Suzanne E. Henry is an award-winning public relations consultant and the CEO and president of Four Leaf Public Relations, a boutique communication practice headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, with satellite offices in Washington, D.C., Dallas, Texas, and Freiburg, Germany. She specializes in helping organizations not only develop communication plans, but also earn internal buy-in. Henry spoke with CW Managing Editor Amanda Aiello Beck about the elements that should go into a modern communication plan and offers tips for how to ensure your plan gets implemented.
Amanda Aiello Beck: How has communication planning changed over the years?
Suzanne Henry: In the world of mass communications, everything has changed. More options are available to communicators than ever before. But those options also are available to everyone else. Everyone is smarter about communication, which means the professional communicators must be smarter, as well. Communication plans also must allow for change. Stay focused on your strategic imperative, but allow tactics to change as opportunities arise, the landscape alters and new ideas are spawned.
AAB: What new elements should be included in today’s communication plan?
SH: At minimum, a communication plan includes an organization’s vision, mission, goals and objectives, target audience, main messages, main communications channels used, strategies, tactics, measurement strategy, and timeline. But today, also list things you won’t do. It’s so easy to drown yourself in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+ and other social channels. But have you identified why those channels are right for your goals? Knowing what you will not focus your attention on (but could) is vital for a focused effort.
Also, include a content strategy. The section addresses how you are going to assess, develop and manage the ideas, thoughts and content you will use to direct conversations, viewpoints and reputation and class="style-6-right">
Keep in mind that when you are talking to one, you are talking to thousands.
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