specific actins/beliefs/utcmes will we mnitr as indicatrs f success? Have we set ur gals t high fr the cmmunicatin effrt s budget? The evaluatin shuld be bth quantitative and qualitative. Numbers give an idea f lng-term trends and a way t gauge the effectiveness f varius appraches. Qualitative feedback frm peple abut hw yur message impacted them will help yu craft mre successful messages. Resurces fr develping a cmmunicatin plan evaluatin Victria Department f Premier and Cabinet: Cmmunicatin Tlkit--Evaluatin Checklist /R74_Evaluatin_Guidelines.dc W.K. Kellgg Fundatin Cmmunicatins Tlkit: Evaluatin geid=0

7 Green Media Tlshed Respnse and Evaluatin

8 Develping a Cmmunicatin Plan Budget Budget A cmmunicatin budget is imprtant t help yu distinguish between needs and wants. Yu can see clearly hw much mney yu need t spend t reach yur gals. As yu track yur prject results, yu can get a sense f what strategies wrk best t achieve yur gals. Develping a budget Smetimes yu are given a budget t wrk with. Other times yu have t prvide an estimate f hw much mney is needed fr the cmmunicatin effrt. It is imprtant t ensure that the budget is adequate fr achieving the desired bjectives, and if it is nt, t cmmunicate that. If the budget is inadequate, yu need t increase it r reduce the prject bjectives t a mre realistic level. Establish a detailed cmmunicatins budget prir t the start f each fiscal year. The budget shuld be integrated int yur annual marketing and cmmunicatins plan, with a cst attached t each strategy and prgram r prject, each f which shuld be brken ut by its varius cmpnents (e.g., cnsulting, evaluatin, printing, pstage, etc.). Budgeting is nt limited nly t the cst f varius cmmunicatins tls. Lk carefully at the resurces and staff time available t cmmit t different cmmunicatin strategies. Track the csts and results as yu g s that yu can analyze csts vs. benefits quickly. Adjust yur budget each year t reflect increasing csts and changes in yur rganizatin. Fr example, launching a new cmmunicatin prgram requires an increased budget fr the first year r tw. Cnsider hiring a cnsultant fr certain cmmunicatin effrts. Using cnsultants can help rganizatins keep their csts manageable while benefiting frm the expertise that a gd cnsultant can ffer. Yu can budget a flat dllar amunt r a percentage f the rganizatin s budget fr cmmunicatin. The advantage t chsing a percentage apprach is that yur cmmunicatin budget grws as yur rganizatin grws. Resurces fr develping a cmmunicatin budget: Nancy Schwartz & Cmpany: Hw t Design an Effective Marketing and Cmmunicatins Budget W.K. Kellgg Fundatin Cmmunicatin Tlkit: Budget, Staff Skills and Hiring Cnsultants geid=0

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