How to Write an Effective Communications Plan [+ Template]

Kayla Carmicheal

Published: January 05, 2023

Remember the " Tide Pod Challenge ?" That horrendous time at the beginning of 2018 when adolescents filmed themselves ingesting laundry detergent?

service leader creating a communications plan

While it was a funny (albeit dangerous) start to the new year, this small boost of infamy was a PR mess for the detergent brand in question, Tide , whose crisis communication team had to figure out how to respond to America's teens swallowing their toxic product. Tide's parent company, Procter & Gamble, was swift in their response, thanks in large part to their communication plan .

In this post, you'll learn how to create an effective communication plan that prepares you and your company for any situation.

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What is a communications plan.

A communications plan enables you to effectively deliver information to appropriate stakeholders. The plan will identify the messages you need to promote, to whom you're targeting those messages, and on which channel(s). Communications plans can be used in times of crises, but they are also used when pitching new initiatives or launching new products.

Communication plans can help you clarify the purpose of a product launch or new initiative and officially determine the messages you want to deliver to your intended audience(s).

Additionally, a communication plan can help your business during a time of crisis if a previous marketing message or business decision damages your reputation with internal stakeholders or customers.

If companies don't have a communication plan , they'll be unprepared when disaster strikes. It may be unlikely that your company will find teenagers eating your product for internet fame, but not so unlikely that you'll never find yourself needing a procedure to effectively handle difficult situations.

Need a free, easy-to-use communication plan template? HubSpot has 12. Check out this toolkit for everything you need to build your own.

This is part of a template offered in the toolkit. For this particular template, the organization is separated into phases, a description of that phase, and who needs to complete that action.

free editable Communication Plan Template

Download These Templates for Free

Now that we've gone over how a communication plan can be helpful, let's learn how to write one that will be effective.

How to Write a Communications Plan

  • Conduct an audit of your current communications materials.
  • Set SMART goals for your communications plan based on the results from your audit.
  • Identify the audience to whom you plan to deliver your communications plan.
  • Outline and write your plan, keeping your audiences in-mind.
  • Determine the channel(s) on which you need to deliver your messages.
  • Decide which team members are responsible for delivering the message.
  • Estimate a timeline for how long each step should take.
  • Measure the results of your plan after presenting to stakeholders, and determine successes and areas for improvement.

1. Conduct an audit of your current communications materials.

Before sitting down to get rollin' on your plan, you need to first decide where it'll fit into your business. So it's important you complete a "state of the union," or an audit of the current climate of communications within your company. This can help you identify any problem areas.

For instance, let's say you need to create a communications plan for a new product launch. To create your plan, you'll first need to perform an audit to identify gaps in your current marketing approach.

After performing the audit, you might find there is a major gap in your marketing materials in which you rarely discuss a topic that aligns well with your new product. You'll want to ensure this topic makes it into your communications plan.

communications business plan

Crisis Communication and Management Kit

Manage, plan for, and communicate during your corporate crises with these crisis management plan templates.

  • Free Crisis Management Plan Template
  • 12 Crisis Communication Templates
  • Post-Crisis Performance Grading Template
  • Additional Crisis Best Management Practices

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Free Communication Plan Template

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To conduct an audit, you'll need to carefully gather and interpret data on your current marketing plan performance and build a path forward based on those results. Additionally, you might consider hosting focus groups or sending surveys to your audience to find gaps in your current communications materials.

Of course, you'll want to have the goal of your communications plan in-mind when conducting an audit. In the example above, noticing you're lacking material on a certain subject only matters if your goal is to drive leads and conversions to a product that aligns with that subject.

For instance, if you're launching a new email marketing tool and you notice you're lacking content on Google Ads, this might not be relevant information for your communications plan. However, if you're missing content on email marketing best practices, that's important information you can use to tailor your communications plan appropriately.

2. Set SMART goals for your communications plan based on the results from your audit.

After your audit, you'll want to lay out a few goals based on the data from the results. What do you want to achieve with this plan?

When in doubt, remember that your goals should be SMART : Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

For instance, if a small agency is writing a communications plan for its client, they might write a goal along these lines: "We plan to increase employment applications for our client by 25% over the course of one quarter."

Alternatively, perhaps your HR team needs to write a communications plan to pitch designing a new growth matrix for individual contributors who don't want to become managers.

If that's the case, your HR team will need to identify specific goals they hope to achieve as a result of their plan, even if the results are less quantifiable — for instance, their goal might be to "increase employee retention rates by 10% over the next year" or even "increase employee satisfaction, as indicated by their next NPS scores." They'll need to pitch these goals to stakeholders to get leadership on-board.

SMART goals calculator

Download Your Free SMART Goal Template

3. Identify the audience to whom you plan to deliver your communications plan.

Good communication starts with knowing and understanding your listener. In this case, if a crisis communication plan is for stakeholders, which one(s) are you writing for? Stakeholder examples include employees, investors, customers, local government officials, or media outlets.

If you're writing for media outlets, a press release detailing your goals is a good idea for that audience. There should be a process for who will speak to the media outlets, an outline of what they will say, and an action plan put in place moving forward.

Alternatively, if your audience is your employees, you might want to create an up-to-date internal document for employees to refer to, as well as the contact information for the internal DRI if they have follow-up questions.

4. Outline and write your plan, keeping your audiences in-mind.

When you're ready to outline and write your plan, it's likely easiest if you start with a table or chart to identify the messages you need to promote, to whom you're targeting those messages, and on which channel(s).

Once you've created a general outline, here's how you'll want to structure your communications plan (feel free to copy these sections into a Table of Contents for your own plan):

  • Purpose (what is this communications plan for)
  • Escalation Framework (including 'first line of defense' and 'greater response team')
  • Roles and responsibilities of each employee
  • Do's and Don'ts
  • How to maintain an effective response plan

(If you need help writing a communications plan, download our free, ready-to-use communications plan templates .)

When writing your communication plan, work with groups or representatives from your stakeholders to improve accuracy. Strategies should solve for goals or potential risks.

For instance, if you work for an agency aiming to promote a client's product, a risk might be spending money on paid ads without a guaranteed ROI. To solve for that risk, the agency should detail different steps to ensure the ads are effective before going public.

5. Determine the channel(s) on which you need to deliver your messages.

The channels you choose to communicate with your audience depends on your message, and to whom you want to deliver that message. For instance, if you're creating a communications plan for internal employees, you might send out your communications plan in a company-wide email, use a team communication app , or in-person team meetings to deliver your message.

Alternatively, if you're communicating with customers, you might determine it's best to communicate via an email newsletter, or via a press release.

Of course, the channel(s) you choose will depend on your goals, but it's important as you're writing your communication plan that you keep your distribution methods in-mind.

6. Decide which team members are responsible for delivering the message.

Once you determine your audience and channel(s) on which you'll deliver your communications plan, figure out the DRI for delivering the message.

For instance, if your HR team is pitching a new growth matrix to leadership, you might ask your Director of HR to deliver the initial pitch in the first meeting. Once leadership is on-board, you might ask each HR representative to deliver one training session for each internal team to ensure every employee understands what's changing internally, and why.

7. Estimate a timeline for how long each step should take.

You should have a ballpark estimate of how much time each step in executing your strategy will take. For instance, if your plan needs to go from the higher-ups down to the employees, it's good to take into account how long going through the chain of command will take. It's also smart to infer how long a media cycle will last.

For instance, for a minor slip-up on an ad campaign, the advertising agency might estimate the cycle for controlling the issue will take a month — including meeting with the client, stakeholders, and employees to discuss steps moving forward.

8. Measure the results of your plan after presenting to stakeholders, and determine successes and areas for improvement.

There's always room for improvement. Measure the results of the plan after presenting it to stakeholders, and determine aspects that went well, and areas for improvement next time.

For instance, the ad agency might not have met its goal of increasing prospective applications by 25% within a quarter. They might rework their goals to give themselves more time or pivot their quarterly focus to fit those goals.

Alternatively, if you notice certain language in your communications plan evokes a level of stress or fear with internal stakeholders, consider how you can re-word next time to ensure your communications plan feels helpful, beneficial, and positive.

Some aspects of building a communication plan can be a "choose your own adventure" journey. The key is choosing aspects that best reflect what your business needs in times when effective communication is key. What do your stakeholders need to know, and how are you going to best communicate that?

Communication Plan Examples

  • Strategic Communication Plan
  • Project Communication Plan
  • Marketing Communication Plan
  • Corporate Communication Plan
  • Crisis Communication Plan

Communication plans can get tricky, but writing an effective one will prove itself with its longevity. The following communication plans include analysis for stakeholders you'd respond to and the procedures for what to include in those communications.

1. Strategic Communication Plan

Bright Hub Project Management's communication plan explains how, when, and why communication happens within its organization.

This example is great because it details how communication managers write crisis plans and acknowledges that sometimes the busy marketer or project manager takes on this responsibility.

Strategic Communications Plan

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2. Project Communication Plan

Here's an example of a Billing Upgrade Project from Simplicable . This communication plan maps out all the important meetings and documents needed for the project. As you can see, it also includes necessary sections including audience, goals, format, and DRI.

project communication plan example

3. Marketing Communication Plan

A marketing communication plan is essential for communicating to your target market, especially when launching new products or initiatives. This example from Smartsheet allows you to plan marketing communications strategies for customers, sales prospects, media partners, internal stakeholders, and events.

Marketing Communications Plan Grid Template

4. Corporate Communication Plan

Corporate communication plans outline how organizations communicate internally and externally. This example from Smartsheet is a nine-step roadmap that includes space for a mission statement, executive summary, situation analysis, key messages, and more.

corporate communication plan example

5. Crisis Communication Plan

This communication checklist below, by Prezly , gives a great overview of the details of a crisis plan from beginning to end. It can be used as an effective guide when drafting a crisis management strategy.


Communication Planning Tips

Communication planning can be tricky, so here are some extra tips to keep in mind to help your plan shine: when describing procedures for handling crises, include who the situation involves. This lets stakeholders envision decision-making processes.

Additionally, if you're part of a larger company with a broad stakeholder list, it's okay to split up target audiences for your plan.

For instance, maybe your audience is more than just "consumers." Split stakeholder groups for easier comprehension and more distinct solutions.

Ultimately, your communications plan needs to clearly and succinctly provide necessary information to everyone involved in the business decision, product launch, or PR crises. Use the strategy mentioned above, as well as our communication plan templates , to ensure yours is as effective as possible.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September, 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How to write a communication plan (with template and examples)

communications business plan

Communication is one of the product manager’s primary responsibilities. After all, a PM can’t do their job without effectively communicating risks, dependencies, and changes.

How To Write An Effective Communication Plan With Examples

In small companies, communication is somewhat more intuitive and often easier to manage. The problems begin to appear when the company grows.

A bigger company means more teams, more stakeholders, more initiatives, and more of everything. Beyond scale-ups, communication often becomes either too chaotic or too infrequent.

In cases like that, having a robust communication plan can be a life saver. In this guide, we’ll demonstrate how to write a communication plan in six easy steps. You can also use our free communication plan template , which contains both a blank spreadsheet for you to fill out and a practical example to help you get started.

What is a communication plan?

A communication plan is an inspectable artifact that describes what information must be communicated as well as to whom, by whom, when, where, and via what medium that information is to be communicated. In addition, a communication plan outlines how communications are tracked and analyzed.

A communication plan can take various forms. For example, it might take the form of a(n):

  • Weekly checklist
  • Spreadsheet
  • Automated Trello board

In general, a communication plan should be whatever works for you and your team, as long as it allows you to inspect and adapt your approach to communicating with others.

Benefits of a communication plan

Investing time in creating and maintaining a communication plan brings many benefits. A communication plan serves as a(n):

Checklist and reminder

Inspectable artifact, alignment with stakeholders.

Who hasn’t forgotten to inform some critical stakeholder about a recent change/discovery?

Product management is such a fast-paced and dynamic profession that it’s very easy to let small details slip. Unfortunately, it’s these small details that often matter the most.

A written communication plan serves as a checklist that ensures minute details don’t slip too often. Whenever something relevant happens, you can easily refer to your communication plan to double-check whether you’ve connected with everyone who needs to be in the loop.

A tangible communication plan allows product managers to slow down, inspect, and adapt their current processes.

Whenever there’s a communication mishap, they can review what led to it and adjust their approach to communication. A concrete plan makes a vague and sometimes intimidating term such as “communication” more tangible.

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A communication plan, when done well, brings alignment and facilitates input from other stakeholders. It also lays out expectations of how communication is being handled and executed.

If stakeholders feel they aren’t getting all the relevant information, they can quickly check the communication plan to see what they are missing and what is lacking in the communication process that is causing them to miss that information. If they find the communication inadequate, they can share their feedback with the communication plan owner.

It’s easier to facilitate feedback and alignment when something is on paper.

How to create a communication plan in 6 steps

As mentioned above, there are various ways to create a communication plan.

A simple way to write a communication plan is to answer six questions:

  • What type of information do you produce?
  • Who should receive that information?
  • How often should they receive it?
  • What channels are most appropriate for this type of information?
  • When is communication done for that type of information?
  • Who should make sure it happens?

1. What type of information do you produce?

Start by reviewing what information you produce and process.

If you manage roadmaps , you probably produce a lot of information regarding roadmap changes, delays, and anything else that may relate to roadmaps.

If you manage releases, you also produce information regarding the release progress, stage, and anything else that related to releases.

Capture it all.

To make it easier, start with the broader, more general concepts. And if you notice the need for more precision, split them into more detailed communication positions.

2. Who should receive that information?

For a given type of information you produce or process, who should receive it? These are usually people who are:

  • Direct stakeholders
  • Dependent on the initiative
  • Contributing to the initiative

Investing some time in defining the receipts has two main benefits.

First, it ensures you don’t miss a critical person in your communication flow, but it also helps you answer the question of who is not interested in certain information. Over-communication creates noise and should be avoided.

3. How often should they receive it?

You should identify the frequency of updates being sent out depending on the information being shared and which stakeholders are included. Should it be daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly?

You probably won’t nail it at first, but that’s OK. What’s important is to search for a sweet spot between over-communication and under-communication.

Although it might seem excessive at first, finding the right balance will be increasingly important as the amount of and need for communication grows over time.

4. What channels are most appropriate for this type of information?

What medium is most suitable for a given type of information?

For example, it would be silly to inform someone about a mission-critical dependency in a comment under a Jira ticket. At the same time, you shouldn’t spam other people’s Slack with every minor change.

Before sending out an update, ask yourself:

  • Where would people seek such information?
  • How fast should it reach the audience?
  • How critical is it?
  • Is it a one-sided update or a potential conversation starter?

The answers to these questions will help you find the best channel for the given information piece.

5. When is communication done for that type of information?

Many people fall into the concept trap that once you send out a message, your communication responsibility is over. This is not always the case.

If you send a company-wide FYI update, then yes, your job is probably completed when you press send, but what if you have roadmap changes that impact multiple teams. Shouldn’t you be making sure everyone on those teams are informed?

In cases like that, you can’t say you are done just because you’ve sent a message. You should chase all key stakeholders and ensure that they have read and understood your message to avoid any misconceptions.

Let’s face it: messages sometimes slip. Your job isn’t to send messages, but to ensure everyone is on the same page. It’s not the same thing.

I’m a fan of having a simple definition of done for communication items. Sometimes, it’ll just mean pushing an update. Other times, it might mean getting a signature of approval from another stakeholder.

6. Who should make it happens?

Last but not least, if it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure communication happens, then it’s no one’s responsibility.

Although the whole team should be responsible for ensuring effective communication, I believe in having a dedicated owner for a given communication stream. The owner can be permanent or rotate every sprint.

If you have communication owners in place, the chance of communication actually taking place increases dramatically.

Communication plan example

Let’s take a look at an example of a communication plan created using the framework I just outlined:

Communication Plan Example

This communication plan can now serve as an artifact for alignment, process improvement, and double-checking if everything is communicated as needed.

Since some of the items in the communication plan happen as needed, it’s imperative to review the artifact on a regular basis. Otherwise, details are bound to slip sooner or later.

Communication plan template

To make it easy to get started with creating your own communication plan, we’ve created a communication plan template for you. Click File > Make a copy to customize the template.

When you start, ask yourself:

  • What you want to communicate
  • By what channel
  • When you consider the communication as done
  • Who should own the given communication item

Although it may lack in the beginning, use it as an inspectable artifact to improve your communication approach every sprint. I promise you, it’ll make your job as a product manager significantly easier.

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  • Why a clear communication plan is more ...

Why a clear communication plan is more important than you think

Julia Martins contributor headshot

More often than not, clear communication can make or break successful projects. Clear communication in project management isn’t just about where you should be communicating—it’s also about which team members should be receiving which types of messages.

The good news is, creating an effective communication plan isn’t difficult. All you need to do is define your communication channels and align on when team members should use each. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to set up a communication plan and show you a template so you can create your own.

What is a communication plan?

Sharing a communication plan can give your team clarity about which tools to use when and who to contact with each of those tools. Without a communication plan, you might have one team member trying to ask questions about work in a tool that another team member rarely checks. Rather than being able to clearly communicate and move forward with work, each team member would end up frustrated, confused, and disconnected from the work that matters. Then, if they don’t have clear insight into who is responsible for each channel, they might end up reaching out to an executive stakeholder with questions that person can’t answer. What started out as a simple miscommunication has spiraled into three frustrated team members—and all the while, work isn’t moving forward.

What should a communication plan include?

Your communication plan is your one-stop-shop for your project communication strategy. Team members should be able to use the communication plan to answer project questions like:

What communication channels are we using? What is each channel used for?

When should we communicate in person vs. asynchronously?

What are the project roles? Who is the project manager ? Who is on the project team? Who are the project stakeholders ?

How are important project details, like project status updates, going to be communicated? How frequently will these be shared?

What shouldn’t be included in a communication plan?

A communication plan will help you clarify how you’re going to communicate with your project team and project stakeholders—whether these are internal team members that work at your company, or external stakeholders like customers or contractors.

A communication plan in project management is not a PR plan. This plan will not help you align on your social media strategy, identify a target audience, or establish key messages for different demographics. If you need to build out those plans, consider creating a  social media content calendar  or a  business strategy plan .

The benefits of a communication plan

Obviously  clear communication in the workplace  is a good thing. But do you really need a written communication plan to do that?

In a word: yes. A good communication plan can help you communicate the right information to the right project stakeholders. Executive stakeholders don’t need to be notified about every project detail—similarly, every project team member might not need to be on a conference call with your external partners. By clarifying where and how you’ll be communicating, you can reduce the guessing game and unblock your team.

Less app switching

We recently interviewed  over 13,000 global knowledge workers  and found that the average knowledge worker switches between 10 apps up to 25 times per day. Instead of focusing on high-impact work or even collaborating effectively with their team members, knowledge workers are sinking hours into simply trying to figure out where they should be communicating.

A communication plan can eliminate this guessing game. For example, if your team knows that you only communicate about work in a  work management tool , they can search for key information there—instead of digging through document folders, Slack messages, and multiple email chains. Similarly, when you know that a team member is only tangentially working on the project—and is only being looped in during high-level status reports—you won’t bother them with a question about when the next  project deliverable  is due.

quotation mark

We have created communication guidelines around what software or what tools are best for what. Asana is for action, Slack is for quick responses or answers to things that are floating around. Email is more official and mostly external facing. By doing that, and creating the proper communications guidance, it really helps reduce the noise.”

Increased collaboration

Team collaboration isn’t an effortless process that happens by itself—it’s a skill that you and your team have to build. One part of creating effective  team collaboration  is clarifying your team’s communication conventions. That’s because a big barrier to effective collaboration is feeling comfortable communicating—especially if you work on a  remote or distributed team . If your team feels unsure because they’re still trying to figure out how or where to communicate, they won’t be fully comfortable talking to one another.

Your communication plan is a chance to clarify where team members should be communicating. Depending on the level of detail, you can also include when team members should be communicating—and clarify team conventions towards setting “Do not disturb” mode or snoozing notifications.

By providing these guidelines, you’re effectively removing one of the biggest barriers to easy communication and collaboration between team members. When team members know where to communicate—and just as importantly, where not to communicate—they can be confident they’re sending the right message at the right time.

Less duplicative work

Currently, knowledge workers spend  60% of their time on work about work  like searching for documents, chasing approvals, switching between apps, following up on the status of work, and generally doing things that take time away from impactful work. Part of this work about work is not knowing where things should be communicated.

If team members don’t have a clear sense of where information is shared—things like your  project plan  or  project timeline —then they’ll have to dig through multiple tools or ask several team members just to find the right information. As a result, team members who are unclear about where they should be communicating about work also have a harder time simply finding existing work.

Work about work leads to more manual, duplicative work and less clarity overall. In fact, according to the  Anatomy of Work Index , we spend 13% of our time—236 hours per year—on work that’s already been completed. By sharing your communication plan, you can give your team clarity into exactly where work lives, so they don’t have to spend all that time finding it themselves.

How to write a communication plan

A communication plan is a powerful tool—but it’s also relatively easy to create. You can create a communication plan in four steps.

1. Establish your communication methods

The first step to creating a communication plan is to decide where your team will communicate—and about what. This includes when to use which tools and when to communicate live vs. asynchronously. Live, synchronous communication is communication that happens in real time. Conversely, asynchronous communication is when you send a message without expecting someone to reply right away. We all use asynchronous communication every day without realizing it—most notably, every time we send an email.

As you define your communication plan, identify what to use each tool for. For example, you might decide to use:

Email to communicate with any external stakeholders.

Slack for synchronous communication about day-to-day updates and quick questions.

Asana to communicate asynchronously about work, like task details, project status updates , or key project documents.

Zoom or Google Meet for any team meetings, like project brainstorms or your project post mortem.

2. Align on communication cadence

Now that you know where you’ll be communicating, you also have to identify how frequently you’ll be communicating. Your communication cadence is your action plan for updating different stakeholders about different project details.

For example, you might decide to schedule:

Weekly project status updates posted in Asana to all project stakeholders and sponsors.

Monthly project team meetings to unblock any work or brainstorm next steps.

Asynchronous project milestone updates in Asana as needed.

3. Add a plan for stakeholder management

Running a successful project often depends on getting stakeholder support and buy-in. At the beginning of the project, you’ll do this during the  project kickoff meeting —but it’s also critical to maintain stakeholder support throughout your project.

Take some time as you’re drafting your communication plan to detail when to communicate with each project stakeholder, and about what. Some people, like your key project team members, will be communicating about this project regularly—maybe even daily. Other project stakeholders may only need to be looped in during project status updates or maybe just at the final readout.

By listing out how you’ll be managing communication with stakeholders, you can ensure they’re being contacted at the right time about the right things. The communication they recieve should answer questions at their level of detail and with a focus on business results and overall, high-level impact.

4. Share your communication plan and update it as needed

Once you’ve created your communication plan, it’s time to share it with your project team. Make sure your communication plan is accessible in your central source of truth for all project information. We recommend using  Asana  to track all project communication and work, so you can talk about work where you’re working.

If any changes impact your project communication plan, make sure you update it and communicate those changes. That way, team members always have access to the most up to date information.

Example communication plan

[inline illustration] Communication plan for brand campaign in Asana (example)

Communication plan template

Description of communication.

What type of communication is it?

How often will you be communicating?

Which tool will you be using? Is this synchronous or asynchronous communication?

Who is receiving this communication?

Who is in charge of sending out this communication?

Good communication starts with a communication plan

Clear communication can help you send the right message at the right time. Empower effortless collaboration while also ensuring every team member is being looped in at the right times. That way, your team can spend less time communicating about work and more time on high-impact work.

Related resources

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More From Forbes

Five components of a successful strategic communications plan.

Forbes Communications Council

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Director of Marketing at  I help fix large revenue retention & growth issues.

Communication is a critical part of any organization's success. Once, I was working closely with the senior leadership to create an email that addressed late deliveries. I remember that when we first started, there were so many ideas swirling in our heads about how to approach this project and what tone of voice would be best for our company. I wished I had someone with a communications strategy plan who could tell me the "best" way to approach this project in order to be successful.

I started reading and researching, looking for what I felt was a good strategy to communicate with our target audience. Luckily, after some research and conversations with others who had more experience than myself on the topic at hand, what finally developed was a communications strategy plan that we used over and over again for all of our marketing and communication efforts.

What Is A Communications Strategy Plan?

A communications strategy is a plan for communicating with your target audience. It includes who you are talking to, why you are talking to them, how and when you will talk to them, what form of communication the content should take and what channels you should use to share it.

1. What Is The Purpose Of Your Communications Plan?

A clear purpose helps keep everyone on board. Make sure the right people hear your message when they are ready and in a way that you want them to hear it. Your communication objectives should be to answer these questions: Who do I need to reach? Why do I need to reach them? What will my communications say? How will I deliver this message at the time that will have the best impact on my audience (and for me)? And what channels am I using or can I use for delivery?

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2. Who Are You Communicating With (Or Who Is Your Target Audience) And What Message Do They Need To Hear?

Target audiences can vary from one time to another and may include your customers, employees or the media. Define who needs to hear what is happening in your organization. Every communications plan is different, but they should never be one-size-fits-all. It's a good idea to create an audience map that identifies key audiences and the messages they need to hear about your organization or cause in order for them to take action.

3. How Will This Message Be Communicated?

Your communications strategy provides the framework for the company's outreach activities, including what needs to get out there through communication channels like social media, email marketing, blog posts, video content on YouTube or Vimeo and so on. In my experience, the more specific you are with your messaging (and visuals) — even if it seems repetitive — the better your chances of getting people engaged and taking action are.

4. When Should This Communication Happen — Right Now Or Later On?

Organizations have to use their communications wisely and strategically in order to be successful with them. But the importance of timing is also important for communicating effectively. Your communications strategy should specify when the message should be communicated, including whether that's right now or later on. Your communications team should take these considerations into account as they develop your messaging and timing plan. In addition, I recommend developing two equally effective strategies: one for "now" and another that can be deployed in anticipation of events that might happen later down the road. A crisis communication plan helps cushion against unexpected turns of events, no matter what happens.

