How To Write A Good Communications Plan – Part 8 – Announcement

This is the eighth post in a series exploring how to write a good communications plan.

By now we’ve set the stage, established our objectives and strategy and chosen our audiences. Now, at last, it’s time to think about our announcements.


Announcement

492409_microphone_grab In your written plan, the announcement itself is a pretty brief section. It’s effectively an executive summary of the plan – what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

The ‘announcement’ title can be a bit misleading if your objectives and strategy don’t indicate the need for a proactive announcement. If you’ve chosen a low-profile, reactive strategy, you’ll focus more on your issues management section. As such, while this is the earliest you can start to work on this part of your plan, you may need (or want) to get to it later. I personally find it useful to have this as a one-pager to refer back to occasionally when I’m thinking about messaging and tactics later on, but this really is a section you can just as easily work on last.

This is an important point to note – the structure of your communications plan is better if it’s not dictated by a rigid template. A good communications plan format will let the planner use the content they need to and not make them force unnecessary sections into the plan.

Summarize

Outline the nature of the announcement(s) you plan to make. You’ll flesh out the messages you want to communicate and the tactics you’ll use to carry those messages later. What’s more, you’ve done most of the work for this section already. You can pull much of the content for this from your earlier analysis.

Keep it simple

While you’ve waited until late in the planning process to identify the announcement you’re making, in all likelihood this will be the first thing that executives reading and approving your plan will read. As such, you need to capture exactly what’s going on succinctly. Try to identify the announcement you’re making and why you’re making it in one or two sentences and in plain language. Remember – the executives haven’t had the benefit of doing the background research you’ve done.

Make the links

You’ve already identified the context for this initiative; make sure you briefly summarize how it fits within your organization’s broader activities.

Be honest

Don’t “spin” yourself. There can sometimes be a temptation to sugar-coat what you’re doing in the plan, to try and give ‘good news’ , but you won’t do yourself any favours by doing that. Call a spade a spade and you’ll do better in the long-run.

Over to you

We’re over half way through this series on communications planning. What do you think of the series so far? What would you add to the pointers I’ve given? What have I missed?

The “Communications Plan” Series

This is post number eight in a series of 13 posts exploring how to create a good communications plan. To read more of the series, check out a summary of the posts so far or pick from the list below: