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Demand for communications grows and grows. This is a good thing. The trouble is many people think they have the answers before the plan has even taken shape. This has always been a problem but it’s one which appears to be gaining momentum.

by Darren Caveney

I led comms teams for well over a decade and one of the things which continually surprised me was the stream of staff coming into to office to request comms work where they had already decided the tactics.

In the early days it was:

“we need a leaflet”

“we need a poster”

“we need a press release”

This morphed into:

“we need a microsite”

“we need an app”

“we need a bus back advert”

And now on my consultancy travels I hear:

“we need a social media account”

“we need a video”

“we need a blah, blah, blah” (fill in the gaps to suit your organisation)

Now the trouble is all of the above might STILL be the right thing to do. But when we begin the process by launching straight into tactics we have literally fallen at the first hurdle.

“without a great comms plan we are simply guessing with our choice of tactics”

(I’m getting T-shirts produced with this line emblazoned across the front)

We are all duty-bound to defeat this unqualified and growing trend. And we do it by acting strategically not by agreeing to whims. Many of you will do this. Daily, for some of you. But there is a looming trap door of acceptance if we don’t keep a tight grip on this problem.

Now the first thing we have to do is qualify whether the work request is a priority to the organisation: Is it a genuine priority, and do we have the capacity, resources and skills to deliver it?

If so, great, let’s work on a comms plan. Together.

Some comms plans can be a side of A4 completed in 20mins for a small piece of work.

But the bigger plans and campaigns – the ones which make a difference, win an award, get you a promotion – require a much more forensic, questioning and disciplined approach

Here’s a FREE comms planning guide download to help.

Print off these comms planning worksheets and work with your colleagues on developing a research-backed comms plan. And if anyone asks for a social media account, poster, press release or video before the plan is complete then you can show them your T-shirt:

“without a great comms plan we are simply guessing with our choice of tactics”

When we guess we very often get it wrong. Guessing is bad, guessing will fail often, guessing will waste time and resource. Guessing is for the birds.

Let’s never guess.

I hope these FREE to download resources are helping in your internal fight. Let me know how you get on and share your insight and lessons here with us all on comms2point0.co.uk

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and owner of creative communicators ltd

image via ByeByeBirdie

Original source – comms2point0 free online resource for creative comms people – comms2point0

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