A digital communication plan is essential to being successful in the digital world. For example, planning helps a team stay on track, identify goals, and educate the rest of the company on the digital process. The beginning of a digital communication plan consists of situation analysis, goals and objectives, key publics, strategies, messages, activities, monitoring and evaluation, timeline, and a budget.
Step one: Preliminary Research
The first step of developing the plan is research. Above all, you must know where your company stands before approaching the situation. To prepare, analyze and understand the organization, its consumer, competition, and the industry. Steve Lee, Digital Communications professor at Southern Methodist University, recommends to “position your organization” amongst your competitors. In doing this, you are able to understand where you stand out and where you are weak. Additionally, this preliminary research points out the questions that still need to be answered. Ultimately, research is ongoing.
Digital Communication Plan: the beginning sections
The research lays the groundwork for the first section of the digital communication plan, the situation analysis. To clairfy, the situation analysis highlights the external and internal factors affecting your organization. Developing research and the situation analysis helps to pinpoint problems and challenges that later become the goals and objectives.
Goals are the big picture, long-term intentions. The goals drive the entire communication plan, especially the objectives. Furthermore, the goals highlight what the plan aims to accomplish. On the other hand, objectives are specific outcomes that help reach the goals. Together, the objectives make the goals reachable. Strong objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (or SMART). It is most important that objectives are clear, provide quantitative results, and have deadlines.
Next week, we will look at the key publics, messages, activities, and monitoring and evaluation portions of the digital communication plan.