Digital Communication Plan: Part 2

The 10 Essentials of an Effective Digital Communications Campaign

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.

Key Publics

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.

The In’s and Out’s of a Digital Communication Plan

4 Best Practices for Excellent Digital Communication | EDUCAUSE

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.

Virtual Events- Pivoting During Covid

Why online events will be around long after Covid

Gone are the days of stuffy banquet halls, bland food, and socializing with strangers-at least for now. As Covid continues to run rampant, it is hard to imagine a time where we will ever go back to in-person events. However, this unfortunate circumstance has facilitated creative solutions in the virtual event sector.  

Plus and Minuses of Online Events

According to, the benefits of virtual events go beyond virus safety to include “(l)ower operating, marketing, and staffing costs, (being) easier to manage, (and) no need to worry about catering, human logistics, or health and safety.” Additionally, more people feel inclined to speak at the events because they do not need to travel. The events can also be organized more efficiently because there is no give people a significant heads-up beforehand. Furthermore, there is no stress of finding the perfect venue location. 

Logistically, virtual events are much easier to execute than in-person events. There are few reasons to say no to an event when you can participate from the comfort of your own home. Nevertheless, it is much harder to keep an audience engaged. Try encouraging participation through questions, breakout rooms, and fun backgrounds

Perfect Example

Earlier today, National Charity League hosted its annual Fashion Show online. The silent auction, which funds local college scholarships, took place on a custom link from the mobile bidding website The fashion show then streamed online at Although it was disappointing that this event could not be in person, the organization still raised a significant amount of money for its philanthropy.

What’s next?

In the future, virtual events will still be an asset. Post-covid, many events will be considered ‘hybrid.’ This means that they will feature an online and in-person option to attend. As a result, the introduction and wide-spread use of virtual events will provide the opportunity to reach people on a global scale.

The Driver: Concise and Complete Updates

How easy to read updates will take your social channels to the next level

Fresh April Content Ideas for Your Social Channels |

We ended last week’s blog by coining social channels as ‘the driver.’ Social media drives your audience towards your company. So what is social media? Social media consists of blogs, microblogs, social networking, social news, online communities, podcasts, video sharing, photo sharing, messaging, and streaming videos. While these are all important drivers, blogs, microblogs, social networking, media sharing, and streaming are our main focus. These channels are easy to read and navigate, making them the perfect driver for your company.


Blogs originated as an online travel journal in 1999. However, today, blogs are a mix of text and graphics that tell a current or topical story. A good blog has a captivating title, intriguing feature lead, and concise and complete writing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is almost as important as the content of your blog post. SEO is critical to making sure your blog post gets seen. The introduction and repetition of a key phrase throughout your blog post will increase SEO. The comments on a blog also provide an opportunity to communicate with your audience.

Social Networking

Each social channel comes with its own set of rules and target audience. According to Steve Lee, Digital Communications professor at Southern Methodist University, Facebook users are personal, attentive, engaged, and social. Facebook users interact with brands by liking or commenting on their updates, rarely sharing them. We recommend that the updates are in the third person, consisting of two to three concise and complete sentences. On the other hand, Instagram is where your graphics will shine because the photo is the main focus of the post. The channel is perfect for real-time marketing. Twitter users are informed. Opposite of Facebook updates, Tweets should be in the first person. Brevity and humor are essential in executing a successful tweet.

The one takeaway that applies to every social channel is that each post, update, share, or tweet should be concise and complete. Because according to, we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.

Digital Communication 101- Where to start

Image result for digital communication

Digital communication is more important now than ever before. So let’s start with the basics. What is digital communication? defines digital communications as “the physical transfer of data over Point-To-Point or Point-To-Multipoint communication channel. It is the transfer of discrete messages.” Digital communication is the cheapest, most accessible way to reach large audiences, making it essential to the quarantine lifestyle.  

The Digital Spectrum

According to Steve Lee, Digital Communications professor at Southern Methodist University, there are five categories of ‘The Digital Spectrum’: preparation, planning, content and/or channel management, monitoring/responding, and analytics. Preparation involves creating goals, measurable objectives, and audience profiles in conjunction with conducting preliminary research. The next step of the spectrum is to create either a digital communication plan or a quick (mini) digital plan to execute said goals. This plan should include content marketing, channel determination, blog/social writing, and social media monitoring. Furthermore, response management and customer relationship management are critical to maintaining a positive relationship with the audience. The last step is to measure the efficacy of the digital communication through evaluating the execution, monitoring the digital channels, and analyzing the analytics.

The Digital Diamond

The primary digital channels make up the four points of the digital diamond, each having specific uses. Starting at the top of the diamond is the website, the cornerstone of the digital world used for reference information. The second point is email, which is the most direct way to reach the public although it requires prerequisite permission. The third point is blogs that utilize their topical and storytelling abilities to captivate an audience. The last point is social media, perfect for its entertaining, compelling, and personal appeals. Social media is the driver providing a constant stream of content. Next week, we will dive into the most important social media channels when building your brand.