Three Tips for Building Your 2023 Communications Plan

We’re on the verge of closing out 2022, and companies are beginning – or have even started – turning their attention to strategizing and budgeting for 2023. Whether you’re an in-house or agency pro, you will be pitching decision-makers on putting a budget toward your 2023 Communications plan. There are a number of elements to consider when developing a robust and successful strategy to put forward for leadership approval. 

As we know, there are several foundational elements for any communications program – determining overall goals and objectives, building key messages, shaping your target audience, performing competitive intelligence, etc. – but how can you take your planning to the next level and even account for the nuances of industry and business trends? Here are three tips to consider:

Going Beyond Traditional Communications Tactics

The communications field has changed drastically over the last couple of decades. Consider how relatively new social media and the internet are, and their impact on how we communicate and receive news. According to a 2021 Pew Research report, nearly half of Americans read their news on social media. This is just one example of how the news cycle has changed in the last several years, but it’s an important evolution because it influences how communications agencies and internal comms teams develop their news distribution strategies. 

For example, press releases distributed over a wire service were long considered a staple for effective PR campaigns. Aside from some SEO benefits, do companies really get much of a return on using a wire service to announce their news? 

Therefore, when putting together your 2023 communications plan, try to think of more modern and innovative approaches instead of traditional methods. What’s the best way to get your news in front of your audience? What channels and mediums do your audience want to receive their news?

Don’t Look at Public Relations in a Silo

Generally, PR operates as a piece of the puzzle in a broader communications plan. While many consider PR to be tied to media-specific activities, PR initiatives can facilitate a much larger function of your marketing needs. Today, PR agencies and many forward-looking internal communications departments have expanded their content services to support a variety of assets including audio for podcasts, video, blog posts, white papers, and eBooks. It’s important to understand the role that PR services can play in your company’s broader approach to communications, including brand visibility and lead generation.

Additionally, encouraging more collaboration between public relations and marketing teams can elevate tactics and results for both sides. PR and marketing capabilities are becoming more and more intertwined, so combining instead of siloing them can lead to several benefits for your overall strategy and plan. 

Executive Buy-in + Adopting Modern Analytical Tools for Reporting

The success of your communications efforts will rely on how much buy-in you receive from leadership and decision-makers. If there are any comments from executives saying that they don’t “get PR,” education will need to be a foundational element. It’s common for leadership to have a prominent role in a communications campaign – whether it’s providing their views for a thought leadership article or being interviewed by a journalist – so it only makes sense that they understand why it’s important that they’re dedicating time to these activities. As a result, they will heavily influence the success of your program.

This is where having a good understanding of how to effectively measure and report on results will be important. Remember, we’re not dealing with traditional communications anymore. So, it’s important to consider new ways to showcase ROI, especially if we want to expand the scope of work. Will you generate leads through a press release or blog post on your website/social channels? Will you direct new customers to your site via a media article where your executive was featured or quoted? If so, you can prove that. 

They say that data is the new oil, meaning it’s your company’s most important resource. Use it and take advantage of analytic capabilities to show how your communications efforts are moving the needle for your company. 

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2023 PR & Communications Plan