Your credibility lives and dies with your communication; it only makes sense to plan this part of your job as diligently as you do everything else. This simple plan will save you time and significantly increase your credibility. Having a communication plan doesn't lock you into a rigid system, it simply provides clarity and consistency. Then, when last minute changes are needed to accommodate weather or schedule changes, everyone involved is confident about the plan.
It’s likely that you’ve never heard of a communication plan, but don’t overthink it. A communication plan simply defines what information should be communicated, target groups, desired delivery dates, appropriate channels, and who is responsible for the message. Keep reading to build your own communication plan with five simple steps.
Start with making a list of all groups that could possibly need information about anything and everything in your program. Communication people call these groups your audience. By putting all of the possible groups on your list, no one gets accidentally left out.
What is the message/information that you need to send? Make sure you have a stellar proofreader who can spot mistakes and help with clarity issues. You need an objective party here. A parent who is new to your program might be a great choice for this role. Measure twice; cut once.
When does the information need to be sent? Work backwards from your event date and remember there is a lot of white noise to break through. People need lots of repetition and plenty of lead time. Make notes throughout the year so you stay ahead of predictable dates. This creates a solid template (huge time saver) for next year too.
Decide what channels to use for which groups and edit message appropriately. Naturally, an email message will be different than social media, but the same message across multiple channels is very effective.
Determine the owner, the person responsible, for the message. This might be you, or someone else. Either way works, just make sure everyone is clear on expectations. One option is to split off the social media and/or media ownership to a carefully trained volunteer.
THAT’S IT, you are set! Incorporate this into your work-flow. If you plan your week on a certain day, add your communication plan to the list. You can start this practice today, or you can create a skeleton master plan for the year and then add details weekly. You’ll be very satisfied with the efficient and effective results. Unleash the Awesome my friends!
Amanda Box | www.amandabox.org | 601-896-4622 | firstname.lastname@example.org