September is here and organizations are beginning to turn their attention to strategy and planning for 2024. As you gear up, here are three key points to consider for developing a comprehensive and impactful communications plan.
Company Goals <> Communications Plan
The first thing you need to consider when developing next year’s communications plan – or any campaign plan, for that matter – is whether that plan is furthering your company’s overall goals. If you aren’t involved in leadership planning meetings, it’s not clearly outlined, or your company is a master at pivoting, schedule time with organizational leaders to understand what the company is trying to achieve in the year ahead. Doing so should narrow the focus for you and your team, which is helpful given the wide range of communications opportunities available.
Set Clear and Measurable Objectives
A successful communications plan requires clear objectives aligned with organizational goals, whether boosting brand awareness, sales, or stakeholder engagement – all should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. It’s also essential to break down goals into actionable steps. For example, content marketing, social media campaigns, or influencer partnerships should each have details around achievability and KPIs for tracking. Finally, allocate resources following the 70-20-10 rule: 70% on proven tactics, 20% on innovative strategies, and 10% on experimental endeavors with high-risk, high-reward potential.
Mindful Budget Considerations
It’s crucial to factor in budget. Allocating your resources wisely will help you to align your financial plan with your objectives and strategies. Determining your budget enables you to dedicate dollars to each tactic, whether it’s public relations, content creation, advertising, or event sponsorships. Remember that your budget should not only cover the execution of your strategies but also allow room for flexibility. Markets can shift, and opportunities or challenges can arise unexpectedly. Having a contingency fund can help you to adapt without compromising your overall plan.
Aligning with your organization will help to drive your proposed activities and tactics for 2024. It’s important to combine previous learnings and data with industry trends and research so that you can implement lessons learned while staying relevant and trying new things. Keep in mind that most organizations have an “if you don’t use it you lose it” mentality, so don’t be shy about spending your 2023 budget (with justifiable reasons). If you’ll finish the year in excess, now is a great time to test some high-risk tactics.
At Press Record, we work closely with our clients to help them develop their communications plan for the following year, and we’d be happy to do the same for you. To learn more, visit pressrecord.co, follow us on LinkedIn, sign up for our newsletter, or contact us with any questions.