Project communications, after all is designed to motivate, lead, delegate, and report back to all stakeholders working on the project. Equally important is the objective of ensuring effective external communication—with customers, prospects, competitors, suppliers and the public, about products, services, plans, happenings, events and achievements. Before formulating tactics, establish your objective, goals, process and key challenges. They are written to support the company's mission statement and vision. For example, instead of using modern contraceptives, is the audience using traditional FP or not practicing it at all? (See the message design guide for more information on developing messages.). What is a communications strategy? Management by Objectives (MBO) is a term used to describe the type of management when work is done in a way that is strategic and measurable. Consider the following when selecting approaches: Use the Strategic Approaches template to list potential approaches, their advantages and disadvantages, resources available and any other comments. In order to achieve your communications objectives, you need to plan and time your steps for the best results. How you launch your campaign is critical to its overall success. Strategic objectives are one of the fundamental building blocks of your strategic plan. A communication strategy is the critical piece bridging the situation analysis and the implementation of a social and behavior change communication (SBCC) program. regain trust / acceptance) among ________% of _________________(targeted public) __________________(organization is doing - i.e. A communication strategy has four major components: communication goals, target audience, communication plan and channels. Positioning determines how the audience perceives the changes they are being asked to make by presenting a clear benefit and an attractive image of the change. Objectives give an organization direction, as well as a reference point for evaluation. Establishing a good communication strategy significantly improves the probability of success on a program. The implementation plan details the who, what, when and how much of the communication strategy. Give copies of the summary to all of the stakeholders involved in the strategy development. Then, rank the approaches based on that information. Need to effectively use other support channels for it to be successful. Generate the engagement and commitment of key stakeholders in the project 4. High reach. Such is the importance of communication in an organization. Another way to look at it is to ask, “What do we want our audience to know/feel/do in response to the campaign?” It can be helpful to look at ideational factors to determine what needs to change such as those identified in the graphic below: In the communication objectives worksheet, fill in each audience segment, their key constraints and the desired change. The objectives you set for your business communication plan should meet the “SMART” test: It should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-focused. Generate enthusiasm for the Balanced Scorecard and strategic plan 6. Develop a situation analysis. A simple spreadsheet like the example below can be sufficient. Objectives should link together as a group in a logical way. Whether you’re working for an agency, a nonprofit or a corporation, you must have a meticulously crafted communication plan. Why Does Internal Communications Need to Be Strategic? A general plan will require broad goals, but a topic/issue-specific plan will be more targeted. Follow these guidelines for developing strategic objectives. A  S.W.O.T. The profiles should bring the selected audiences to life by telling the story of an imagined individual from the audience. This advice applies to both. Effective communication in an organization is always important. This may apply to internal communications, marketing communications and public relations. You need to know to whom you are delivering your messages. Helps women see that there are others who approve of and use FP methods. Define your key audiences. Here are 16 facets of an effective communication plan: 1. Decide which communication channels will best reach the audience. Communication Tasks - Make a list of all the main communication tasks scheduled for the year.Each task will require a tailored Communications Plan. Think about what sets the program’s behaviors, services or products apart from the competition. Epidemics like avian influenza or disasters like an earthquake, The audience agrees that reducing the number of sexual partners is desirable; the audience believes that sleeping under bed nets is a hassle, Trying a condom once may be easy while using a condom every time one has sexual intercourse is difficult. The number of stakeholders involved, the methods used to engage stakeholders a, There are several ways to engage stakeholders and partners in developing a communication strategy. We increase participation in your wellness program by defining objectives, developing key messages and strategies, creating communication tools that engage employees and measuring results. (See the positioning guide for more detailed information.). The number of people involved in developing a communication strategy will depend on the purpose of the strategy (for example, a marketing strategy for a single product might require fewer people while a comprehensive national strategy for increasing demand would involve more people) and the format used for developing it (for example, a participatory workshop would involve more people while a core working group consulting with stakeholders would involve fewer people). Married women, currently not using FP, have one child, desire to have more children later. As well as referring to specific objectives, this section should give an overall sense of the principles of communications that underpin the strategy and the key messages that the organisation wants to convey. They are written to support the company's mission statement and vision. This should be a numerical or percentage change. A communications strategy isn’t an end in