Strategic communications planning is the foundation for successful communications and marketing activities. In 2020, Vanguard Communications released an article each month describing the steps of this important process. Click through to the articles from our Strategic Communications Planning series. Interested in bringing the strategic communications planning process to your organization? Send us a note and let us know how we can help.
At Vanguard, we believe every good strategy begins with a plan. As you may have gleaned from our year-long series, our most beloved type of planning is the basis for all our work — strategic communications planning.
A strategic communications plan guides your organization’s communications efforts, acting as the foundation for your communications and marketing activities. It identifies your priority communications goals and audiences and outlines a framework for understanding and implementing your communications strategy, acting as a critical tool to help you stay focused and achieve continued success.
We developed this the series to share our communications planning expertise and how it may be beneficial to your organization. Each article provides details on a step in the process and offers insights and best practices for you to apply to your own work. Below you will find each article in our series and the questions they help answer. We welcome you to share within your organization as a guidepost for your own strategic communications planning!
- Strategic Communications Planning: What It Is and Why It’s Important to Your Organization: An introduction to strategic communications planning, which provides a thorough overview of the entire process including benefits to your organization.
- Step 1: Creating a Situational Analysis: How do you gather internal and external information to provide context to your plan, such as a media analysis and a competitive analysis about your field and organization?
- Step 2: Identifying and Revising Communications Goals and Objectives: How do you establish achievable goals and objectives that are related to your organizational goal? How do you measure progress toward your goal and stay on track?
- Step 3: Identifying the “Right” Audience: Who are your priority audiences? How do you identify and segment them to make communications more effective?
- Step 4: Developing Powerful and Relevant Messages for Your Audiences: How do you develop meaningful messages that resonate most with your audiences? What is your call to action?
- Step 5: Prioritizing and Leveraging Relevant Communication Channels for Your Audience: Which channels will help you reach your priority audiences? This isn’t just about major media outlets, but niche publications, digital and social media, as well as partnership development.
- Step 6: Determining the Best Activities, Events and Materials to Engage Your Audience: Which tools are the most effective in reaching your audiences?
- Step 7: Using Pretesting to Collect Feedback and Find the Right Direction: How do you learn which messages and materials resonate with your audiences before you finalize them?
- Step 8: Evaluation and Mid-Course Corrections: How do you measure success? Are there changes or revisions you need to make to your plan based on what you’ve learned?
Interested in bringing the strategic communications planning process to your organization? Send us a note and let us know how we can help!