Creating an Effective Strategic Communications Plan

About

Effective communication is critical to your organisation’s success. Many corporate and government organisations are excellent at taking action, but less confident about communicating with their various audiences.

A Strategic Communications Plan helps by organising your communications with a written blueprint for actions and activities: what, how, when, where, and to whom you should be communicating.

When properly done, strategic communications planning takes into account all aspects of your organisation’s public image. It provides criteria for making day-to-day decisions about communications, and a template against which all such decisions can be evaluated. This leads to greater focus and effectiveness.

The plan starts with a clear set of communication objectives. It explains in detail which audiences you wish to reach, what (and perhaps what not) to communicate, the time frame for carrying out these actions, media to be used, and how much each step will cost. It also includes plans for evaluation, so results can be measured and improvements made in the future.

Writing a Strategic Communications Plan can be daunting. Working sessions within this seminar will help you to develop a framework for a clear plan and approach. This will help your organisation to achieve its goals more effectively, by successfully promoting the identity and services of your firm.

Key learning objectives
• Clarify what you want to communicate
• Choose your intended audience by identifying the best opportunities
• Determine which media will provide you with the best chance of reaching your audience
• Craft your message to heighten its impact and produce maximum results
• Develop effective strategies for measuring each element of your total communications plan
• Establish timelines for the implementation of your communications plan
• Review your communications plan for future success

Who should attend
Communications professionals including:
• Communications Managers
• Marketing Managers
• Corporate Communications Professionals
• Public Relations Professionals
• Media Relations Managers

“Great knowledge, tailored to audience, very good applied examples.”
Peter Hennessey, Communications Manager, Western Bay of Plenty District Council

Outline

Day One

8.30 Registration and Coffee

Developing an effective communications plan that fits your organisation’s strategic plan
• Understanding your corporate identity and establishing the goals
• Identifying target audiences and the necessary communication channels to reach them
• What should be included in your communications plan?
• Deciding on and incorporating the various communication channels
• Ensuring flexibility can be maintained
• Developing a communications plan to strengthen and protect your company’s reputation

Effectively identifying your target markets
Once you have established your goal, determine who you need to reach with the message.
• Accurately defining your target audiences
• Consumer, business to business, and government audiences
• Understanding your full range of stakeholders
• Matching markets with the most suitable communication channels
• Using research to measure results: When, how and who?

Determining the most effective communication channels
• Deciding on the right communication channels for your plan
• Channels for getting the most bang for your advertising bucks: Print, TV, radio, cinema
• Mixing channels to reach your target audience
• Positioning against competition

Coordinating your internal and external communications to improve awareness of your services
The communication of information is the lifeblood of any organisation. Whether the information is shared internally - or presented as a release externally, it is essential that all members of the executive team deliver a consistent and aligned message.
• Understanding the internal communications process
• Realising and raising an organisation’s communication capacity
• Protecting the domain of the communications professional: Aligning the organisational message across executives within the organisation
• Improving the quality of service through effective internal communications

Day Two

Measuring and evaluating the impact of your organisation’s strategic communications plan
Assessing your plan’s effectiveness is critical for its continued success - evaluate your plan and revise it, if necessary. In this session, we focus on measures that can be used to evaluate the contribution of your Strategic Communications Plan to company objectives.
• Developing measurable objectives and establishing benchmarks
• Advertising Value Equivalents
• Using feedback, interviews, focus groups, surveys and e-surveys to offer evaluation possibilities beyond the media
• Ensuring that the information gathered results in better business decisions
• Measuring the impact of specific campaigns

Building your corporate brand
Effective branding is of critical strategic importance. The brand serves as a focus for consumer and customer loyalties and captures the promotional investment put into it.
• Understanding the value of brands and branding: corporate and not-for-profit
• Discovering a framework for developing and managing strong brands
• Learning how to develop and sustain the competitive advantage of your brand
• Assessing brand value

Incorporating strategic public relations into your plan
This session examines the strategic issues that lie behind successful public relations planning.
• Establishing a public relations strategy to support your marketing and corporate objectives
• Elevating the profile of public relations to ‘reputation management’ in your organisation
• How public relations activities can be aligned to the strategic objectives and cultures of your organisation
• Instant ‘reputation killers’ that impact negatively on the culture of an organisation
• Techniques for designing a public relations and communications campaign
• Techniques for using sponsorship to maximum effect

Execution: Putting your plan to work
A Strategic Communications Plan is a living document that can be modified and updated as systems change, projects are completed and goals evolve. Successful implementation will ensure that your plan will help to achieve company goals and objectives.
• Successful techniques for informing staff of the strategic communications plan
• How do you launch your company to a new audience?
• Preparing a comprehensive press kit
• Getting your timing right for implementing the plan

Facilitator

In-house Training

Do you have a number of staff who would benefit from this course? Find out more about running Creating an Effective Strategic Communications Plan, in-house at your organisation or ask us about our team training discounts:

Contact the Training Team on 09 912 3616 or email training@brightstar.co.nz or fill in the form below.
Visit www.brightstar.co.nz/inhouse to learn more about our in-house training options & training packages.

Sorry, this event currently has no dates scheduled.

Do you have a number of staff who would benefit from this course? Find out more about running Creating an Effective Strategic Communications Plan, in-house at your organisation or ask us about our team training discounts:

Contact the Training Team on 09 912 3616 or email training@brightstar.co.nz or fill in the form below.
Visit www.brightstar.co.nz/inhouse to learn more about our in-house training options & training packages.