A communications plan serves as a road map for your organization, as it defines your audience, captures your key messages, and outlines action steps necessary to get your message to your audience.
All too often, an organization finishes a communications plan and intends to self-implement that plan, but they struggle to stay on track with it. There are lots of things to juggle when running a business or nonprofit, and those bigger items outlined in a communications plan sometimes get pushed to the back burner again and again.
Here are some tips on following through on a communications plan.
Consider the investment and the impact
Communications plans take time and money. It’s not an investment you want to waste. Reminder yourself of the effort that went into it, and the potential impact to your organization if you stay on track and implement it fully.
Make it a clear priority for everyone
If you’re a solopreneur, the bulk of implementing the plan falls to you, unless you hire out pieces of the plan. If you have a team, make sure the entire team understands the communications plan and where they can contribute to its implementation.
Schedule time in advance and honor that time
Put it on your calendar! This could mean scheduling a monthly meeting with your team to review progress and action items in the plan. Or it could mean scheduling a block of time on your own calendar every week to work on pieces of the plan.
Find an accountability partner
If you have a networking group, business mastermind, or other group of colleagues that holds each other accountable, talk about your communications plan and your timeline for implementation with that group. Ask one of those people to hold you accountable for continuing to work the plan.
We recently added quarterly check-ins to our communications plan process, with the option to upgrade to monthly check-ins for clients who want monthly accountability. There are a lot of options here for getting someone outside your organization involved in the process!
Communications plans are not a one-and-done thing — they require focused effort to implement the initial action steps and ongoing adjustments as your business evolves. We often talk about communications plans as living, breathing documents that change over time. If you’ve invested in a communications plan, be sure it’s not sitting on the shelf (or buried in your computer files) gathering dust — take some time to review your plan periodically and see what still needs to be implemented or what adjustments need to be made to your audience, messages, or action items.
If you need help developing a communications plan for your organization or implementing an existing plan, reach out to the StoryPath team to discuss how we can help.