Nowadays the good use of communication is a fundamental factor for any type of company. It must be in accordance with the values of the organization and adjust to the objectives that want to be achieved. Also to the type of client you are addressing, with a message and an adapted tone that arouses their interest. To implement a successful communication strategy it is important to create a communication plan. Next, we explain How to develop a communication plan, are you going to miss it?
How to develop a communication plan?
A communication plan is a roadmap where the way in which a company is going to communicate with its public and when is reflected. In it, the communication objectives to be achieved are clearly established. In addition, it provides an order of the tasks and actions to be carried out. There are two types of communication plan depending on the target audience . These can be internal or external.
Internal communication plan
It targets employees. It is about the implementation of a set of actions to promote the transfer of information and knowledge among the workers of a company. The objective is to create a good working environment and improve the company-employee relationship.
External communication plan
It is aimed at the public of interest. Its objective is to improve the image of the brand . It is linked to the relations of the company with the different interest groups. These can be shareholders, suppliers, consumers or the general audience.
On the other hand, good internal communication indirectly favors the achievement of the external communication objectives. Employees are the best prescribers of a brand.
The communication of the brand abroad follows this same scheme to ensure that your image attracts and loyalty to your customer. Therefore, depending on the channel through which a company develops its communication strategy, they can be divided into groups.
What is a communication plan for?
But what exactly is a communication plan for ? A communication plan is crucial to unify your brand message . Both the employees and the target audience will know the personality, the values and the objectives of this, and you will avoid confusion on both sides.
In addition, a communication plan allows you to plan your organization’s resources, both material and human, in an orderly and strategic way.
It is also useful if you want to have an overview of the actions to be carried out. Always with the focus on transmitting the right message to the public. A message that will define you as a brand and that will set the course of the company.
Why is the communication plan important?
The development of an internal and / or external business communication plan has multiple benefits. Among the most outstanding:
Internal communication plan:
- If the workers feel part of the company, they consider that it takes them into account and they are comfortable, they will be more productive and efficient. Create community.
- It favors the flow of information between the staff and the company. They will be up to date with news and changes in the organization.
- A good company-worker relationship generates loyalty. They will want to continue working for the brand and there will be less turnover.
- It improves efficiency because if employees are better informed and connected to each other, they will work more comfortably both individually and as a team.
- Identify the talent and potential of each of your employees.
- Get more views on brand management and know where you can improve. They are the ones who know you best and will be willing to give their opinion.
External communication plan
It will be easier to project a good image and strengthen the brand if you work from within. It helps to know the resources you need for each action and reduce the costs of your company. Analyze and refocus the current strategy of the brand. Locate the possible errors that are being made and improve the achievement of the objectives.
Reach out and get to know your target audience better. Through a study of your audience, with a message and the appropriate actions, you will increase your market share and retain your current customers. The communication plans are usually a year view. By establishing guidelines in the short, medium and long term, you will be able to achieve a homogeneous message that represents the philosophy of the company. When it comes to taking actions, you will already know what has worked before and what has not. It will help you to have a guide and to improve the effectiveness of the strategies, since you will be able to monitor and evaluate them. You will gain visibility. Whether you start an action to improve the reputation of the brand, to generate more trust in the face of new customers or to get more traffic on your website, you will directly or indirectly gain visibility.
1 # Contextualization
As contextualization, we understand both external and internal analysis of the company or SWOT analysis. For this, it is very useful to resort to studies and statistical data, as well as tools that provide us with the maximum information about where we are and how the market that surrounds us is doing, this will help us to establish objectives in a coherent way.
Analysis of the environment: At this point we must carry out a market study to analyze everything external to the company. That is, how is the market in which we develop our activity, who is our competition, how does it behave, etc. For this, you can either resort to outsourcing or outsourcing , that is, hiring a company that carries out the market study or, as we have commented in the previous point, through a process of research and analysis of studies and statistical data that provide us with the maximum information on the environment of our company.
Analysis of your company: In the same way that we have to analyze everything related to what is external to the company, it is also necessary to carry out an internal analysis of the company to detect possible opportunities and threats as well as our weaknesses and strengths. For this, it is extremely useful to carry out a SWOT analysis .
The SWOT analysis, is a method of study of the situation of our company, analyzing their internal characteristics (strengths and weaknesses) and external environment (threats and opportunities) in a square matrix. It comes from the acronym in English SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
Through this analysis we will know the real situation in which our organization finds itself and it will help us to plan a communication strategy for the future.
2 # Definition of objectives
Second, you have to define objectives. This is one of the most important points to take into account when drawing up a strategic communication plan. The effectiveness of the plan will depend on a studied definition of the objectives to be achieved. A correct establishment of these requires taking into account the so-called SMART rule . That is, these objectives must be:
Time-limited (set for a specified period of time)
Achieve greater visibility of my brand: that the media publish at least 3 articles about my company or my products.
Encourage interaction with my community on social channels
We must cover those objectives that our company resources allow us. Ideally, set no more than four communication goals.
3 # Target audience
Who are we addressing? Who is our target audience? How old are you? What do you work on? Are you male or female? What level of income do you have? Where he lives? What interests do you have? What do you do in your spare time? These are some of the questions that cannot be left unanswered in our business communication plan.
To do this, we have to decide to whom we are going to direct our communication. It is essential to know our target audience very well, as well as the media and communication channels they use on a daily basis. The tone, the message and the channels that we use will depend on it. What good would it be to use a social network like Instagram in which 7 out of 10 users are between 16 and 34 years old if our target audience is between 50 and 70 years old? Perhaps this type of user prefers another type of traditional channels, such as radio. It is about saving and optimizing efforts to obtain the most optimal results.
4 # Message
Fourth, the message is what we want to communicate directed to our target audience that we have defined previously and with an appropriate communication style and tone.
Keys to a good message:
- Clear, concise and direct
- Grammatically and spellingly perfect
- With a language appropriate to your target audience (adapted to their language, formal or informal …)
- Tone appropriate to your target audience and your goals . Eg motivational, instructive, etc.
- Message with content according to the needs and interests of your target audience
5 # Resources and budget setting
However, in order to implement the communication plan, it is necessary to know exactly the resources we have (materials and non-materials) and how much we are going to allocate to the actions necessary to achieve the objectives established in the communication plan.
6 # Channels
On the other hand, the analysis of all the previous points will give us enough data to be able to choose which channels we are going to use to communicate with our target audience.
Offline communication channels:
Radio and television
Urban furniture, posters, billboards …
Public relations acts and events
7 # Action Plan
After having studied our environment, established our objectives, analyzed our target audience, defined our message, choose which channels we are going to use, evaluated our resources and established our budget, the time has come to get down to work with the actions that will help us. to meet our objectives. To do this, we have to choose the action or actions that will help us achieve each one.
8 # Action schedule
As we have commented previously, it is useless to establish a goal if it is not defined for a certain period of time. The same goes for stocks. In order to measure the results, it is necessary for these actions to be established on a calendar. Each action will have a determined duration as well as a continuity, some will be repeated daily or weekly and others will be specific. Therefore, it is necessary to define what we are going to do and when we are going to do it.
For this, it is advisable to use a calendar such as a google calendar or Monday.
9 # Evaluation of results
Finally, it is useless to develop all of the above if in the end we do not measure results. This evaluation of results will tell us if we are meeting objectives or if, otherwise, we must improve or change some of the actions carried out to achieve them.