As budget and planning season gets into full swing, our Founder Nikki shares five ways to fine tune your communication plan and engage your employees.
1. Start with the why: Have a clear and explicit business need
To demonstrate the value of your communication plan, show how it will support your wider business objectives. Articulate the cause you’re trying to make and the impact it will have; this will help engage stakeholders and leaders in buying into your plan – especially if you’re pitching for budget!
2. Define your killer objectives
A great plan starts with even better objectives. Communication can influence knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, so start by mapping out what you want people to know, feel and do. From there, make your objectives specific and measurable. This will help you make sure you can track progress (see number 5).
Be optimistic about what you want to achieve, but realistic about the number of objectives you can deliver with the resource and budget you have available. Somewhere between three to five objectives is a good number to work towards in your communication plan.
3. Think about your stakeholders as well as your audiences
Knowing your audience is key. Segment your population and create personas. How do people work? What access to communication channels do they have? What motivates them (and what really doesn’t!)? How is the best way to connect with them?
Use this insight to shape your messaging and choose the most appropriate channels.
Don’t forget your stakeholders. Even the best communication plans can get stuck without the right support and buy-in from key people. Make a list of all the people who might influence your plan and plot them out on a stakeholder map. Think about your senior leaders, HR, legal and unions, then hatch a plan to engage them as needed.
4. Keep your communication plan simple
Whether it’s messaging, channels or communications collateral, simplicity rules. Challenge yourself to cut the clutter and be essential about what people need to see, hear and experience. Look for the small things that will make a big impact.
5. Measure, experiment and evolve
Your communication plan should be a living document that develops over time. Identify the best ways to track your measurable objectives and adapt your plan as needed. Don’t be afraid to experiment along the way. Trying, failing and learning is part of the fun!
We love to help with the communication planning process. If you want to sense check thinking, brainstorm some ideas or need an extra pair of hands to help you nail your comms for next year, give us a shout.