Creating a comms plan that works for your business

by Matt Suddaby |

Planning ahead can help to ensure you create a winning communications strategy that brings long-term benefits to your business and supports your overall marketing objectives.

We’ve outlined some of our top tips to help you create the perfect corporate communications plan.

Purpose

Before starting work on a communications plan, it’s important to consider the overall purpose of your marketing communications strategy and how your work will help the business to fulfil its key objectives.

This should focus your planning and guide your overarching communications proposal, ensuring your proposition for the year ahead is as effective as it can be.

Audience

When writing a communications strategy, your first stop should always be to consider the audience.  This way you can be sure that the content served up to them is impactful and that it resonates – maximising the chances of them engaging with it.

Make sure that you consider your audience’s interests and that they’ve been fully integrated into your communications plan. What other media do they consume, which issues impact them in their personal or professional lives and what other brands do they already engage with on social media?

Understanding this will help you to ensure your messaging strikes a chord, making it more likely they will act after consuming it.

People making business plans

Channel

Understanding which channels are most important for your brand is a key part of the marketing communications planning process, providing you with the insight you need to start creating engaging content.

For many brands, traditional media coverage is still a valuable part of their PR operation, but it’s also worth considering which digital platforms are likely to provide the greatest return on investment. If you’re a B2B brand you’ll likely rely heavily on LinkedIn, while youthful B2C brands will be all over Instagram.

And remember, content doesn’t always have to be in the written word – integrating video and audio content into your annual comms plan can be a powerful way of engaging your audience.

Timing

A timing plan should be a key part of your communications plan template. This ensures that the right content will be posted at the right time and gives you the opportunity to build much of the content in advance – removing stress and saving work further down the line.

It also presents the perfect opportunity to maximise key calendar dates – allowing you to tap into National Pizza Day, Yorkshire Day, or any other diary highlights that may strike a chord with your audience and support your communications goals.

Make it topical

Utilising the news agenda, or newsjacking, as it is frequently known, is a great way of maximising popular content and making it work for your brand or organisation.

Maintaining knowledge of the news agenda is an important role for any communications manager. This could come from the national or regional news, or the trade press for your specific industry – an ideal way to stay on top of the news is to ensure you’re following relevant accounts on social media and signed up to news aggregators such as Google News.

The findings you gain from these insights can be great for embellishing your comms plan – creating content which resonates with your audience and feels current and up to date.

Include a call to action

If you don’t ask you don’t get, right? Including a call to action within your content can be an incredibly effective way of ensuring your audience interacts with it.

Use the time you have when developing your comms plan to think about what you want your audience to do once they’ve consumed your content. You could be looking to drive brochure downloads or generate online table bookings – or perhaps even just start a conversation with followers of your brand.

Asking the question may help you to get the response you’re looking for.

If you would like to discuss your communications plan then get in touch at spotted@spottydogcommunications.com Alternatively, follow us on LinkedIn, or sign up to our bi-monthly newsletter for our take on the latest industry news & updates on our recent work here.