5. Who Will Be Responsible For The Communication?

Communications professionals should be the ones responsible for communicating with external audiences, and they should do so often during a crisis. However, human resources departments may also need to communicate internally about any changes that may affect employees. Define key messages, and then decide who will deliver them. Define the audience and focus on what they need to know about this change. Be sure to provide information in a timely way, but also keep the message concise so that employees can digest it easily.

Bottom Line

A strategic communications plan can help you communicate your message to the right people at the most opportune time. By considering these five components, you can put together a solid strategy that could drive more success for your business and bring about your desired results in less time. 

Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

Haseeb Tariq

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5 Ways to Make an Exciting Business Communication Plan

By Daleska Pedriquez , Sep 28, 2021

5 Ways to Make an Exciting Business Communication Plan Blog Header

Good communication is a very important aspect of our lives.

A business with struggling internal and external communications often lags behind in growth and suffers from poor employee retention.

That is why most organizations learn how to create a  business communication  plan.

This ensures that the company won’t fall prey to any of the pitfalls above and ensures seamless communication.

Don’t know how to start creating a communications plan? No problem. With Venngage’s plan templates, you can design effective plans without design experience.


Click to jump ahead:

  • What is a communication plan in business ?

What are the benefits of having a good business plan communication?

Examples of business communication strategies, business communication plan templates, what is a communication plan in business.

Business communication can be divided into two categories: internal and external.

Internal communications deal with how effectively anybody within the company communicates with each other.

It deals with issues regarding the flow of information, processes, and ideas in more specific terms.

On the other hand, the external part deals more with communication with the shareholders and the customers.

However, an internal communication plan, like this project plan template , is effective if the target audience in the organization understands and embraces it.

Simple Business Communication Plan Template


It is not as simple as putting all those strategies in a manual, handing them out to your employees, and telling them to go nuts with it. Obviously, that won’t work.

A good communication plan needs to be able to seep itself slowly but effectively into your company’s culture and values.

Employees need to eat, sleep, and breathe good communication.

This is the reason why you need to have solid communication strategies in business . Be strategic about it, like with this crisis communication plan, and include some out-of-the-box ideas.

A business communication plan needs to have consistency, variety, informativeness, and entertainment.

Simple Crisis Business Communication Plan Template

That is what we want to help you with today. We want to give exciting business plan strategies that you can implement to boost your organization’s communication exponentially.

But before we go into that, let us dive into the importance of a communication plan.

Once your branding has been imported, you can add your  brand colors  to all templates with one click.

Related: 8 Steps to Create an Actionable Employee Development Plan [with Templates & Examples]

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Let us get to know first what great things will happen if communication is seamless within the company.

Things get done faster.

Nonprofit Healthcare Business Communication Plan Fact Sheet Template

You can also use this template to convince investors and partners about the benefits of working with your company.

Design infographics like the above example using Venngage’s extensive icon library. We offer 40,000 icons as well as diverse people icons .

With a good business communication plan, the target audience within the organization knows the proper flow of information and absorbs the key messages.

Employees will also know whom they can talk to about certain things and whom they can’t talk to. The result? The communication strategy will help tasks around the company get done faster.

Solving issues and problems is quicker.

Problems and issues will always arise if you have a thriving business. Whether it’s logistics, sales, marketing, operations, etc., challenges abound almost daily.

For example, this sales action plan outlines how the business works, as well as performance indicators. This will help team members understand the budget and their goals.

Gradient Sales Action Business Communication Plan Template

With good communication channels, any issues with workflow get solved faster, and the company keeps moving forward and growing.

Design plans effectively with Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature, available with every Venngage Business account.

Employees feel more valued.

A company that fosters great internal communications with its people will always gain the latter’s loyalty. That loyalty can kick-start a lot of things like better efficiency and output.

Teams will also grow closer and form bonds. That is when the company can maximize even a small workforce.

Related:  How to Improve Employee Engagement with Visuals

Customer service improves.

Good communication plans also extend to one’s target audience. Customers always love swift, timely, and helpful responses.

A customer service mind map, like this example below, will make it easier for businesses to keep customers happy.

Gradient Customer Service Mind Map Template


If your company knows how to communicate its key messages with customers properly, you will react quicker than if you do not.

Employee retention rate increases.

What happens when employees feel more valued and have an easier time communicating with each other?

You get a lot of people willing to stay for a long time.

Bad employee retention rates cost companies a lot of money and task stagnation. Create an internal communication plan to manage this strategy, like this performance review process mind map.

Simple Performance Review Mind Map Template

Pair the communications strategy with effective communication channels to boost employee retention.

Create personalized documents with the  Venngage for Business  account. You can upload your own images to the editor. Or use one of the images from Venngage’s stock photo library.

Now that we have learned the benefits of a great business communication plan, let’s find out some of the most effective and exciting strategies out there.

Integrate fun videos into your communications strategy

If you want a good business communication plan example, then think of a video.

It’s no secret that videos can help people be more engaged, learn effectively compared to reading and writing, and understand key messages faster.

This one is really a no-brainer for external and internal communications.

An example of video communication is this video series about racial healing.

Other good examples of using videos in your business plan communication are monthly messages from the CEO.

Challenges and appreciative messages from the head of the company can easily be relayed to the employees. This is something that your people will surely love.

What is a communications strategy that works? Scheduled open meetings.

Scheduled open meetings are helpful for the company’s growth and can be something employees really look forward to.

How are they impactful for internal communications? And why should they be included in a communications strategy mind map, like this one? There are several great benefits that we should talk about.

Business Communication Plan Mind Map Template

First, open meetings encourage employees to share their thoughts and ideas.

This allows people to help grow into leadership roles while helping the company flourish by getting lots of fresh ideas.

Secondly, it can also be a place for employees to give their feedback. This helps the company continuously learn how their people feel so they can adjust accordingly.

Lastly, open meetings help empower employees and make them feel that they have a voice within the company. Issues also get resolved faster through these meetings.

For these reasons, every internal communication plan should include room for open meetings.

How to create a communication plan? Employee newsletters.

Another asset that should be added to an internal communication plan is employee newsletters , like this example.

All-Company Business Communication Newsletter Template


These help teams easily assimilate information in an entertaining and informative way.

Employee newsletters should be equal parts informative, professional, and sometimes silly.

If you look at an internal communication plan example from a company, it should include newsletters.

They are a great way to learn about new protocols, new products, and emergency news around the company, like in this reopening guide email.

Internal Back To Work Announcement Email Newsletter Template

With a  Venngage for Business  account, you can access the export as HTML feature. This makes it easier to import your design into Mailchimp or Outlook for a clickable email campaign.

Don’t forget to put stuff like fun and inspirational news about your people, whether it’s a bit personal (as long as it is still within respectable boundaries) or professional.

Related:  65+ Engaging Email Newsletter Templates and Design Tips

Good business plan communication strategies make training interesting.

During internal communications planning, the first thing that you need to think about is training or, more specifically, how you continuously and effectively train the workforce.

Jazz up your seminars by using entertaining tools like  infographics  and short videos. Infographics like a  project timeline template are also a great way to improve internal communications.

Project Plan Timeline Infographic


Infographics are a fun and effective way to summarize data and information through the use of charts and eye-popping graphics.

Fire up the Venngage app and start making an infographic using hundreds of ready-made templates.

Use the large database of images, icons, and charts to give your training that much-needed punch.

Next, try to implement fun video slideshows in their training to keep their visual minds stimulated.

Videos are by far more effective than oral learning, so use those to your advantage.

Keep things consistent. Training shouldn’t be done just once and never again. Have a monthly training session if you can. And use visuals like this microlearning infographic.

Team Player Microlearning Infographic Template

Just make sure that you keep them entertained while you are at it.

Remember, when it comes to training, if they snooze, you lose.

Related:  How to Make Engaging Training Materials with Visuals (+ 20 Template Examples)

Another good business communication plan example? Use digital workspaces.

Digital workspaces allow teams to work and complete projects in a more efficient and timely manner.

That is why it is always a great idea to use those apps as part of your business plan communication strategy. You can adapt the communication plan below to accommodate digital workspaces.

Project Management Communication Plan Template

With digital workspaces, everything is done online, so people can work faster even if they are at home.

This also allows them to communicate and post updates wherever they are.

Best of all, every step of the project is recorded with timestamps, so everyone can easily backtrack tasks and conversations.

Related:  18+ Project Management Infographics for Pain-Free Project Planning

You now know the importance of a communications plan. Here are some templates that will help you build better plans for your company.

Nonprofit campaign communications plan template

Nonprofit Capital Campaign Timeline Infographic Template

Using colors and lines, the template divides each section so the team is completely aligned. And you can adapt the visual for other types of companies, as well.

Marketing plan template

There are so many processes in a business. Keeping managers and team members on the same page can be a challenge.

Marketing Plan Mind Map Template

This template can be customized for a variety of purposes, including creating a communications plan for a company.

Business update newsletter

We’ve already mentioned how useful newsletters are for boosting internal and external communications.

This customizable newsletter template is perfect for sharing updates with customers. It can easily be adapted to share news within a company, as well.

Business Update Newsletter

 Informational infographic template

Sharing information with employees doesn’t have to be boring. With this template, you can educate your target audience effortlessly.

The template has plenty of room to share information via text. But you can also add a diagram to illustrate your point.

Simple ADDIE Model Infographic Template

Did you know you could create Smart Diagrams  with Venngage? Look for the Smart Templates tag in the Venngage library and start creating for free.

Customer onboarding plan

What’s one of the most important facets of a customer-facing business? Onboarding the customers efficiently.

Boost your communications plan by adding the following customer onboarding process infographic .

Instruction Customer Onboarding Process Job Aid Template

This template uses text, icons, and colors to make it more readable. These elements also make the steps in the infographic easy to follow and implement.

Good communication goes a long way.

Learning how to create a communication plan means that you need to understand how to make things fun for people.

That is why you need to implement some out-of-the-box ideas and refine the more traditional ones.

Get successful at this, and your company will reap the big benefits.

6-Step Guide to Crafting the Perfect Communication Plan


A communication plan is a key to developing an effective and consistent messaging strategy.

It helps guide the process of setting measurable goals for your strategy, profiling your target audience and creating and successfully delivering your message.

What is a Communication Plan

Components of a Communication Plan

Steps to communication planning, step 1 – perform a situation analysis, swot analysis, pest analysis, perceptual map, step 2 – identify and define objectives / goals, step 3 – understand and profile your key audience, step 4 – decide the media channels and create a strategy, step 5 – create a timetable for publishing, step 6 – monitor and evaluate the results, common mistakes to avoid when creating communications plans, faqs about communication plans, what’s your approach to writing a communication plan, what is a communication plan.

A communication plan outlines how teams can communicate important information to key stakeholders. It highlights what information should be shared, when, to which audience and via which channels.

Having a solid communication plan in place will help ensure that the communication objectives of your organization are met and that all assets that you send out are aligned with the core communications strategy of the company.

In marketing and public relations, communication plans are used to plan how important information about products and services will be communicated to target audiences, including customers, clients, media and the general public. Companies also use communication plans to maintain consistent and effective internal communications within the organization. These may include internal newsletters, intranet updates and team Wikis. In project management, communication plans are used to highlight how information will be communicated within teams and relevant stakeholders, throughout the lifecycle of the project. Overall, communications plans offer a structured approach to plan, implement and evaluate communication efforts to optimize the effectiveness of communications.

Use this communication plan template to develop your strategy and deploy it.

Communications Plan Template

Why is a Communication Plan Essential?

Clear communication is the backbone of any successful initiative. A communication plan ensures that everyone is on the same page, reducing the risk of confusion, missed deadlines, and unmet expectations. It fosters trust, ensures transparency, and can be the difference between project success and failure.

Who Should Use a Communication Plan?

A communication plan isn’t just for large corporations or project managers. It’s for anyone aiming to streamline interactions, whether you’re a small business owner, a team leader, or an individual looking to improve personal projects. Understanding your audience and tailoring your communication strategy to them is the first step.

When Should You Implement a Communication Plan?

The best time to implement a communication plan is at the onset of a project or initiative. However, it’s never too late. Whether you’re starting a new project, revamping an old one, or looking to improve ongoing communications, a well-structured plan can make a difference.

Where Does a Communication Plan Apply?

While often associated with business projects, communication plans apply everywhere: from community events, educational programs, to personal projects. Any scenario that requires organized communication can benefit.

Your communications plan should include the following key elements.

1. Target Audience

Who is Your Target Audience? All strategic communications should be directed at a specific audience. Accordingly, the message you send out should be tailored to their level of knowledge, understanding and trust in your brand or organization.

What is the Context of Your Message? The next step is to define the context of your message. Identify key events that may be significant to the audience that you are aiming to reach. The context defines what should be included in the message and how your audience will relate and respond to it.

