Good communication is key to the success of your company. It’s important to communicate with customers in the right way. How will you get through to your customers? Are they best reached via online platforms like Google and Facebook, or do they spend more time watching television? In a nutshell, on what channels are your customers active? These are the questions that you as a company must answer in order to achieve your goals. Like everything in life, we’ll start with a plan. A communication plan in this case. A strategy, in other words, that determines what, how, and where you’ll communicate with your chosen target audience.
You’ll use the plan as a guide for making communication as fluent and efficient as possible. This will make it easy to set priorities and structure the various means of communication. You’ll be able to keep track of your communication and keep an eye on whether or not you meet your predefined KPI’s.
So, a communication plan is vital. But it’s not all that easy to put together.
there has been helping companies develop their communication strategies for years. Using the tips & tricks in this article, you could also launch your communication towards space.
What are the must-haves for a communication plan?
A communication plan will only enhance the operation of your company if you take note of a few important factors. You’re bound to be familiar with some of them already.
1. Mission, vision, and positioning of your company
First, back to your marketing plan. If done right, you would’ve completed a SWOT analysis consisting of an internal- and external analysis. For the internal analysis, you would have established your mission, vision, and desired positioning. Your mission encompasses the values of your organization, the things you consider important, and the direction in which your company is currently heading. Your vision encompasses the direction you aim to take in the future.
Incorporate these important elements of your company’s identity into the communication plan. These are basic elements for determining what you want to demonstrate as a company and how you aim to bring it across as a message to your target audience.
Focus on the question, “What do we want to communicate?”
2. The desired goals (KPI’s)
Define clear goals. Not just for your company, but for your communication too. Only once you’ve got clear goals in mind can you determine whether or not you have communicated in the right way. How can you define a clear goal? Make sure that you’ve set it according to the SMART method so that you can check whether or not you’ve met your goal based on KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators).
- Specific: Define specifically and in detail what you’ve got in mind.
- Measurable: Link your goals to measurable figures. Consider, for instance, the number of people reached, the click-through rate, increase in sales, etc.
- Attainable: Involve all stakeholders in the process of defining your goal. Your goal will only be attainable if supported by yourself and all stakeholders.
- Realistic: A goal should not be too easy to attain, but should also not become a mission impossible. You can’t, for example, double your customer base in a single day. A realistic goal challenges you, but is attainable at the same time.
- Time-bound: Put deadlines in place. By when do your want to attain your goal? During the current quarter or by the end of the month? You’ll only be able to measure whether you have actually attained your goals if you’ve got a time-bound deadline.
Here are a few examples of SMART goals that may apply to your company:
- Increase turnover by 5% over the upcoming fiscal year.
- Gain 200 followers on your Facebook page by the end of the year.
- Reach 500,000 people via a 60-day Google Display campaign.
- Communicate your new product name to 2,000 sales outlets by the end of a 2-month campaign.
Ask yourself the question, “What do I want to achieve?”
3. Your target audience
For you as a company, communicating with the right target audience is a must! You’re never going to sell walking sticks to teenagers. Use the target audiences previously defined in your marketing plan to get the basic aspects of your target audience – e.g. demographics, location, etc. – heading the right direction. However, what do you actually know about your target audience? Make it real by creating a persona. A persona is a profile that almost tangibly brings together your target audience’s unique characteristics, interests, and needs. Keep in mind who you’re talking to and be aware of how best to reach them, what trends they follow, and how best to approach them.
The question to focus on here is, “Who do I want to reach?”
4. The communication mix
As part of the communication plan, you’ll define the communication channels that you will use. These are the tools for bringing across your communication message. Depending on your target audience and your goal, you can use one or more channels.
Here are a few popular channels for company communication:
- direct mailings
- professional trade fairs
- social media
- public relations
- tv commercials
- radio spots
Ask yourself, “What resources and channels can I use to reach my target audience?”