Perhaps the most value-added activity internal communication professionals perform for their organizations is strategic communication planning. Creating a comprehensive, strategic internal communication plan will give you the best chance at attaining your communication goals and achieving meaningful business results for your organization.
Strategic communication planning is part art and part science. The rigor of the process helps ensure flawless and efficient execution of the plan, and the methodology of creating the plan can facilitate creative thinking and inspire breakthrough ideas.
In a strategic communication plan, strategies drive tactics and not the other way around. The basic strategic communication process looks like this:
- Identify Audience: Who do we want to reach?
- Assess Climate: What else is going on?
- Set Clear Objectives: What do we want employees to do?
- Develop Key Messages: What do we want employees to know and how do we want them to feel?
- Devise Strategies and Execute Tactics: What channels should we use and when?
- Evaluate: Was the message understood?
The weakest part of most strategic planning efforts is a failure to evaluate effectiveness properly. Learning how to evaluate your work’s effectiveness and sharing it with your internal clients and your senior leadership team is an important step in positioning yourself as a strategic communication leader.
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