3. Outcomes

What Do You Aim to Achieve with Your Message? The outcome of your message is the ‘call to action’. Define what people need to know, believe and do after receiving the message. Create a ‘message pyramid’ with an attention grabbing headline, followed by ‘reasons why’ and proof points. This helps the audience understand your core message and then consider the proof points which are relevant to their context, and there by act based on your call-to-action.

Which Media Channels Will You Use? Media are the channels through which your message is communicated. These may vary depending on the content, context and audience of the message. For instance, if you want to reach a younger tech-savvy audience, you may choose a social media platform that may be popular among them.

5. Messengers

How Will You Choose Your Messengers? The primary messenger may not always be the most ‘effective’ messenger. The messenger’s ethos should resonate credibility, status and power, expertise and relationship.

Why do most companies get their CEOs or members of the senior management to conduct new product launches or convey important product information? It is because audiences tend to have confidence in people with big titles who have an influence in the organization. They are also experts in their subject area and have a strong relationship with the company.

6. Measurement

How Will You Measure Success? It is important to cultivate strategies to measure the effectiveness of your communications. Include KPIs for your communication activities and document the results. This also helps build a repository of information which will be useful when planning future communications activities.

Whether you are creating a marketing communication plan or a strategic communication plan, the following steps will help guide you.

Situation analysis helps assess the capabilities of and health of things in an organization. It’s the ideal way to understand the current status of your organization’s communication.

You can gather as much information as needed from conducting an audit .

To gather relevant information from situation analysis, you can consult departmental heads, process owners and other internal staff members.

In a situation analysis, you need to examine both the internal and external environments. To do so, you can use the following tools

You can use a SWOT analysis to examine the strengths and weaknesses within your organization, and opportunities and threats that you can find in your external environment.

SWOT Analysis for Situation Analysis

With a PEST analysis , you can examine political, environmental, social and technological factors, all of which exist in the external environment of your organization, but can have a significant impact on the way things run in your business.

PEST Analysis for Situation Analysis

One good competitor analysis technique is the perceptual map. It helps you make sense of how your customers perceive the brands of your competitors in the market compared to yours.

Perceptual Map for Situation Analysis

Once you know where you stand, you can find your direction. The next step is to define your goals.

Think of what outcomes/results you want to achieve from your communication plan. These will become your goal/s as you develop your communication plan.

Make sure that the goals you select are SMART :

SMART Goals Analysis

Who are you creating this communication plan for? Understanding your audience and their requirements, characteristics etc. is key to creating an effective message and delivering it successfully.

Your key audience could be within your organization or your customers. Either way, you should gather information on them and create simple audience personas.

These personas could include a variety of data that ranges from their age and gender to the challenges they face.

Audience Profile for Communications Plan

As you conduct research on your target audience you would get to know that their requirements and preferences are diverse.

It’s clear that you won’t be able to reach all of them through one media channel or retain their attention with one type of content.

Consider the most effective channels you can think of when creating your media channel strategy. Make sure to select the ideal channel when you are targeting different audience segments.

Media Channel Strategy for Communication Plan

When do you want your audience to hear your message and how often? Have a content calendar or create a Gantt chart outlining a timeframe for your publishing strategy.

Gantt Chart for Communication Plan

You may also need to take the resources available to you into consideration. If you have one content writer, publishing quality blog posts on a daily basis would be ineffective.

Constantly monitor and track your results in order to understand whether you are any closer to achieving your goals. If you have failed, proceed to mark it down so you can make necessary improvements next time.

Creating a communication plan for your non profit organization? Check out this resource for some great tips.

Overcomplicating the Plan

Trying to include too many channels or too much information may complicate the plan. This can lead to confusion and dilute the effectiveness of your messaging. Stick only to key messaging and channels that are most effective in reaching and engaging the target audience.

Not Considering the Timing

Timing is crucial in communication planning. It is important to consider the timing of the messaging and ensure that they are aligned with key events or milestones. Don’t send out important communications during periods of high volume or noise, such as during holidays or major news events.

Not Adapting to Changes

Communication plans should be adaptable and flexible to changes in environment or audience. It is important to regularly review and update plans to keep up with emerging trends (to make sure that your plan stays relevant and effective). Failing to adapt to changes may cause missed opportunities and ineffective messaging.

How often should a communications plan be updated?

A communications plan should be updated regularly to reflect changes in the organization’s goals, priorities, audiences, or external environment. The frequency of updates will depend on the pace of change in the organization and the industry. A good rule of thumb is to review the communications plan annually and update it as needed. However, if there are major changes in the organization, such as a merger, acquisition, or crisis, the communications plan should be updated immediately to ensure that communication is timely, accurate, and effective.

How can an organization measure the effectiveness of its communications plan?

An organization can measure the effectiveness of its communications plan by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) related to its communication goals and objectives. These KPIs may include website traffic, social media engagement, email open rates, media coverage, customer satisfaction surveys, or sales figures. By tracking these KPIs over time, the organization can assess whether its communication activities are achieving the desired results and make adjustments as needed. It’s important to set realistic goals and benchmarks for each KPI and to ensure that the data is collected consistently and accurately. Additionally, feedback from stakeholders, such as customers, employees, and investors, can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the organization’s communication activities.

A successful communication plan will get your message delivered across to your audience effectively while ensuring that you are on track to accomplishing your business objectives.

Follow the simple steps above to create a winning communication plan. If you have any other tips, do share them with us in the comment section below.

Join over thousands of organizations that use Creately to brainstorm, plan, analyze, and execute their projects successfully.

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Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Creately, online diagramming and collaboration tool. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.

Corporate Communications Plan: The Roadmap for Success

communications business plan

How many of your employees are already on social?

Successful companies are strategic with the way they communicate. In fact, developing a corporate communications plan can be one of the most important ways to build a stronger brand.

Trust is created by the ways that businesses share authentically about themselves and how they respond to difficult situations.

Communications teams benefit from putting a lot of effort into the way they craft messaging and tell stories about their brand. And those that are most equipped to handle challenges and adapt to change are the ones that have plans in place.  

A 2019 study showed that 96% of people think the businesses they deal with could improve when it comes to communication and project management. So clearly this is something more businesses need to address!

Let’s explore what successful corporate communications plans include and have in common, and how they can benefit your organization.

What is a Corporate Communications Plan?

A corporate communications plan is the framework for how a business shares messages internally and externally. You can think of it as the roadmap for how a company communicates with their stakeholders, employees, customers, the media, and regulators. 

Part of the plan includes what information to share, who the target audience is, how frequently to provide updates, and what channels are the best to relay these messages.

Having a plan in place shapes how a company will handle communications during times of crisis, change, and launches of campaigns and new products.

What Are the Types of Corporate Communications?

The two main types of corporate communications are:

Internal Communications: How a business shares information with its employees, leadership teams, managers, and board members. 

The interactions can be formal modes of communications such as all-hands meetings to discuss strategic initiatives and performance, updates about organizational changes, company newsletters , and internal memos about policy changes. 

Or they can also include more informal communication like using messaging apps to collaborate, welcoming new hires, celebrating work anniversaries, or sharing details on winning new business.

External Communications: Any information shared outside of the organization. 

Whether it is a formal press release or branded content on social media, these communications build the company’s public image and impact the perception of a brand and its products or services. 

Marketing, content, and advertising created by the company to promote it are included as external communication methods. 

Press releases and financial reporting are another way that companies share messaging about the organization with the outside world.  

Why is Having a Corporate Communications Plan Important?

Corporate communications plans lead to sharing clearer and better messages with your target audience. 

Whether that audience includes your own employees or potential customers, you want to be heard in the right place and at the right time. Setting up a framework to achieve that is essential. 

Sometimes you might be thrown a curveball, and a communications plan will help your business be prepared for any unexpected changes or crises that come your way. 

Surprisingly, a JOTW Communications Survey showed that 59% of communicators say they have a communications strategy drafted, but only 45% admit to having a documented crisis communications plan.

Having a plan in place will also allow for speedier recovery to any public relations issues. For example, responding to negative feedback and being open about mistakes can build trust with your brand and get you back on the right track in the eyes of customers and potential clients.

Communicating effectively and transparently shows that your brand values engagement by taking a proactive approach to be included in conversations about your brand or industry. 

A corporate communications plan for internal communications will also help define and build a transparent company culture. This can improve employee engagement by keeping team members included in conversations about where the company is heading and what it values.

If there are sudden changes on a team, you’ll be better able to communicate the changes in a way that makes employees feel comfortable and cared for if you have a plan for how to share that information first for those immediately affected and then across the company.

What Should A Corporate Communications Plan Include?

It takes time and consideration to develop an effective corporate communications plan. You’ll want to include details for the objectives, approach, and tracking measures for the goals of your messaging.

In simple terms, you’ll want to include the who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Here are the elements your corporate communications plan needs:

  • Target Audiences – these are the groups of stakeholders that will be receiving the messages. They could be employees, customers, media members, investors, leadership teams, and managers. Age, location, job level, interests, and lifestyle are all helpful to know about the receivers of your messaging.
  • Objectives – most communications are created with a call to action or a desired outcome in mind — these are your ultimate objectives or goals. They should be tied to your overall organizational goals to drive business outcomes.
  • Message content – what you want to say and what you are trying to help your readers understand. Tone and personality are important to formulate in your message to get your reader’s attention.
  • Distribution strategy – the channels and venues that your communications will be delivered on are an important aspect of the communications plan. Paid, earned, owned, and shared media channels have different benefits for reaching audiences.
  • Frequency – how often you will be sharing or updating content to reach your target audience. This will depend on your team’s budget and resources, as well as an understanding of your target audience and being mindful of attention fatigue. 
  • Measures of evaluation – how you’ll know if your communications were successful. These should be highly attached to your objectives and goals so that you can track progress and understand areas for improvement.  

How to Create a Corporate Communications Plan

You can follow these steps to design a corporate communications plan that is thorough and takes into account the many facets that go into a successful communications strategy.

1. Establish goals

Pick 3-5 measurable goals for your communication plan. They could be connected to brand awareness like increasing website traffic or generated a certain number of new leads.

Or they could be related to employee engagement, such as increasing the employee satisfaction score on your next survey or increasing the number of shares of branded content.

2. Set a clear process

Knowing the steps involved to launch a communications campaign and having teams on board with the process will ensure that your plan is scalable.

Document the steps involved from content creation to distribution to collecting feedback and share those with any teams that are included in the action.

You should also define clear roles for who will be involved in creating the communications and which stakeholders need to be involved for approving messages and compliance.

3. Identify and segment targets

Take time to think through who your target audience will be and how they may be different. Knowing your audiences can help you tailor your content and tone to appeal to audiences.

Use customer analysis and social listening to determine your audience’s preferred social channels and the best forms of content to encourage visibility of your content.

The way your company shares information with employees will likely be different than how it presents to the board or investors so it’s important to segment your audiences.

4. Develop key messages

Craft the copy and creative materials needed to effectively communicate your messaging. Think about what you are trying to articulate and how it could be conveyed in the clearest and understandable way for your target audience.

The content-type should also be considered — should the message be shared in a meeting or email or video? How can the audience react and ask questions about the announcement? These are all questions to consider when creating the content for both internal and external communications.

5. Choose a channel strategy

You’ll need to determine the channels and frequency of your communications to meet your goals. 

For example, if your communication strategy is for internal communications you’ll evaluate whether an email or meeting is the best way to share the news. 

Do teams prefer shorter, weekly updates or to get more information at the end of the month? Get feedback from your audiences to determine what makes the most sense for your communication cadence.

6. Measure objectives and progress

Before you start implementing your plan, think through how you can measure success for your communications with metrics like reach, open rates, and engagement.

That way you will be set up to continuously improve your content strategy and messaging. 

Collect feedback from employees or customers on how to improve your messaging and enact these changes so that you are don’t run the risk of turning off or disengaging your audience.   

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What are the Main Channels for Corporate Communications?

Companies have many software platforms and tools to choose from that can help streamline communications. You’ll want to use a mix of communication channels to achieve different goals.

For external communications, social networks, media publications, and videoconferencing are some of the most effective ways to reach potential customers and grow brand awareness. 

All of the content that you publish on your website reflects the values and goals of your brand and can be a powerful way to make connections by providing valuable resources to potential buyers.

For internal project communication, email and messaging apps are the easiest ways for people to collaborate at an organization. They make it easy to share files and resources, get input from colleagues, and track project status updates. 

Internal blogs, company newsletters, and intranets are some examples of methods that companies have used to keep employees informed and connected.

For building company culture and employee engagement, internal enterprise social networking platforms provide a more flexible and easy to use way to share company content. 

Employee advocacy for corporate communications

Employee advocacy platforms like EveryoneSocial make it easy to link to external social networks, bridging the gap between internal company conversations and sharing them externally to strengthen brand engagement.

Press releases are important tools for sharing announcements and launching new products. And those efforts can be amplified when you have employees that want to share that content to their own networks, as well.

Beyond externally distributing communication messages, EveryoneSocial has unique features that keep your people engaged, connected, and informed — no matter where they are working. 