itself. Target Public - Contain the targeted public outlined in the Overview, Outcome (not output) - Each needs to be addressed -, Measurement - Realistic and consistent / based on research & experience / Aim high, for inspiration and excellence, Target Date - help in the planning process, "To have an effect on awareness; specifically to create ___________ (knowledge / understanding) by _____% of ________(targeted public) about the __________________ within / by, Strategic Planning for Public Relations 3rd Edition, Why you need a SMART Digital Marketing Plan - L Dunkley Blog, Digital Marketing Strategy - 7 Steps to Getting Started - L Dunkley Blog, Know your Audience - Steps to Create a Target Audience Persona - L Dunkley Blog, How to Run a Successful Social Media Ad Campaign. With the right use of communication strategies, managers can link different functional departments of an organization is a result-driven manner. Identify key women in the community who can advocate for FP methods in their networks. By subscribing to this email list you consent to receive emails from Laura Dunkley, L. Dunkley Communications on the topic of communications and related information. To have an effect on action; specifically to ____________________ (desired outcome i.e. Based on your research and your resources, develop a solid timing strategy to execute the steps of your communication plan. Communication across different time zones for global teams is a challenge and demands focused attention and effort. For example, if the team chose to use a centerpiece approach with entertainment education as the core focus, they may have the following channels and activities: Produce and air TV spots supporting drama, Advocate for support from community leaders, Produce print materials for community discussions. Then, consider the type of change the program is promoting. How likely will this group be to change within the timeframe of the SBCC program? Benefits are subjective to the audience. SBC How-to Guides are short guides that provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform core social and behavior change tasks. For example, a strategic goal to “Better understand the impact of our funding” relates to evaluation and outcomes. Provide education on key Balanced Scorecard concepts to all audiences 3. Keep in mind, key message points are not the same as the final creative messages delivered via the various approaches and channels. Audit your current internal communications practices. For your marketing plan, also create a S.W.O.T. Communication objectives should focus on addressing the key constraint, or biggest communication challenges, the team identified (refer to the Brief Summary of Analyses the team prepared. A […] Quitting smoking can require support; delaying marriage age often requires social approval. What is a communications strategy? Strategies are methods or approaches for achieving your objectives. Communications strategies in my experience fall into two groups: campaign-focused, short to medium-term strategies; and medium to long-term organizational strategies. Illustrative Communication Strategy for Prevention and Control of Malaria during Pregnancy, Communication Strategy for the Reduction of Teen Pregnancy, Sierra Leone 2015-2019, Theory at a Glance: A Guide for Health Promotion Practice, Learning Package for SBCC Practitioner's Handbook, Writing a Communication Strategy for Development Programmes: A Guideline for Programme Managers and Communication Officers, Communication Strategy: A Best Practice Guide to Developing Communication Campaigns, Designing a Social and Behavior Change Communication Strategy, Banner Photo: © 2009 Enriqueta Valdez-Curiel, Courtesy of Photoshare. While the situation and audience analyses identified potential audiences for the program, it is during the development of the communication strategy that final decisions are made as to the priority and influencing audiences. Is addressing this group crucial to achieving program objectives? The first step in designing a strategic communications plan … Your frontline staff can be an important source of information about what is actually happening in your business. 7) Offering better Coordination It is again one of the most crucial objectives of communication when it comes to the effective and efficient management of an organization. (See the Resources section for guidance on other engagement methods.). While you might have your campaign pages, assets, and incentives built and ready to go, you don’t want to loose all of your cannons just yet. Believe that others in the community use and approve of FP. Knowing what the audience is doing helps identify the competition for the behaviors, services or products the program wants to promote. Decide how the program will accomplish its communication objectives by selecting strategic approaches. Estimate the amount of funding needed for each main category and create a draft budget using the Budget template. The suggested goals were taken from the guiding principles, objectives and action steps detailed in the recommendations in the report. Complete the Activities template with the channels and related activities. A communication strategy allows us to better structure and … The contents  of this website are the sole responsibility of Breakthrough ACTION and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government, or Johns Hopkins University. Further, your goals should be collaborative, bringing together objectives from top management and your own experience as a project manager. Link Objectives and Indicators to the M&E Plan; Should an emergency occur, countries will need to develop a set of communication objectives. It’s critical that you first position yourself to garner as much support as possible during your launch. Facilitate team development. By formulating this in advance, it can ultimately be evaluated whether the desired target is reached. Last, set the time frame for the expected change. In this section you should look at your organisation’s overall vision and core aims and objectives. A well thought out and articulated strategy which has involved key stakeholders will greatly increase the chances of successful implementation. A channel mix plan with more details can be developed later. Your communication strategic plan objectives must be helpful when it comes to the improvement of other business areas or the attainment of particular corporate goals. Accomplish this by breaking up your launch into two stages—a soft launch and a hard launch. Questions to consider when developing goals for your organization. 