Developing an effective communication plan is essential for keeping your business communications running smoothly. Such a plan will help you ensure consistency and clarity in both internal and external communications, meet deadlines, keep key people informed, and allocate resources.
Here are some tips for producing a plan that will help your business meet its goals for communications.
- Start by becoming familiar with the structure and purpose of communication plans. You may want to begin with a communication plan template to guide you through the process.
- Contact key players early in the process and meet with them. Departments that produce documents, such as Technical Communications and Marketing, should be included. Also include any high-level staff that are in charge of overall communication strategies for your business. By including representatives from key departments, you can increase the thoroughness of your communication plan and make it more effective.
- Gather existing notes on communication policies. Often these will be organized and distributed in an inconsistent manner. Writing a communication plan gives you a chance to consolidate them and make them easily accessible.
- Ask interested parties for any deliverables lists, documentation schedules, deadlines, etc. produced in the past. This information will give you a head start in fleshing out your communication plan.
- As you look over past communications, try to assess and categorize the audience for each. These categories will help you create policies for addressing each audience, so staff can refer to them for future communications.
- Also try to summarize the goals for each type of communication. Your plan will help you formalize the goals, but the process will be easier if you already have a clear understanding. If you have questions, follow up with the staff responsible for that type of communication, and ask them to help you clarify the goals.
- When the plan is complete, have all interested parties review for any inaccuracies.
Following these steps will help you produce a communication plan that helps your business reach its communication goals.