September 28, 2016
For many of our clients, now is the time that all eyes start to look at next year; and oftentimes in the rush of things it’s just easiest to dust off last year’s plan and start from there….But before the communications plan is written, here are five steps we recommend to improve the effectiveness of that plan.
Know your corporate goals and overarching strategies.
Are they to increase profits? Improve market share? Grow the category? Launch new products? What are your sales goals and incremental business opportunities?
Brainstorm new ideas with your team and key stakeholders.
It need only take a day or half day, but bringing smart people together from various disciplines to review a SWOT analysis, challenge conventional ways of doing things, assessing industry issues, and play “what if?” could surprise you with ideas you never thought of. If needed, bring in a facilitator to have a “neutral” party in the room.
Dig into the research for something new.
Uncover at least one new thing to try that can be backed up by research. It might not require a lot of budget, but it could be a new strategy, new media innovation, or message that could help boost the start of your year through a new, big campaign.
Make sure your timing is realistic.
If you have a big initiative in the first quarter, you may need to receive prior plan approval so there is enough time to do it right. Waiting for a “traditional” approval process could set you up for less than optimal execution in addition to early mornings, late nights and avoidable worries.
Challenge your plan format.
There are many format options in writing the plan. Rather than producing a 100+ page deck, think about making your plan more KPI focused so it can serve as a guide post to benchmark results on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Set up a dashboard with analytics and track it frequently.