How to make a communication plan
The communication plan is a support for planning what the ideal form of communication would be for the target group in question, both internally and externally. This is a template that you can use; it needs to be adjusted according to project. Please contact a communicator for support and advice when setting up a communications plan.
A communications plan tells you what to say, and in which channels, at what time and to whom you need to say it.
Describe the background and reason for the planned communication. Describe any important underlying factors.
Current status report/situation analysis
Which events within the organisation could be of importance? What other on-going preparations in our surroundings could be important?
- Analyse and describe the current communications situation.
- What needs to be communicated in connection to the project/activity goals?
- Is there any particular problem that the communications plan needs to solve?
What are the limitations, i.e., what problems or tasks should the communications plan not deal with?
Describe the purpose of the communication; why are we communicating, and what do we aim to achieve? The purpose should be expressed as the general goal and direction, connected to the objectives of the project/operation/activity.
Carefully consider the strategy. Link it to communication needs and conditions. All projects come with risks and success factors. Some of these risks can be counteracted with well-planned communications.
What could counteract the communication goals? What obstacles are there? Competitors?
- What project risks need to be communicated/handled before any problems arise?
- Are there any key persons that need to be involved for the project to be communicated in the best way possible?
One way of developing a strategy is to use a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). Think about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in terms of communication.
Remember to analyse your results and create and action plan; do this for the points you feel are a priority and which are sufficiently important, give a detailed description of how and when you will implement an activity from the action plan. (The SWOT analysis is available as an appendix in the download folder)
Describe the concrete results that the communication is intended to yield. These goals can be quantitative or qualitative.
- Information objectives – what the target group should learn.
- Knowledge objectives – what the target group should know. This could be placed on a scale from “be aware of” to “be able to account for, know, understand”.
- Attitude objectives – what the target group should think. This could be placed on a scale from “Tolerate” to “Love”.
- Motivational objectives – how motivated the target group should be. This could be placed on a scale from “Might consider” to “Fight for”.
- Behavioural objectives – what the target group should do. This could be placed on a scale from “Try it once” to “All the time”.
The objectives should be linked to the communications strategy/project goals/activity goals/operational goals.
They can be listed in a table (See appendix in the download folder).
- Define target groups, actors, interested parties and key persons.
- Who are the actors/target groups?
- Where are they?
- What situation are they in?
- What does communication with them consist of today?
- What do they know, what don't they know?
- What are their conditions?
- Are there primary and secondary actors?
- Should any groups/individuals be prioritised?
- Should we communicate different messages to different groups/individuals?
- Do certain target groups require more information than others?
What is to be communicated? Answer the questions: what, why and how? Does the information need to be adapted to several different target groups? Think about what the target group is currently aware of, in order to put your message and communication at the “appropriate level”.
Rational information works for someone who is already involved, while emotional approaches work better for those less interested. Consider your address, tone and message, and make sure these are in line with the KTH Communication Strategy and core values (Dynamic, Innovative, Active, and Showing off our stars).
Choice of channel/medium
Think about the target group you have indicated as important for your communication. Where would they look for information? How would they like their information to be packaged? Where is it easiest to reach them?
Delegation of responsibility
Time and activity plan
State planned project deliveries, estimated completion dates and a short description of content. If the communication plan is only valid for a shorter period of time, it is good to divide the activities by month.
State the costs and investments related to the communication plan This is a list of some of the most commonly featured posts:
- Cost type Cost – budgeted
- Personnel costs
- Material, printing costs
- Consultancy fees
- Other costs