Do You Need a Communications Plan? (Answer: Yes)
You know the old saying… “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Well, the adage rings especially true when talking about your marketing and communications plans for your small business. This month, we’re here to help you develop your unique communications plan.
Developing a Communications Plan
What is a Communications Plan?
A communications plan is a place for you to organize all of your events and communications for a certain period (usually a year). It should take into consideration your various audiences (both internal and external) and helps you keep track of the messages you want to express to those audiences.
You might think about a communications plan as customer-facing messages only, like what products you are promoting, or what your new menu items are. And yes, while communicating with your customers is a part of it, internal communications also need to be accounted for. For instance, communicating to your employees about new policies or procedures or setting time aside for your vendors to discuss seasonal needs are two types of internal communication that should be planned for your year.
Why do you need a Communications Plan?
By putting everything (from social media to advertising, to internal training initiatives) in one place, you’re able to refine the timing of your programs, product launches, and marketing campaigns. A communications plan ensure that you are saying what you need to say, when you need to say it – and not “broadcasting” too much (i.e. running a product launch, special promotion and clearance sale at the same time) or too little (i.e. nothing going on) at any given time throughout the year.
While you may be used to “winging it” on marketing, advertising and the content you share with your customers, having a plan in place can make your life as a small business owner so much easier. Instead of stressing about what to write for tomorrow’s blog post, or worrying about making the deadline for that ad, you’ll have a plan in place and might be able to get things done ahead of time! Wouldn’t that be nice! It can put everything on auto-pilot for you.
Now that we’ve covered WHY you need a Communications plan, next we help you figure out WHAT to include in the plan. See you there!
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