Last week, we reviewed the beginning stages of the digital communication plan. To reiterate, the digital communication plan is critical for meeting your communication goals as panning keeps your team focused in the right direction. Aside from the previously discussed situational analysis and goals and objectives sections, the plan also includes key publics, messages, activities, monitoring, and evaluation portions.
According to Steve Lee, Digital Communications professor at Southern Methodist University, “goals lead to objectives which combine with publics which lead to activities.” We’ve covered goals and objectives, but what are publics? Publics are the audience of your digital communication plan. They are groups of people who value your organization or are valued by your organization. They have sales, financial, political, and positional power. Furthermore, the audience essentially determines your reputation. Publics are essential to reaching your goals.
The first step in evaluating your publics is to list each significant audience. Next, eliminate the publics that are not necessary to reaching your goals. Then, group the publics by psychographics, demographics, geographics, traits, and habits. Lastly, prioritize the groups most imperative to reaching your goals. Additionally, it is important to highlight the “intervening publics,” or influential opinion formers.
Messages are key to reaching your publics. The messages draw your audience towards your organization. There are three steps to the messages section of the digital communication plan. The first step is to write a master message. The master message is a general statement that is not geared towards anyone in particular. The next step, is to edit or rewrite the master message to fit each public. To target specific publics, change your voice and tone to match theirs. Additionally, cover what is specifically important to them. Lastly, modify the message to appeal to each tactic.
Next week, we will wrap up the last steps of the digital communication plan.