Only 12 per cent of corporate communication teams interviewed in a recent survey by CEB Global Marketing (June 2016) believed that their strategic plans were effective in supporting their company’s top strategic objectives. We subscribe to their contention that there are five simple steps that break down corporate strategy and business priorities into supporting communication actions as well as matching the needs of all business stakeholders in the process.
Identify business partners’ goals: Anchor your strategic plan to the priorities that your business partners identify as being critical to the company’s success.
Deconstruct goals into behaviours: Break down your business partners’ goals into discrete stakeholder behaviours that the team will want to see from them to know they are supporting all key business partners’ goals.
Create actionable communications objectives: You don’t need to know what the communication solution is to write an effective objective. The best objectives are as specific as possible without making assumptions about the best tactic.
Ensure internal stakeholders understand the plan: The longer your plan is, the more overwhelming it will seem to your business partners. Creating a short, yet comprehensive, overview plan (1-2 pages) will dramatically increase the likelihood that the strategic communication plan is aligned to your business priorities and is actually used regularly.
Re-assess the plan regularly: Any re-evaluation is better than none, but rather than choosing an arbitrary schedule, identify specific business triggers (e.g., legislative change, quarterly financial results) that would signal the need to review and possibly revise your plan.