Margaret McGann

Building the strategic communications plan — evaluation

In communications and marketing, communications plan, evaluation, monitoring, planning, strategy on May 17, 2010 at 7:57 am

Over the past six weeks we have discussed the crucial elements needed to logically build a strategic communications plan.  Today we’ll complete the plan by looking at how to do the evaluation section.    

You have laid out the foundation or basis of your plan in the context, the results you want to achieve in your objectives and now you need to decide how you’ll measure if you’ve been successful in your evaluation.   

Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of your tactics along the way can help you stay on course and ready to make revisions in response to changing situations. Remember your plan is not carved in stone it’s an evolving document.

The three important questions to ask yourself in the monitoring and evaluation phases are did you:

  • Deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time?
  • Realize your objectives?
  • Meet your timelines?  

The context and objectives sections of your plan should dictate how you’ll measure your success. Evaluation can include measuring:

  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of print, electronic, online media, the blogosphere and social media
  • Number of interview requests and article pickups
  • Activity on your website  
  • Stakeholder reactions and third-party endorsements
  • Email, snail mail and phone calls to the CEO and/or senior management team
  • Changes in public opinion through research, surveys, polling or  focus groups

Ideally, you’ll be able to compare achieving your communications objectives to whether your business ones have also been realized.

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