For example, some features for communications include: 

  • Internal newsletters
  • Push notifications
  • Mobile apps
  • Real-time messaging
  • Follow company employees
  • Tag employees on important info
  • Read-only content

EveryoneSocial platform sample post showing corporate communications.

Want to learn more about how Everyone Social can be used to improve your corporate communication plan? Schedule your demo with us and we’ll share how some of our enterprise customers are communicating better by enabling their workforce with EveryoneSocial!

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communications business plan

There's a warning on the box my steam iron came in that says, "Do not iron clothes while wearing them."

This gave me pause for a few minutes, but it got me thinking about the kind of lawsuit that prompted lawyers to include an otherwise obvious warning on the box and the kind of crisis communication plan that came to exist in the aftermath.

Add that to the "pudding will get hot when heated" warning and the trademark "shower cap fits only one head" disclaimer, and you've got yourself an era in which communication plans are not only a helpful organizational tool but a very necessary one.

Successfully running a company requires clear communication across the board: with employees, customers, investors, and any other stakeholders. Any gap in communication can lead to difficulties that range from minor project blips to absolute disaster. And while they're necessary for crisis management, communication plans have plenty of other uses beyond ensuring your consumer doesn't give themselves third-degree burns.

Table of contents:

Communication plan templates 

How to write a communication plan

Communication plan essentials, what is a communication plan.

A communication plan is your blueprint for delivering key information to appropriate stakeholders. It outlines the information that needs to be communicated, who it's meant for, the channel it's delivered through, and the folks in charge of it to ensure clear, consistent, and purposeful communication.

This document can look different depending on what it's used for. Here are some examples to give you an idea:

If I were creating a crisis communication plan for the unlikely event that someone irons their shirt while wearing it, I'd consider all the steps we'd have to take to avoid scrutiny and legal issues, like seeking medical attention, designating a spokesperson to represent our company, or press release strategies to address the issue. (I'd also consider whether the box should come with a logical analysis puzzle the user needs to solve before they can open it, but that's just me trying to fix the world one steam iron at a time.)

A marketing communication plan plays a different role. It's designed to outline responsibilities and initiatives within the grand scope of the marketing strategy to keep teams aligned and informed. One initiative I'd underline twice for our steam iron product would be to produce marketing imagery that clearly demonstrates how to iron a shirt—i.e., on an ironing board, not a body.

A product launch communication plan helps keep everyone on the same page regarding brand messaging, intended effects, and progress throughout the launch. Let's take Apple as an example. They're known for their meticulously planned and executed product launches. Their communication strategy involves creating anticipation through teaser campaigns, leveraging secrecy to build excitement, and hosting live events to unveil new products.

Bottom line: communication plans run the gamut. When it comes to format, some plans may be in a table format, outlining talking points and deadlines. Others may contain more of a narrative, meant to inform and update the reader on how a situation is being handled.

You can use a communication plan for both external and internal communication. An employee communication plan, for example, is only meant for your team's eyes. On the other hand, public relations communication plans can be used internally and can also be shared with relevant third parties for outreach and marketing purposes.

Communication plan templates

A communication plan is that one bookmark every employee clicks at the beginning of their day until they associate its main page with the smell of coffee.

Knowing what it is and why it matters is one thing, but understanding the different ways you can use a communication plan is another. Since there are so many different types of plans, I've put together a few templates to highlight the differences. Pick your (well-labeled) poison.

1. Marketing communication plan

Screenshot of Zapier's marketing communication plan template showing the person or team in charge of the project, tasks, timeline, communication channels, audience, and notes in a dark orange bar the top for each target audience on the left side

This communication plan outlines your marketing initiatives for each audience. It tracks relevant information, including the person or team in charge of the project, tasks, timeline, communication channels, audience, and notes.

It also organizes this information based on each aspect of your marketing strategy, whether it's targeting existing clients, potential leads, investors, events, or any PR third parties. 

2. Crisis communication plan

Screenshot of Zapier's crisis communication plan template with places to fill in information about the crisis management team and a summary of the predefined crisis communication strategy

No organization is immune to unexpected and challenging situations that can potentially harm its reputation and operations. This communication plan outlines a systematic approach to addressing crises, including key team members, their responsibilities, communication channels, and the predefined strategy.

It should include clear guidelines for rapid response, methods for updating stakeholders, and ways to mitigate potential damage to the organization's image. The plan should always outline the key crisis management team, their roles and responsibilities, procedures for identifying the crisis, and how to work with media outlets and external entities.

3. Internal communication plan

Screenshot of Zapier's internal communication plan template with places to fill in a summary of the plan, key contacts, and communication objectives

This communication plan is designed to ensure employees receive timely and relevant information, have clear visibility of organizational goals, and stay informed about key developments within the organization.

It includes details on communication channels, such as newsletters, meetings, and virtual seminars. Typically, it outlines how the leadership team communicates with employees, how frequently they can expect updates, and methods for gathering feedback to enhance internal communication across the board.

4. Social media communication plan

Screenshot of Zapier's social media communication plan template with places to fill in information about the plan summary, key contacts, and communication objectives

A social media communication plan guides a company's strategy in utilizing social media platforms for its communication goals. It's important for building a strong online presence, engaging with your target audience, and managing your company's reputation in the digital world.

This plan includes an overview of your social media content strategy , detailing the type of content you intend to share, how often you should publish posts, and the voice of the message. 

To make the most of your social media communication plan, define the target audience on each platform, outline KPIs for measuring success, and establish helpful guidelines that can tie into your crisis communication plan and leverage social media in case of an emergency.

5. Change management communication plan

Screenshot of Zapier's change management communication plan template with places to fill in information about the plan summary, key contacts, and communication objectives

If your company goes through grand-scale change such as mergers, rebranding, restructuring, or process optimization , a change management plan is crucial for ensuring your team is informed, engaged, and supportive of the changes. 

The team's going to need an explanation and a plan of action now that Janice is walking down the office toward the door marked "manager" with a big smile on her face.

Its goal is to facilitate a smooth transition and should always include clear messaging regarding the reasons for the change, the anticipated benefits, and how this could affect employees. It outlines the timeline for the change, strategies for addressing concerns, available communication channels, and any feedback regarding the process.

6. Non-profit communication plan

Screenshot of Zapier's nonprofit communication plan template with places to fill in information about the plan summary, key contacts, and communication objectives

Non-profits operate differently from other organizations, and their communication plans reflect that. The document effectively conveys the non-profit's cause, engages stakeholders, and develops support. 

Since it's designed to build awareness, foster donor relationships, and maintain a level of transparency about the organization's impact, a non-profit communication plan should include well-crafted messaging that aligns with the org's values, outlines the strategy for reaching and mobilizing donors, and plans how to make the most of communication channels such as social media, newsletters, and events.

For a unique touch that sets your non-profit communication plan apart, emphasize storytelling to humanize your cause and connect with your audience on an emotional level. For example, you might include an initiative that triggers an automatic email when a donor registers or makes a contribution—something that reflects their impact on the cause.

7. Product launch communication plan

Screenshot of Zapier's product launch communication plan template with places to fill in information about the plan summary, key contacts, and product details

Developing a new product is a stressful and tedious process on its own. Introducing it to the world can be its own hassle, but a good communication plan can help simplify the process by creating anticipation, generating excitement, and breaking down the approach for a successful product launch.

Your plan should include key features and details about the product, the target audience, and market positioning . To nurture and engage that anticipation, you should also include a timeline for communication activities and strategies that cover the channels you intend to use, like social media, email marketing, and press releases.

To take it a step further, include messaging that addresses potential challenges and opens up the opportunity to receive feedback and gauge your customers' response to the launch.

8. Public relations communication plan

Screenshot of Zapier's PR communication plan template with places to fill in information about the plan summary, key contacts, and communication objectives

This communication plan is ideal for organizations that want to manage their brand reputation and build relationships with the public. Your brand image is an important aspect of business that can affect operations on every level, and nurturing it requires strategic communication, especially with media and public inquiries. You want the public eye to see you in your nice, freshly-ironed shirt.

A public relations communication plan includes key messaging, a media relations strategy, and a calendar of planned PR initiatives, as well as goals, target audiences, and metrics for monitoring the success of your PR efforts.

9. Employee communication plan

Screenshot of Zapier's employee communication plan template with places to fill in information about the plan summary, key contacts, and internal communication objectives

Any organization with a team bigger than six people can face major communication challenges, to say nothing of companies that employ staff in the hundreds and thousands. Company news, updates, policies, and initiatives that employees need to be aware of can be difficult to disseminate properly.

Sure, you can take your chances on a company-wide email, but it'll likely end up buried unopened somewhere in everyone's inbox, and you'll be standing there with the corporate equivalent of eating mango-scented shampoo.

An employee communication plan helps foster organizational transparency and workplace alignment within your team. It'll contribute to your company culture and enhance your employees' sense of belonging and connection to company goals.

This plan includes channels for internal communication as well as a content strategy that touches on employees' needs and concerns. While an internal communication plan focuses on the company's business goals, an employee communication plan addresses the company's internal development initiatives. 

10. Event communication plan

Screenshot of Zapier's event communication plan template with places to fill in information about the plan summary, key contacts, and communication objectives

This communication plan guides your organization's efforts surrounding an event, ensuring effective promotion, coordination, and engagement. It's useful for managing the flow of information before, during, and after an event.

The plan includes key messaging, the timeline for the event's communication activities, strategies for putting channels like social media and email marketing to use, and how to properly approach inquiries and feedback from event attendees.

Each type of communication plan contains a different set of elements, but the process of putting a communication plan together, regardless of its purpose, remains the same. 

1. Set communication goals

I hate sounding like every therapist ever, but communication goals are very important. If your roommate doesn't understand that your scream of pain from the other room means you might have accidentally ironed a shirt while wearing it, help isn't coming, and your room will smell like barbeque. 

Your goals can range from increasing brand awareness and engagement to notifying stakeholders about a new product launch or managing an emergency. Setting these goals beforehand lays the foundation for the entire plan and defines communication channels, messaging strategies, and evaluation metrics. Focus on setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) business objectives .

If I were ironing a shirt, I'd outline my goal for a smooth, freshly-ironed shirt free of wrinkles, and I'd prepare for that by neatly placing the shirt, being conscious of those pesky corners, and keeping it nice and aligned before getting started. In the same vein, If I were writing a communication plan that focuses on brand awareness, I'd outline goals for social media campaigns and content marketing strategies. I'd aim to increase user engagement on each social media platform by a certain percentage, increasing visibility, ad clicks, and interaction with my brand.  

Clear communication goals give your organization a sense of direction and allow your team to accurately measure success, making adjustments based on tangible results.

2. Identify the audience

Each audience you're trying to reach through your communication plan will have its own unique expectations and concerns. The plan and the message within need to align with the audience's values and interests.

If you're writing for investors, the plan needs to outline your communication goals for them specifically, touching on relevant topics and important points. It would also designate how the information will be conveyed, by whom, and how to move forward if any variables were to shift. 

Conduct thorough market research , and collect relevant insight into your target audience's demographics, behaviors, and preferences. What data are you sharing with your investors? What kind of information would be both relevant and important to share with them? How can you best phrase that communication so it has a positive impact?

Who's telling the board that a customer ironed their shirt while wearing it?

A good practice is to segment your audience and create detailed personas to ensure your message is not only read but understood and embraced.

3. Outline key messages

The key information you're distributing through your communication plan is a delicate balance between the organization's goals and resonance with the audience. 

For example, a product launch communication plan doesn't really need your 25-year company trajectory outlined and explained. The key information here would pertain to the product itself, the process for the launch, steps to take, tasks to perform, and the timeline for the entire project.

Make your messages clear, concise, and compelling to leave a lasting impression. 

4. Choose communication channels

Outline which communication channels are best suited to execute your plan. For example, an employee communication plan should utilize private internal channels like meetings, internal platforms, or emails. Product launch communication plans should leverage external channels as well, like websites, social media, newsletters, and press releases.

Choose communication channels that fit the plan and can be integrated for a cohesive communication strategy that aligns with both your company's goals and the audience's preferences. Ask yourself: 

Who's meant to read this? 

How can I reach them? 

Is this private internal communication or is it meant for public distribution? 

Which channel would have the best visibility for my audience? 

5. Create a timeline

For the plan to be effective on any level, you need to outline its execution in a detailed timeline that sets the start and end dates of each initiative or item on the document.

Details such as specific dates for key events, launches, and regular updates anchor the plan and facilitate a proactive approach. The timeline is your audience's visual roadmap, and it is handy for allocating resources when you're executing your communication plan. 

6. Allocate resources

Putting the plan into action will require resources like budgets and staffing needs. Even time is a resource that needs to be considered. For example, your budget should account for advertising costs, materials, technology investments, and communication channels.

Allocating resources as soon as the timeline is clear ensures the communication plan runs smoothly and delivers the intended message across all initiatives. 

7. Designate responsibilities

If you run into an unexpected crisis situation while at the helm of an organization, even the most detailed communication plan won't make a difference if no one knows what they're supposed to be doing.

