Communicators are often asked to work with many different types of strategies and plans – and there’s often a lot of confusion swirling around these various products. That’s a real problem, as it can set up a disconnect between expectations and deliverables, right out of the gate.
Here’s a quick guide to demystifying strategic communications planning deliverables:
A comprehensive, detailed strategic plan designed to guide the communications of an organization or of a significant initiative or issue. A Communications Strategy typically includes an in-depth Strategic Considerations section providing sound analysis of the internal and/or external environment. A Corporate Communications Strategy is designed to direct an organization’s high level communications. It often has a three-year time horizon, with a more detailed implementation plan for year one.
A more focused, brief plan that guides the communications for a particular project, event or initiative. A communications plan follows the basic structure of a full communications strategy but presents less analytical detail, and generally more specific information on implementation planning, such as as including a workplan. In some cases, a marcom plan is developed to help direct both marketing and communications activities in an integrated fashion.
Crisis/Risk Communications Plan
A crisis communications plan provides a recommended response to a crisis, that is a situation that poses a serious threat to an organization’s operations, reputation or safety. A risk communications plan is similar but tends to include less urgent situations that do not necessarily threaten an organization’s core functioning.
These planning deliverables can be for internal and/or external communications. Another variation is a stakeholder communications strategy or plan, which includes a more detailed focus on an organization’s stakeholder groups and how they relate among and between each other.
The Results Map Handbook includes downloadable templates and samples for each of these types of plans. Check it out here.