Q “During a recent transformation, I was asked to assist in creating an internal communications plan. Does anyone have a template for an effective plan? External plans are quite plentiful; however, internal plans are hard to come by. Thank you for any assistance that you may be able to render.”
This recent request in the Organizational Change Practitioners LinkedIn group is one of the most common questions internal communicators face. (At the time of writing this, the WikiHow entry “How to create a communication plan” has had over 430,000 views.)
First, the bad news: There is no magic “template” for internal and change communication planning. Sure, we know that a plan will have some common elements such as goals, timings, messages, tactics and responsibilities. But having worked with diverse organizations implementing many different changes, I’ve discovered there are some variables that make a single template hard to apply.
Even the format can vary from change to change: different Project Management Offices – and executive teams – have different documentation preferences. Use the layout that your organization in literate in. If everything is prepared and distributed in Powerpoint, use Powerpoint. If everyone uses Project or Basecamp or Excel, use that.
Regardless of the format you need to document your plan in, these simple process steps are essential to developing your plan.
The context for the communication is different every time. A change communication plan is a living document for the life of the change. We communicate to shift from as is to what needs to be in order for the change to be successful. The best change communication plans take into account the current situation,...
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