Designate responsibilities and outline who owns which task so that when the plan goes into action, your team can just refer to the document to know who's taking care of each task, who to reach out to, and what their part in the operation is.

This is important even in non-crisis situations. Let's say you're launching a new tech product. Your plan should designate your marketing director as responsible for presenting the new product concept and strategy to the company's executive board. It should also designate your marketing coordinators as responsible for any workshops or seminars for external partners like retailers and distributors. 

8. Create contingency plans

Always prepare for the unlikely. Create contingency plans to deal with challenges that might come up when you're executing your plan. What should the team do in the case of negative public reactions or technical difficulties? Who's taking charge of directing efforts in each aspect? How do you address potential issues should they arise? How do you pivot or proceed if you don't achieve your goals?

Be prepared for gaps in the execution, and outline proactive responses to bring the plan back on track.

9. Set metrics for evaluation

Measurement and evaluation are key for the development of your communication plan. You want to track and gauge how well the efforts outlined in your plan are performing.

You can monitor public perception and sales volume before and after implementing your crisis communication plan, or you can monitor KPIs like audience engagement, reach, and conversion rates when your new marketing plan goes into effect. In the case of internal and employee communication plans, you can monitor the change in processes and how it affects your team's efficiency and comfort levels. 

Leverage your communication channels to identify these metrics and areas for improvement, so you can keep adjusting your plan as you go.

10. Perform testing and gather feedback

While testing and gathering feedback are encouraged throughout the process, this relates more to testing your communication plan before you launch it.

For example, you can test how effective your communication plan is and how well it would be received through focus groups, pilot programs, or even internal experimentation.

Once you have feedback from your target audience, you'll be better positioned to refine your messaging and its presentation, and address pitfalls before you execute the plan.

You don't want your communication plan to be just another document in your arsenal of organizational tools. The goal is to make it a piece of your strategy that actively contributes to better communication and company-wide transparency. In order to write an effective communication plan, here are some essential points to consider:

Establish messaging and branding guidelines: Stick to your organization's tone, style, and visual uniqueness to keep your brand identity alive in all communications.

Monitor and adjust: Keep an eye on the plan's performance. Make efforts to adapt based on emerging trends, feedback, and unforeseen challenges.

Report and review: Set KPIs and review them to gauge the effectiveness of the communication plan and better prepare for future strategies.

Document your plan: Keep your plan detailed and well documented , so all team members are on the same page regarding your strategy.

Consistency and long-term planning: Maintain and encourage consistency in your messaging and plan for the long term. Align initiatives with your long-term communication goals.

You can launch exceptional initiatives with a communication plan template and set a unique process that's invaluable for your company's strategy in marketing, PR, change management, and crisis situations. The right plan can make your operations smoother, a bit like a steam iron would your shirt if you're conscious enough to not turn yourself into an ironing board.

Most importantly, it defines how your organization communicates—both internally and externally. It sets the pace and tone for future initiatives. As you become more accustomed to how they work, you'll be able to customize and create your own document templates for other aspects of your business. As you establish the foundation for business communication, you'll be able to automate every part of your project management flow and communicate those goals seamlessly. Find out how Zapier can help you streamline project management . 

Related reading:

The 6-step client onboarding checklist (with template)

7 meeting minutes templates for more productive meetings

One-pager examples and how to create your own

An exhaustive guide to customer acquisition strategy (with 13 examples)

20 free proposal templates to ace your pitch

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Hachem Ramki

Hachem is a writer and digital marketer from Montreal. After graduating with a degree in English, Hachem spent seven years traveling around the world before moving to Canada. When he's not writing, he enjoys Basketball, Dungeons and Dragons, and playing music for friends and family.

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strategic communication plan

How to Write a Strategic Communication Plan Template

  • May 1, 2022

Written by Alexandra

Content Manager at SocialBee

We know why you are here, and we are prepared with both a communications plan template and a guide that will help you every step of the way.

Communication plans are great strategies that will not only take your branding objectives to the next level ,  but will also help you manage PR crises without damaging your image.

In this material, we will walk you through the benefits of a communication plan template and we will show you what are the steps you need to take in order to build your very own communication strategy. Are you ready?

Streamline your business communication planning with our easy-to-use template.

SocialBee communication plan template

What Is a Communications Plan?

Communications plans are documents that outline the messages a business promotes, the  audience  meant for those messages, and the channels of communication. 

A strategic communications plan is a way to organize all your company’s messages in one place, define your goals , and ensure you maintain a consistent and positive image.

Moreover, it works as a foundation that will help with managing certain crises your company might face, pitching new ideas to your stakeholders, creating an effective communication strategy for a product launch, and more.

The Benefits of a Communication Plan

Before we get into how to write a strategic communication plan, let’s see how such a document can benefit your business.

Here are the advantages of a communications strategy plan:

  • It improves client and stakeholder management
  • It defines the communication process
  • It creates a positive brand image

1. It Improves Client and Stakeholder Management

A well-written communication plan will help you improve the level of communication with both internal stakeholders and external audicences, as you will be able to convey your message through multiple channels.

2. It Defines the Communication Process

By having a communication plan, you will also be able to set communication objectives for your company and assess progress.

Writing a clear communication plan will help you identify:

  • What  you need to communicate
  • How  you should share your message
  • Who  is the recipient
  • Which  channels are best for sharing certain messages

Also, this way, you will discover the unique characteristics of your intended audience. Consequently, you will understand their point of view better than ever before, and communicate with them more effectively.

3. It Creates a Positive Brand Image

An effective communication plan has a positive impact on your company’s image because it makes sure that every message you share with the public is correct, on-brand, and consistent on every communication platform.

Additionally, with the help of a communication plan, you can handle crises much more effectively. In fact, big brands have a designated crisis communication team ready to go in case of a social media controversy.

Having a crisis communication plan and planning ahead of time for emergency situations will allow you to manage the public perception better. Also, rushing your response in critical situations without clearly thinking it through will allow other mistakes to slip through and make the situation worse. 

How to Write a Communications Plan

Now that you know what a communication plan is and how it can benefit your business, let’s get into the real reason why you are here — learning how to write an effective communications plan.

These are the steps you need to take to write a marketing communications plan:

  • Audit Your Current Communications Strategy
  • Set Communication Goals
  • Define Your Target Audience
  • Develop Your USP and Mission Statement
  • Find the Best Communication Channels for Your Marketing Efforts
  • Assign Roles to Your Team Members
  • Identify Your Key Stakeholders
  • Write Down Key Dates for Your Communication Strategies
  • Craft Key Messages for Your Audience
  • Outline Your Communication Methods and Campaigns
  • Put Your Communication Plan in Action
  • Monitor and Adjust Your Communication Strategy

1. Audit Your Current Communications Strategy

Before you create your communication plan, you need to run a situational analysis of your current communication strategy.

Here is what you need to evaluate when it comes to your marketing communication strategy:

  • Communication channels – List all the different channels you communicate on both online and offline with your audiences (partners, clients, project stakeholders, customers, etc.).
  • Communication materials – Make an inventory of all your marketing materials. Include anything from flyers to social media graphics, digital brochures , as well as your permanent branding guidelines (color scheme, fonts, logos, etc.).
  • Tone of voice and communication style – How would you describe your communication style? You can use several adjectives to define it. 
  • Results and performance – Which messages and communication platforms had the best/worst results. Add screenshots and links to understand the situation better.

To gather all this relevant information, you can go to the analytics you have for each communication channel, send surveys to your customers, partners, and stakeholders, and hold in-person meetings with your project team.

In addition, you can perform a SWOT analysis and discover both internal and external advantages and disadvantages:

👍 Strengths – Define what you do well, your best resources, and the aspects that give you an advantage over your competitors.

👎 Weaknesses – Focus on the critics you receive from others, the resources you lack compared to your competitors, and the areas that need improvement.

📈 Opportunities – Identify the opportunities and market trends that will allow you to transform your strengths into growth opportunities.

❌ Threats – Discover the external factors that can prevent your business from growing.

2. Set Communication Goals

Turn your business goals into specific communication goals. This way, your business needs will guide the way you think and write your communication goals. As a result, your chances of staying on track and enhancing your company’s performance will increase. 

Your communication goals need to provide perspective and direction for you and your team. So, make sure you offer them all the details they might need. 

When in doubt, respect the SMART goals structure:

  • S pecific – State what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do it.
  • M easurable – Mention how you plan to measure your progress.
  • A chievable – Be realistic, and set goals that are achievable based on your company’s resources.
  • R elevant – Write communication goals that align with your business needs.
  • T ime-bound – Keep your team accountable by setting a clear deadline for your goals.

Here is an example of a SMART communication goal:

“Improve customer satisfaction in the next 6 months by replying to every review, comment, email, and message within 24 hours.” 

To measure success, you will have to check the reviews and feedback you receive as a result of your new initiative.

3. Define Your Target Audience

In order to write effective key messages, you first need to understand your target audiences . This doesn’t only include your customers but also your employees, partners, investors, government officials, media outlets, and more.

As a result of your research, you will be able to craft perfectly tailored messages while also discovering their preferred communication channel. Feel free to ask for feedback and suggestions that will improve their experience as well as your collaboration. Also, keep an eye on the way they communicate and try to match their approach.

When it comes to customers, you can generate multiple demographic details straight from your SocialBee dashboard. Based on the information you gather, you can create detailed buyer personas — fictional characters with the traits of different segments of your target market.

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Get information about your audience from a single dashboard.

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In this way, you structure all the audience data and make it easier for you and your team to remember. 

Here is what a buyer persona should contain:

  • Demographic information
  • Behavioral traits
  • Pain points
  • Buying habits

The goal is to reach the right people with customized messages that will resonate with them.

4. Develop Your USP and Mission Statement

Not all businesses are built the same. And this is a good thing.

Your unique selling proposition is very important for your communication plan, especially when it comes to your promotional content. Why?  Because you have to rely on that unique quality to differentiate your business from the competition and give your customers a reason to purchase from you.

To develop your USP, you first need to answer the following questions:

  • What do you provide that your competition doesn’t?
  • What customer issue do you solve through your business?
  • Why should your customers choose you and not your competitors?

Furthermore, while your USP works as a way to make your brand stand out from the crowd, your mission statement provides meaning and purpose to your company.

A great mission statement reflects your customers’ values and provides an additional reason to invest in your products.

Hellofresh mission statement

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Let’s say you sell sweets. Your USP is that you don’t use sugar in your products. So, in your mission statement, you could state that through your business, you aim to provide healthy and delicious dessert alternatives and improve your customers’ lifestyles without compromising the taste of your sweets.

5. Find the Best Communication Channels for Your Marketing Efforts

It’s not only essential to know how to communicate with your audience, but also to discover the channel that you should use to reach them. Moreover, for better results, you need to keep your communication separate. 

For instance, with your stakeholders, you can plan online or in-person meetings and provide project reports regularly. Whereas, with media outlets, you can move your communication to email. All you need is to have the contact information of several relevant journalists and nurture your media relationships on this channel.

The same goes for the rest of your audience segments. The more you customize your communication to fit your audience’s needs, the more success you will have.

However, when it comes to your customers, you have more options. You can get creative with your communication when promoting your business. 

These are the main communication channels you can use to connect with your customers:

  • Content marketing
  • Search enginge optimization
  • Email marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Affiliate marketing

A. Content Marketing

Your communication plan wouldn’t be complete without including your content marketing strategy.

In fact, did you know that 70% of customers would rather learn about a business from an article or blog post than from advertisements? So, it’s safe to assume that content marketing is quite a big deal.

This marketing strategy is used to attract, engage, and maintain customers by creating and distributing relevant content (articles, videos, social media posts). 

Apart from this, content marketing helps businesses establish themselves as credible and authoritative sources of information, build brand awareness and stay top-of-mind.

So, make sure you include your social media platforms, your blog, and other content creation platforms (Youtube, Udemy, etc.) and give details about your communication strategy on all of them.

Don’t forget that with SocialBee you can create, edit, schedule, and share content on all your social media platforms from one user-friendly dashboard. 

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Connect all your social media profiles with SocialBee to share content faster and easier than ever before.

Besides, SocialBee can generate automatic social media posts whenever you publish a new article, making the most out of your content marketing strategy.

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B. search engine optimization.

To optimize your communication plan and make sure your customers see your content, you must perform search engine optimization.  Statistics show that 68% of website traffic is generated by search engines, a great insight for businesses.

A good practice is to make a list of all the keywords your audience may use to search your products and services and add them to your communication plan. As a result, you will have them ready to use whenever you create content for Google.

Make sure to use keywords and key phrases that match your customers’ search intent, and combine both short-tail and long-tail keywords into your strategy.

Google searches

Moreover, add them to your titles, headings, meta descriptions, image alt text, and body text.

C. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to not only generate new leads, but also nurture your relationship with your existing customers. You should also know that email marketing has an average ROI of $36 for every dollar spent.

It’s an essential part of your communication plan, so ensure you create a messaging strategy that will gain you more website traffic and keep your audience in the loop regarding company news, promotions, and newly posted blog articles.

