01 February 2011

A communications plan is not a communications calendar

It is the core of our job: a communications plan. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you might recognize that I challenge current practices every now and then. Here is one that you might recognize. Too often I see communication plans that have just two elements: a stakeholder analysis and a communications calendar. I have seen some (well, many…) consultancy firms in my day doing just that.

The element that is too often missing is the communications strategy. OK, so we have this project. Do all project members agree on the core messages? Given the stakeholder analysis, what should our strategy be? Why do we come up with the media mix in the communications calendar? I have seen numerous plans state that they want to engage their stakeholders. Then, when I read the calendar, there are newsletters, intranet pages and kick-off meetings planned. You don’t engage people using digital media and presentations... OK, I know many of these consultants just copy and paste from their previous assignment. If you are a consultant: use a better template! If you want to hire a consultant, check if their communications plans are more than just communications calendars. Our profession is becoming mature, you know

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