What is a Strategic Communications Plan?

strategic communications plan

Strategic Communications Plan
A Strategic Communications Plan is created to clearly define and layout what information an organization shares, who it shares it with, and how it is shared. This process helps identify the constituent groups of your audience, and defines consistent messaging, both internally and externally.

In order for your business to be successful, you need to be able to get your company’s message out there for current and potential customers to see. What does your company do? How can your company make customers’ lives easier? This is where having a strategic communications plan comes into play.

Surprisingly, many companies either don’t use a communications plan, or don’t really know what makes up a strategic communications plan. In fact, globally, 21 percent of internal communicators admitted that they do not employ any form of formal planning. That number jumps to 31 percent for North American companies.1 This means, more often than not, companies are being reactive instead of proactive.

A proactive approach to communication will lead to much more success for your company. Let’s take a look at what makes up a strategic communications plan and how customer communications management, or CCM, can help the process.

Creating a Strategic Communications Plan

strategic communications plan

Looking online, there are many different websites that tell you what you need to do to create a strategic communications plan. Some are lengthy, while some are direct and to the point. There are even templates you can use to create your communications plan.

The problem is, no two companies are the same. While each of these sites will give you an overall approach to creating a communications plan, they won’t address your specific needs. To create a communication plan that benefits your company, you’ll need to figure out a few things.

What is your message?

You will need a clearly-defined message from the very start if you hope to be successful. It doesn’t matter what the message is, just know that if it’s important enough that you want your current and potential customers to know about it, having that message clearly defined is a priority. Using a CCM solution here also helps your company by providing current customers with targeted information using an omnichannel approach.

Who is your audience?

Now that you’ve defined your message, who is the intended recipient? Current customers? Potential customers? Both? Regardless, a certain amount of analysis will need to be conducted before sending out your message. With current customers, a CCM solution will not only allow you to send targeted, personalized messaging, it also allows for dynamic documents and the ability to plot the customer journey. All with minimal effort, right at your fingertips.

What do you hope to accomplish?

You need to know going in what the overall goal will be for this campaign. Is it something you send out just as a branding exercise, or are you hoping to bring in leads? If it involves additional services for your current customers, what is the rate of success with which you will be comfortable? Correspondence management is vital in your approach.

How long will this last?

Obviously, the campaign you run isn’t going to be a one-and-done thing. Your message will be sent out in different ways over the course of a week or a month, maybe longer. Emails need to be written, as do blog posts and any other piece of collateral (eBook, whitepaper, etc.) that you feel is necessary. Most of your communications will probably come in the form of emails. In fact, 95 percent of communicators use email as a feedback channel. Only 44 percent, however, use email statistics as a measure of their effectiveness.2 Since it’s such a vital part of your campaign, you need to monitor the open rates and click-thru rates of emails you’re sending. If the rates are low, an adjustment will need to be made.

Implement the Communications Plan

Once you have everything in place, and everything has been approved, it’s time to implement the plan. Your company should make sure the calendar created for sending things out is followed, and the email analytics should be monitored as well.

Many companies either don’t use a communications plan, or don’t really know what makes up a strategic communications plan. In fact, globally, 21 percent of internal communicators admitted that they do not employ any form of formal planning. Click To Tweet

Creating a Communications Plan is Easier with Strong CCM

By now, you understand what goes into creating a strategic communications plan. A lot of work goes into creating a successful plan, but, when done correctly, your company could reap the rewards. Using a customer communications management solution can help your company exponentially, especially when it comes to making a good communications plan.

A CCM solution like Ecrion, not only gives you the flexibility to deliver a full range of automated and personal correspondences, it also allows you to deliver personalized and relevant documents throughout the customer journey. And using omnichannel engagement, you can deliver documents optimized for whatever device your customers are using at any moment.

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CCM Buyer's Guide

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Find out for yourself just how much easier it is to create and follow a strategic communications plan using Ecrion Engage. Email us at sales@ecrion.com or fill out our form. We look forward to helping you on the path to better communications.