Margaret McGann

Building the strategic communications plan — tactics

In communications and marketing, communications plan, media relations, planning, research, strategy on May 10, 2010 at 6:54 am

There are two crucial things left to do to complete your strategic communications plan.  This week we’ll cover tactics.

Tactics are the actions and products you’ll produce to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time.

The effort you’ve put into logically building your communications plan — from context and research to target audiences and key messages — pays off now with a clear idea of which tactics will work best for which audience.

But before you can make a final decision of the actions and products you’re going to use you need to know what resources are available to carry out your plan.

By resources I mean the money and personnel available for this project. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the costs of the tactics you want to use are already covered in your organization or department’s annual communications budget. If this project is new you may need to put together an itemized budget showing direct costs which you’ll need to track throughout the project.

And you’ll want to make sure that the people needed for implementing your plan are available and included in your budget. The personnel required could include project management, writing and editorial services, graphic design, media relations, event production, audio/visual and still photography, and website content development and management.

I recommend preparing an action plan detailing the mix of communications channels and methods you want to use plus the required monies to realize your objectives. An action plan can be very useful to rationalize your choices, guide decision-making and keep you on track.

Next week we’ll look at the importance of regular monitoring to evaluate whether your tactics are working.

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