D. Influencer Marketing

Amplify your messaging strategy with influencer marketing .

This marketing practice is used to generate brand awareness, gain trust, and improve sales.

The key is to find relevant influencers from your industry that your audience looks up to. 

Aside from that, you need to pick people that fit your image and share the same values if you want influencer collaborations to work. As a result, you will have a partnership that seems genuine and addresses the right audience.

Influencer marketing

Make a list of online personalities that you could collaborate with, and add them to your communication plan in the timeframes when you assume you will need a boost in visibility and sales.

E. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another practice you can use to share your message with a larger audience. It involves paying other bloggers to promote your business on their website through link insertions, product/service reviews, and articles.

Besides, it’s an affordable way to generate traffic, boost sales and brand awareness, and build authority within your industry. 

6. Assign Roles to Your Team Members

You know your audience, and you picked the communication channels you will use, so it’s time to assign some roles to your internal communications team members.

For example, when it comes to communicating with media channels, you will need to assign a team member to prepare press releases and keep in touch with journalists.

Make sure you add your key team members along with their roles in the communication plan. This is useful for everyone on the team because:

  • They know what their responsibilities are ahead of time.
  • They know who to go to in case they need help or information.

7. Identify Your Key Stakeholders

As a business, you will have to run and manage multiple projects. And for some of them, you need the support of your stakeholders for your communication method to be successful. 

As you can imagine, this means that you need to maintain a fruitful and transparent relationship with your stakeholders. 

This is why you should add them to your communication plan. You should also include all your project deliverables, stakeholder information, and the main ways you plan to keep in contact.

8. Write Down Key Dates for Your Communication Strategies

Every business has peak moments throughout the year when their sales increase and the demand for their product rises, like flower shops during Valentine’s Day.

Some of them are obvious, while others require a little more digging through the data. So, start looking at your sales history from the past year and identify your most profitable intervals.

With this information, you can adjust your communication planning and improve the way you communicate with your customers. Plan some promotions, create new email campaigns, run ads , and basically do anything that can increase the visibility of your business.

Furthermore, you should also research holidays or international celebrations you can use to promote your brand.

Acess the calendar template and start planning your holiday posts with ease.

holiday calendar

9. Craft Key Messages for Your Audience

For this step, you have to keep your audience in mind at all times. It’s essential that you create key messages that fit the needs and desires of your customers.

To customize your messages accordingly, you need to answer the next questions:

  • What should your audience know about your company?
  • What language and communication style would your audience prefer?
  • What are the main benefits you should highlight?
  • What values resonate with your customers?

Make separate sections for each segment of your audience and add your key messages into your communication plan.

We advise you to create a messaging matrix in order to define your communication strategy for each. This requires you to separate your audience into segments and create categories of key messages and channels you will use for that group.

For instance, let’s say you sell skincare products and your two main target audiences are young girls between 14 and 20 and women between 30 and 45. The girls encounter problems like acne and dry skin, while the women see signs of aging such as wrinkles and depigmentation.

So you decide to address their issues and promote products that will provide a solution. With the girls, you can communicate on Instagram and TikTok, while with the women you can go for platforms like Facebook. 

10. Outline Your Communication Methods and Campaigns

Your action plan is the meat of your communication strategy.

In order to establish the main activities of your communication plan, you first have to follow these three steps:

  • Align your communication plan with your marketing calendar
  • Create communication campaigns
  • Plan activities to achieve your communication goals

A. Align Your Communication Plan With Your Marketing Calendar 

Take a look at your marketing calendar , and find out what your marketing team has planned to improve your company’s performance. Then create your customer communication strategy to increase the results of those marketing initiatives.

B. Create Communication Campaigns 

To organize all your marketing activities and keep track of your progress, you must plan different communication campaigns throughout the year.

This is what you need to establish when creating communication campaigns: 

  • A theme or a goal that provides purpose and direction.
  • Strategic activities that will help you achieve your goals.
  • Clear dates for the beginning and the end of your campaigns.

C. Plan Activities to Achieve Your Communication Goals 

The activities you include in your communications plan should be aligned with your internal and external communication goals. After all, you want to accomplish them in a certain time frame.

That being said, your communication tactics should deal with the following aspects:

  • Where will you share your message
  • How will you communicate it
  • When/how often will you communicate

11. Put Your Communication Plan in Action

Now that you included all the necessary elements in your communication plan, it’s time for action.

It’s a good idea to share your plan with your team and go over it together to ensure that everybody is on the same page before you implement it.

12. Monitor and Adjust Your Communication Strategy 

Your communication plan is a work in progress, it’s not a finished product. So, establish a few monitoring tactics that will allow you to track your success and identify mistakes that affect your business’ growth.

Gather all your analytics, create reports, and hold meetings with your team to gain feedback and find solutions for potential issues. You should also use the communication goals you previously set to find out if you are on the right track.

Communication Plan Examples

To give you a better idea about how you should structure your strategy, we prepared three examples you can take inspiration from:

  • A project management communication plan from VENNGAGE
  • A strategic communication plan from Lean Methods Group
  • A communication plan example from TemplateLAB

First, we have a project management communication plan from VENNGAGE . You can see that it has a deadline, an assigned project manager, business objectives, tools, audience information, and messaging frequency. Also, the nice colorful design is a plus.

project communication plan

The next communication plan template is from Lean Methods Group , and it provides details about:

  • Media or vehicle
  • Assigned team member
  • Feedback mechanism

communications plan template example

This last example is a communications plan template from TemplateLAB that contains information about audience segments, key messages, means of communication, and deadlines for each initiative.

communication plan example

Although these are great documents you can use in your communication plan creation process, we have an alternative that will save you hours of work.

So, make sure you access our free template below, make a copy, and add your magical touch.

Make the Most Out of Your Communication Plans

Now that we went through what a communication plan is, its benefits, and the necessary creation process, we reached the end of this article. However, it’s only the beginning of your work.

But don’t worry, our template is waiting for you, ready to aid in your business strategies and give you a head start on the competition. Just access it below and let us know if you enjoyed our communication plan example!

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How to Write a Communication Plan in 10 Steps

A communication plan can help you effectively communicate with your audience, employees, and stakeholders. Read this guide to learn the basics.

Effective communication can help improve every aspect of your business by enabling you to share information with customers and the public. However, your communication shouldn't be spontaneous because saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can damage your reputation.

How do you communicate with your customers? Successful businesses know they can't respond to every customer inquiry, concern, or public relations issue as they happen; you must have a communication plan to help you prepare for answering tough questions.

A communication plan can help you respond to customers and the public, get the word out about new products and services, deliver your key brand messaging, and recover when there's a public relations blunder. If you're wondering how to market your business , you'll need to start with a comprehensive plan of action.

communications business plan

What is a communication plan?

A communication plan is a thorough plan explaining the actions you'll take to communicate information to stakeholders. It ultimately identifies your essential brand messaging, including branding basics like your value proposition, while using different types of storytelling to share information with the public. In addition, every communication plan has a crisis management strategy built in to help you respond in times of a crisis, so it's important to have conflict resolution skills .

Communication plans can be used for almost every aspect of your marketing strategy throughout different types of marketing , enabling you to communicate your key messages. It may also help you identify which personalized campaigns you'll use to share this information. Your communication plan will cover everything from discussing product launches with the media to handling a crisis.

Companies without plans are unprepared when there's a potential threat to their reputation. For example, if your product was misused and caused harm, you'll need a strategy for how to deal with the repercussions, including how to answer journalist questions. Most small businesses don't have to worry about worldwide PR nightmares, but reputation management is still vital to any effective communications plan.

How to write a communication plan

Your plan is part of your communication strategy. It'll need to cover several elements, including how you'll talk about your products and services and how your business will handle a crisis. For example, a project communication plan can help you discuss new products with investors, while an all-encompassing plan can be used to support key stakeholders deal with potential disasters.

Here's how to write an effective communication plan.

Review your existing methods of communication and guidelines

Your strategic plan should reflect on existing communication methods and guidelines to determine what works and doesn't. Some small businesses might not have a plan at all, allowing them to start fresh. However, if you have a plan, you'll need to go through it to determine if any areas are still relevant to your company.

For example, if you're writing a project communication plan for a new business, you'll need to convey different messages to stakeholders, such as deadlines and action items. Meanwhile, if you're writing a communication plan for a product launch, reviewing your marketing strategies to ensure they align with your new messaging is a good idea.

Identify the objectives based on your findings

Always define your goals after analyzing the existing communications materials. During your audit, you may have missed key marketing collateral like flyers or packaging designs to launch your new product effectively. Laying out your goals after identifying gaps is crucial to ensure you have a successful plan in place.

It's best to have specific and measured goals before starting your communications planning to ensure it can accomplish all essential objectives. For example, a company launching a new product might have a goal of increasing sales within the first month by 15%.

Different departments in your organization might have different communications plans. For example, your warehouse management team may have a plan to pitch new packaging to save money on shipping costs. This team would then need to identify specific goals, such as reducing shipping costs by x amount.

No matter the goals, they can help you have something to aim for with your communications plan. They'll also give you something to measure against after you get your initial baseline metrics.

Pinpoint your target audience

Identifying your target audience before writing your communications strategy is crucial because you need to understand who the plan is for. If you're writing a crisis communications plan, you'll write it for stakeholders like the CEO or a PR representative to speak on behalf of the company. In addition, if you're writing a communications plan for launching a new product, you'll need to consider who your customers are and how you'll market to them.

Make a draft

Now that you know your goals and who you're writing for, you can begin your first draft. If you already have a template to work from, you can start filling it in. However, if this is your first time writing a communications plan, you can begin with an outline to help you identify the essential messaging points.

Your communication plan should have information detailing what the plan is used for. For example, if it's used for product marketing, it should clearly state its purpose and appropriate times to use it. It should also include a crisis communication plan describing how potential problems will be handled and by whom.

Depending on your communication plan type, you may also specify different marketing campaigns or ways you'll achieve your goals, including steps to reach your objectives.

Obtain feedback

Get feedback from the appropriate team or audience to help you identify pain points and areas of improvement in your plan.

For example, if your communications plan is meant to help stakeholders deal with crises and threats to the company's reputation, you can talk to stakeholders directly about different responses to common issues. Many project stakeholders are experts in their fields and may have experienced some of these crises within their careers, which can help you get valuable feedback on handling them.

Additionally, if you're creating a communications plan for employees, you can speak to them directly or send them your draft to obtain feedback.

Determine which communication channels you'll use to distribute your message

How and where you distribute your message depends on the type of communication plan you have. For example, if you create a communications plan for employees, you'll likely distribute it internally via email.

However, if you make a communications strategy for stakeholders, you can discuss it with them in person to help them understand what it's for and how to use it.

Meanwhile, if you're trying to share your message with customers, you might use email marketing newsletters, leverage social media, or put it on your website in a strategic place, depending on what the message is.

Create a schedule

The timing of your message is just as important as the message itself. For example, if there's a crisis and you don't act fast enough, it can be challenging to recover, which is why a plan is vital in the first place.

Let's say you have a PR nightmare on your hands, and the media is making misleading claims about your company. In this case, you'll need to act fast to refute those claims and use various small business PR strategies to get your message out, including using social media to communicate with customers and the public and scheduling interviews with journalists to tell your side of the story.

The same is true if you're launching a product. Timing your message can help generate buzz and excitement before the release date. Then, when your product launches, you already have customers interested in purchasing it.

Know who's responsible for delivering the message

The type of communications plan you create will dictate who is responsible for delivering the message. For example, if you're launching a new product, your marketing team will likely market it through various strategies and channels. Meanwhile, if there's a reputation crisis, your CEO or a representative from the company will probably deliver the message to the public.

Conduct a final review

Once you've finished your communications plan, give it one more review with the team to ensure everyone is on the same page. By now, you should have all the information you need in terms of feedback, but reviewing it one more time can help you catch any potential issues, including grammatical mistakes or confusing action items.

Test and analyze your results

Once your communications plan is complete, you can start testing it and measuring your results. As you already know, you should always continue improving on your strategies. You can measure the results of your plan after it's presented. For example, if you launched a new product intending to increase sales by 15%, you can measure your progress throughout the campaign.

If you don't reach your goals, you at least now have a baseline to help you create more realistic objectives for your next communication plan.

Top components of an effective communication plan

To build an effective communications plan for any department, you'll need these elements:

communications business plan

  • Intended audience: Who is your message intended for? Depending on your goals, this could be anyone, from customers to internal employees.
  • Message format: What will your plan look like? The format of your message depends on what you've used in the past and what has worked. For example, you may use a simple PDF structure when working directly with stakeholders so everyone has a copy.
  • Distribution: How will you share your message? How you share your message depends on what type of message it is. For example, if you're sharing news of a new product, you have many channels to choose from, including ads and social media.
  • Timeline: When will your plan begin and end? Your plan timeline varies depending on the project, but you should always have a start and end date to ensure you can effectively measure your performance and progress.
  • Message source: Who will share your message? The person who shares your message could be anyone, from the head of HR to the CEO, depending on your type of communication plan.

