How to write a communication plan

Use this page to learn how to write a communication plan and what components you should included.

Communication plans can cover the launch of projects, services, press releases, products, or just anything you need to communicate to your business or your customers.

Pick your program

Start first by choosing your method of drafting your communication plan. Most people use simple word processors (like Microsoft Word) since they can be converted easily to a PDF, but presentations are also used (like Microsoft PowerPoint) for when you need to do a readout.

Create a template

It will be helpful to create a communication plan template so you can use it in the future. In the template, use a consistent font, color, size, and on-brand look. Include placeholders so you ensure to include the right information in each plan

components

Build out the sections or components of your plan

The following items should be included in most all communication plans:

Project Details section

  • Start off the communication plan by listing the project details. These include but are not limited to:
  • Project team – this is the list of people involved in the project
  • Executive summary – in this section, you’ll add an overview of the project, benefits, possible issues, and strategy used to achieve your goals and bypass issues
  • Goals & success metrics: Provide a few goals that your communication plan achieves
  • Launch dates – add the ‘go live’ date and any other key dates
  • Approach – list out all the venues or channels where you will be communicating you message

Key messages section

  • Key messages – list the high-level and on-brand messaging you will communicate in all your publications. Also list the when, why, and what you are including.
  • Talking points – use this section to guide your business with how they will talk about the project with customers, each other, or on social media
  • Supporting materials – add links to project folders, drafts, tables, charts, or supporting data for quick reference.

Communication publishing plan

The communication publishing plan will list all the ways that you will be messaging this out to your users, customers, and business. This is typically a table and will include dates, vehicles, type of communication, who’s responsible, and status. See the example below:

table comm

Content publishing plan

The content publishing plan is a supporting table to your communication plan. This specifically is for supporting content that you publish after all your communications go live. For example, when Apple announces a new iPhone via a press release, they will almost always then have new pages on their website with details on what the new iPhone is, how to order, support, and more.

The content plan will include the location (where it is published), the specific URL, if it is new or revised, a short description, due date (so there is time for any coding) and a publishing date. See an example below:

content_plan

Sharing the plan

Since the communication plan will likely be a large file, considering adding it to a shared folder or location instead of emailing it out directly. This also lets you handle version control – if a date changes, impacted folks can just continue to check one location instead of digging through the right version in their email. You can use iCloud, SharePoint, Dropbox, OneDrive, or any other cloud service.

Related pages

Writing resources

HOW TO WRITE & SAVE GOOGLE DOCS AS A MICROSOFT WORD FILE

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