A thoughtful, thorough plan draws a clear map toward a shared destination
A Communication Plan defines a process for communication among all employees at all levels. It is a strategic method of getting everyone involved in the company, its growth and evolution, and ultimately its continued success.
A Communication Plan is based on strategic goals, aligned and focused, and results in increased revenue and profitability, more robust innovation, and marked organizational stability. It unites everyone—directors, executives, managers, and employees—in your company toward this strategic goal with a shared purpose.
Specifically, a Communication Plan identifies:
- The types of communication that most benefit your organization.
- The people involved in sending, receiving, and contributing to this communication.
- The best channels—written, audio, video, electronic, verbal, interactive, and others—for creating and transmitting this communication, and an action plan for implementing these channels. These channels allow for clear communication up and down the corporate organization chart (from directors and executives, to managers and employees, and back) and among all divisions, groups, and colleagues.
- A time table for how often information is communicated. Regular communication is one of the many keys to success.
What constitutes effective communication. Effective internal communication gets—and keeps—everyone on the same page with your values, image, brand, mission, and goals. Focusing on these aspects ensures all employees know:
- What the company does, and comprehends the entire scope of its products, services, solutions, and benefits.
- Where the company is headed, and how its products and services, coupled with innovation, keep the company moving in a positive direction.
- How the company is doing financially, as well as projected revenues and profits.
- How their work helps the company succeed.
A singular, purposeful message. A well-crafted Communication Plan, expertly implemented, allows you to quickly adapt to change and growth; it strengthens your position in the marketplace. As a company, you benefit from a clear sense of purpose, a laser-focused message, and a strategy to distribute your message, both internally and externally. When your external target market receives your message, they respond in a positive manner, helping fuel your growth and contribute to your bottom line.
This focus works for a number of reasons and has many benefits. Everyone in your company gets and contributes to the same message using the same voice. Clients and prospects receive the same message in their interactions with employees.
Within your company, one hand knows what the other is doing. Employees not only understand, and appreciate what other departments, divisions, and groups are doing, they also know what the people in these organizational structures contribute to the company. Employees see the big picture and better under stand their place in it. They better comprehend where the company is going, and the benefits it brings to your customers as well as to them.
This is a powerful motivation and an unstoppable force both within your company and in the marketplace. Customers know what you stand for, creating a clear image of who you are and what to expect from you: greatness. This focus allows your company to not only stand out from the din of too much information, but also to rise above it. This focus replaces uncertainty with clarity: a clarity which you define and communicate. For if you do not define your message—your brand, image values—outside forces will and it will not be the one you want out, nor would it be accurate or consistent.
Effective communication enables you to speak with one carefully crafted message backed by real action and commitment. Only this type of true message strikes deeply, withstands constant testing, and endures.
[Note: This post is one of our position papers originally published in 2012.]