FREE COMMUNICATION PLAN TEMPLATE

Quickly (and effectively) communicate across your entire company

Crisis in business can take different forms.

Maybe your new product went viral.

Maybe there’s an issue of misconduct or miscommunication that needs to be addressed.

Maybe you just want to improve how you market across your company.

Either way, you need a plan to communicate across your company and present a unified message to the media, customers and key stakeholders outside of your company.

What you need is this free communication plan template.

What you get:

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What is a communication plan?

A communication plan is a document (or set of documents) that is used to effectively deliver information to appropriate stakeholders. First, identify messages you need to promote, audience you are targeting, and which channels you use.

 

 

How to write a communications plan

Creating a communication plan has six important steps:

  1. Audit current comms materials
  2. Identify Audience
  3. Outline plan
  4. Determine channels
  5. Determine team members responsible for messaging
  6. Estimate timeline for each step

 

Audit current comms materials

Review your current communications plan and create a list of what you’ll decide to keep, improve, and throw out. Align every decision with business goals, versus only communications and marketing goals.

For instance, if you want to create a communications plan about a major product pivot in your company, you’ll want to first audit your current comms materials to see where there may be gaps.

Once you complete your audit, you may notice some gaps. For example, if a new team structure has been created since the last time you created the communications plan, they’ll need to be added so they aren’t left out of the loop.

 

Identify audience

The best communication plans have different plans for different audiences. Your audiences may also include local government, investors, employees, customers, media partners, event partners and even sales prospects.

For example, if your audience is key internal stakeholders, you may want to communicate a message differently than you do to the media at large. Alternatively, if your audience is local government officials, you may need to decide who will speak to them (when, where and how), as well as provide talking points and an action plan to go forward with.

 

Outline plan

Now that you’ve identified your available resources, your audience(s) and have a better understanding of their needs, you’re ready to start outlining your new communication strategy.

The free communication plan template above is perfect for this process of outlining and clearly laying out each part of your new communication plan.

When messaging your plan internally, you will need to provide helpful information for those receiving it, such as:

  • Why are we creating this plan and what is it for?
  • Key details such as deliverables, task descriptions, roles and responsibilities, and specific dates relevant to the plan.
  • Specific Do’s and Don’ts for the pla
  • Timeline for reviewing and revising the plan (it’s advised to revise it annually)

 

Determine channels

Different audiences and messages will require different channels to deliver key messages. For example, if you’re creating a communications plan in response to a corporate crisis and want to send messages to internal employees, email and your internal messaging system (like Slack) may be best. Additionally, for key leaders, 1-1 meetings may be a better option.

However, if you’re communicating with local media, sending out a press release and making yourself available for interviews and commentary may also be applicable.

The channels you choose will depend highly on your goals, but it’s important to remember that distribution is as key a component of your communication plan as the messaging itself.

 

Determine team members responsible for messaging

Inside your new communication plan template, there is a column for determining what team members are responsible for different messaging. Determining what directly responsible individual (DRI) is key at this stage.

For example, if your executive team is pitching a new round of investment to venture capital firms, you might ask your VP of Sales or your CMO to play a specific role in the first meeting. Then, the founder or CEO may come in and present additional information to potential investors and later, after the round is closed, present internally to the team.

 

Estimate timeline for each step

Should you ever have to put your communication plan into action, it’s best to know how long each step could (and/or should) take.

For example, if you’re messaging a corporate crisis to media outlets in your industry, how long is too long to wait to address it? Should you have a response for them within 12 hours? 24 hours? 72 hours? The difference between those time frames can vastly change the narrative that’s crafted around your business in response to the crisis.

 

 

Get a free communication plan template

It’s clear that a strong communication plan is an essential part of messaging internally and externally at your company and after reading the walkthrough above, you’re probably itching to get started.

If you want to fast track getting your message to the right people at the right time, you’ll love our proven template.

Get started immediately with this free communication plan template.

Ready to get started?

Start a 14-day free trial of ActiveCampaign. No credit card, no setup, no hassle.