2. Develop support points – or reasons why the audience should believe the promise the program is making. Tip to remember:  AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action), "To have an effect on awareness; specifically to create ___________ (knowledge / understanding) by _____% of ________(targeted public) about the __________________ within / by  __________ (targeted date)". It is important to develop a monitoring and evaluation plan before the program begins. It includes your message (what is to be said), the medium (where it is to be said), and the target (to whom your message is reaching). 1. For example, why is the audience using withdrawal method instead of modern contraceptives? Next, segment those potential audiences into groups with similar needs, preferences and characteristics. Objectives Your objectives are the key to the success of your communications strategy. Your communications activity is not an end in itself but should serve and hence be aligned with your organisational objectives. Strategies focused on milestones must work harder because they do not get rid of the barriers to reaching the vision. Generally, the group with the highest rank is the best choice for a primary audience. Does the SBCC program have the resources to focus on this group? Communication is a two-way street, which means being able to listen well is just as important as being able to express yourself effectively. If no, can they be inspired? Make a list of approaches that would reach audiences and accomplish communication objectives. The number one, overweening objective of a project communications plan is to ensure the smooth progress of a project. Review the situation, audience and program analyses the team conducted and write a brief summary of their findings. Include information on the audience’s behaviors, motivations, emotions, values, attitudes, occupation, age, religion, sex and where they live. Measuring your efforts is key to ensuring a … 2. Research is important. Review the theories included in the Resources section to gain an in-depth understanding of the common theories. It is important that your communications objectives s… For example, for Research, some possible costs might include salary to develop instruments, printing costs for questionnaires, training for data collection, travel allowances or salary for data analysis. acting responsibly, being transparent, honest, etc) by ____________(targeted date). There is time to plan and budget spent to not only design a communication strategy, but to implement  and evaluate. Goals are broad and lack specific measurement. As a quick refresher, remember that strategic objectives are long-term and should be aligned with your organization’s mission and vision. You should have no more than 15 objectives in your strategy. Then, establish a timeline for the activities, including key phases and links with other activities that fall outside the strategy. Establishes role models. If you want your communications plan to drive real business results, the objective will always be to increase conversions.This is where you’ll state how many new customers you need by size, industry, and marketing needs. Preliminary research is usually done to give a baseline for these objectives. It covers partner roles and responsibilities, activities, timeline and budget considerations. A communication strategy also enables stakeholders and partners to provide input and agree upon the best way forward so that actions are unified. Is it more individual or social/structural in nature? Provide education on key Balanced Scorecard concepts to all audiences 3. Identify your purpose. It shows how those behaviors are unique and better. To select the priority audience, it can be helpful to ask the questions in the table below. 5. Principles of good communications objectives are: They derive from your wider project objectives. A key communication objective is to motivate customers to buy. Do they align with your organization's Mission Statement, Vision, Business goals? Communication objectives clearly and concisely state the intended impact of communication efforts. analysis as it will assist with goal setting, resource planning, and deciding on what marketing tactics to use. During the development of the strategy, create a draft plan that includes communication indicators, methods for monitoring and evaluation, and tools that will be used to track progress and evaluate effects. When all approaches communicate the same key message points, effectiveness increases. Communication is a two-way street, which means being able to listen well is just as important as being able to express yourself effectively. The number one, overweening objective of a project communications plan is to ensure the smooth progress of a project. It sets the tone and direction so that all communication activities, products and materials work in harmony to achieve the desired change. 2. For each audience, outline the core information – key message points – that should be conveyed in all messages and activities, by all partners implementing the strategy. When goals, objectives, strategies and tactics are elucidated in a strategic plan, it is like all instruments playing together to create the perfect opus – for success! With this, feel free to associate sales action plan examples and other business strategy plans in the communication strategy plan that you will be making. Message design cuts across all strategic approaches. Another way to flesh out what a strategic priority means … To develop benefits that resonate with the audience requires a deep understanding of the audience. 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