Why is communication planning important?

Communication planning is important because it can help you effectively communicate with your audience, giving you the right thing to say at just the right time. It can also help everyone understand their role in the strategy. For example, for a product launch, product development is responsible for creating the product, while marketing is in charge of getting the word out to the public.

Communication plans can also improve stakeholder and client relationships by helping everyone get on the same page and plan easily. With a good communication plan, no one is left in the dark. Additionally, it can help those using the communication plan to articulate smart responses quickly, which can be beneficial when your reputation is at risk.

communications business plan

To summarize, a few of the advantages of communication planning include:

  • Effectively communicate with your audience
  • Understand individual and team responsibilities
  • Improve stakeholder and client relationships
  • Articulate smart responses quickly

Avert a crisis with comprehensive communication planning

Communication planning is key to the success of any company because it can improve internal communication and your relationships with the public. Anyone can write a communications plan and share it, but what's most important is the message.

Ready to share your communications plan with customers, employees, or stakeholders? Draft your communications plan and share it with Mailchimp. With our email editor, you can design simple yet elegant emails to share messages with your audience.

Free Communication Plan Templates

By Kate Eby | February 27, 2023

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Below, you’ll find the best free communication plan templates for your organization. These templates are fully customizable and available in multiple formats. Pick the one that’s right for you.

On this page, you’ll find a communication plan template that allows for full customization and the inclusion of numerous important details; a strategic communication plan template that helps you develop a granular and highly focused communication strategy; and a business communication plan template that enables you to align your business plan and mission statement with your communication plan.

Communication Plan Template

Communication Plan Template

Download a Communication Plan Template for  Excel | Microsoft Word | Google Sheets

Use this communication plan template to develop a clear and organized plan for disseminating information throughout your organization. Enter important details, such as stakeholders, deliverables, priority, delivery method, and frequency of communication. You can use this template in its current form, or you can adapt it to suit your specific needs. A good communication plan streamlines your workflow and reduces redundant or unnecessary communication while ensuring the efficient distribution of all vital details to every interested party. 

For additional information on communication plans, including more templates and professional advice, check out this comprehensive guide to project communication plans .

Strategic Communication Plan Template

Strategic Communication Plan Template

Download a Strategic Communication Plan Template for  Excel | Adobe PDF | Google Sheets

Use this strategic communication plan template for a complete and detailed look at your organization’s communication needs. This template helps you develop a strategic plan that takes into consideration your mission, executive strategy, situational analysis, stakeholders, key messages, and more. This tool gives you the ability to create a customized plan that encompasses all your needs.

Check out these free communication templates for more options and information about communication plans.

Business Communication Plan Template

Business Communication Plan Template

Download a Business Communication Plan Template for  Excel | Adobe PDF | Google Sheets

A business communication plan is crucial for setting and meeting organizational goals. Use this template to align your business plan and mission statement with your communication plan. Fill in all the crucial details concerning your business and mission to create a fully formed communication plan that streamlines and strengthens the connection between your business, clients, and stakeholders. 

To learn more about creating your own communication plan, visit this highly informative page of free communication strategy templates, examples, and expert tips .

What Is a Communication Plan Template?

A communication plan template is a tool for organizing and planning a communication strategy for a project or program. The template format can range from a simple chart to a multistep plan. Adapt the template to meet your organization’s needs.

A communication plan is essential for creating and implementing a predictable, reliable, and timely system of communication within your organization. Use a communication plan template to ensure that you’re accounting for all stakeholders and disseminating key information in a timely and constructive manner.

What Should a Communication Plan Include?

A communication plan should include goals and objectives; stakeholders and audiences; key messages; and a timeline for the dissemination of important communication. As your plan evolves, you can add details, such as multistep solutions or changes of task ownership. 

The nature of your plan’s content depends partially on the type and size of your organization. Still, most communication plans share a basic framework. To learn more, check out the key elements of a communication plan .

How to Write a Strategic Communication Plan

When writing a strategic communication plan, first decide on your goals. Next, consider what you need to communicate and to whom. Then write and obtain approval for your message. Finally, create a schedule and share your message with the team.

Your plan will vary, depending on your specific circumstances, but expect to follow these steps:

  • Establish Your Communication Needs Figure out what you require in order to communicate important messages within your organization: What types of technology do you need to share information? With whom do you need to share information? What is the appropriate tone for sharing information? By answering these questions, you gain a firm grasp of what you need before you move on to the next step. 
  • Decide on Your Communication Goals Determine what you want to say, to whom you want to say it, and how and why you want to say it. Write down the answers to these questions. Stay focused on your communication goals by making sure that you don’t include redundant or unnecessary information. Follow these steps to create the basis of your written plan. 
  • Develop a Communication Schedule Establish the time frame of your project. Is it a short- or long-term project? An ongoing project requires consistent, recurring updates; a short-term project requires only a few updates (e.g., at the outset of the project, at the midway point, and at the conclusion). Once you determine the frequency of your communication, then you can pinpoint the timing of your updates based on the nature of your content. Deliver a recap or a low-priority message at or near the end of the week; share an important message early in the week or at a team meeting. Follow these steps to develop a precise communication schedule. 
  • Consolidate Information into One Document Adapt one of the templates on this page to meet your needs. Once you’ve done so, make sure the entire team has access to the document. That way, you can ensure that everyone is working in lockstep.

How to Use Communication Plan Templates

As communication plans evolve, you can easily adapt by using a template. Pick an editable template that meets your needs. Complete the relevant fields with your specific information. As clients or stakeholders change, so should your communication plan. 

Use the following step-by-step instructions to get the most out of the templates on this page:

  • Download the communication plan template in Microsoft Word.
  • Save the template to your drive using a meaningful and unique title (e.g., “Marketing Department Communication Plan”).
  • Stakeholders
  • Deliverables for each stakeholder
  • Frequency of communication
  • Preferred delivery method
  • Team or owner of each project
  • Fill in the corresponding fields in your template.
  • Review and adjust your plan as necessary.
  • Share your plan with key stakeholders.
  • Revisit and adapt your plan as necessary using your downloaded template.

Master Your Communication Strategy with Free Templates from Smartsheet

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The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

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business analyst

How to create a business analysis communication plan

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Reading time: about 6 min

Business analysts help companies improve their processes, systems, and operations by analyzing current practices, defining business needs, and proposing solutions. In other words, business analysts (BAs) are in the business of change. 

Once BAs define the problems and the solutions, they help initiate changes through careful communication and planning across the organization. Because business analysis covers the entire organization, BAs must facilitate cross-functional communications that effectively speak to the needs for change and the path forward so stakeholders at every level support the initiative.  

That’s where a strong communication plan comes in.

BAs must be skilled communicators, enabled by a robust communication strategy and plan. Without buy-in from employees and leaders throughout the company, change initiatives will fall flat. 

Below we’ll cover what a business analysis communication plan is, why it’s important, and best practices for developing a BA communication strategy.

Why is it important to have a communication plan?

A formal communication strategy helps business analysts communicate change requirements, project initiatives, and business needs clearly and consistently. This is an important part of the communication strategy because business analysts must be able to communicate clearly across the organization throughout the iterative change management process. 

As projects and requirements evolve and different stakeholders engage in the process (or are impacted by the initiatives), communication acts as the glue that holds everything together and keeps everyone on the same page.

A communication plan provides a roadmap to guide messaging decisions and ensure that information is relayed in the right way to the right people. 

In short, a strong communication plan:

  • Keeps things organized
  • Drives efficiency through a set process
  • Ensures the communications reach the right audience

What is a business analysis communication plan?

Requirements communication is an important part of a BA’s responsibilities. Ongoing, iterative communication helps BAs convey key business requirements, findings, and recommendations throughout the business analysis process. 

Business analysis and requirements communication involve numerous activities including:

  • Managing conflicts
  • Determining the requirements format
  • Creating a requirements package
  • Presenting the analysis and requirements
  • Reviewing requirements
  • Obtaining requirements signoff

To successfully communicate through each of these tasks, BAs need a clear communication plan. 

A business analysis communication plan is a framework that helps BAs document: 

  • What information needs to be shared.
  • Who needs to receive the information.
  • When information should be delivered.
  • How information will be shared (platform and setting).
  • Required stakeholder actions (sign off, review, give feedback).
  • Next steps after stakeholder actions.

A communication plan should outline the purpose of the communication, how those goals will be achieved, the audience, the timeline for delivery, and how results will be measured.

Use visuals to outline your communication plans and keep track of key messaging strategies. Visuals like a communication plan chart or communication matrix can help you get started.

communication matrix

Visualizing your communication plan will keep your framework organized into key categories such as stakeholders, deliverables, task or project owners, priority, and delivery method. Take advantage of visualization solutions that are easily shareable and collaborative to disseminate information efficiently and keep everyone on the same page. 

Best practices for developing communication plans

Creating and implementing a robust communication plan takes work. But the payoff is worth it. Use the following tips and best practices to nail your business communication every step of the way.

1. Determine your communication goals

What is your purpose for the communication? For instance, are you managing conflict, creating a requirements package, or seeking sign-off from stakeholders? Each objective will affect how you communicate with your audience and the tools and strategies you use. 

For example, if you are managing conflict surrounding business requirements and stakeholder expectations, you might have to get everyone in a room together to have a meeting to bridge the gap. Or, you may need to prepare a presentation with additional supporting research to back up your initial requirements analysis. 

2. Consider your audience 

How you communicate information will also depend on who your audience is. Consider what communication format and messaging is most effective for each individual or group you’re communicating with. 

For example, your audience may be most receptive to a formal presentation with follow-up emails. Meet your audience where they are while ensuring all requirements are fully documented throughout the process for reference.

Communication methods could include:

  • Status reports
  • Meeting summaries
  • Presentations
  • Video conferencing
  • Chat or email
  • Shared collaboration tools like interactive visuals

3. Pay attention to frequency

Communication can make or break your company’s engagement. While what you say is important, how often you communicate can play an equally important role in building trust and keeping everyone on the same page throughout the change management process. 

Don’t leave people to guess what is going on in the business or how it might impact them. Bring people into the conversation so you are always working from the most up-to-date information and ensuring no one is left in the dark. 

Paying attention to the frequency and cadence of your communications will improve engagement and buy-in from your stakeholders across the organization.  

4. Use visuals to deliver your communication

Communication must be consistent and clear. Avoid text-heavy, complex plans in favor of easy-to-digest roadmaps. While many BAs outline their plans in spreadsheets or text documents, visuals can help you organize and present your messaging plans and information simply and effectively through every business analysis stage.

The following templates can help you get started:

BPMN process flow diagrams help analysts understand current business processes and identify opportunities to improve them. These are a great addition to your BA toolbelt both for analyzing and documenting as-is processes as part of your analysis, as well as communicating your findings to stakeholders. Use these diagrams to illustrate current processes and pinpoint where and how your recommendations fit in.

BPMN process flow

Current vs. Target Balanced Scorecard

Balanced scorecards help BAs compare current business metrics to strategic goals. These are a great tool for analyzing the gap between where the business is now and where it would like to be. Use balanced scorecards to help communicate gaps in your strategic targets and support your case for recommended requirements.

business analyst

Business Model Canvas

A Business Model Canvas is a one-page document that summarizes your business plans. This is a great asset for BAs because it succinctly communicates strategy, plans, and vision with enough detail to provide context and clear information about process and decision-making. 

Business Model Canvas organizes the following information in one easy-to-digest visual:

  • Value proposition —What problem are you solving
  • Key partners —Who needs to be involved in producing and delivering these solutions
  • Key activities —What needs to be done to achieve your goal
  • Key resources —What you need to deliver these results
  • Customer relationships —How do you talk to your market about these solutions
  • Customer segments —Who needs your solution 
  • Channels —How will you deliver your solution

This visual is a great tool for organizing your plans and communicating the business value of your recommendations to stakeholders at every level.

A successful business analysis isn’t complete without a well-executed communication plan. Use these tips to bring your organization together on key business requirements and make an impact today. 

communications business plan

Create a robust communication plan and strategy to gain employee buy-in and communicate key details with stakeholders in Lucidchart.

Lucidchart, a cloud-based intelligent diagramming application, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This intuitive, cloud-based solution empowers teams to collaborate in real-time to build flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, customer journey maps, and more. Lucidchart propels teams forward to build the future faster. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit

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Fortify your operations with a communications plan template

communications business plan

In the age of digital enlightenment— when we’ve got more ways to engage than ever — why are we often tongue-tied? Especially in the business world,  a simple communications plan template can help you fortify your operations. But before we explore how to build your plan and share a communications plan template that makes the process foolproof, we’ll start with a definition.

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What is a communications plan template?

A survey of over 400 large companies found they lost, on average, $62.4m every year due to poor communication between colleagues.

But apart from the financial impact, there are several other reasons why effective communication is so important.

Here are 5 key reasons why we should all be continually trying to improve our communication skills at work:

1. Reducing information silos

Without effectively planning and managing your communications, it’s easy for information to become siloed.

This can be due to a lack of understanding about what can be shared.

When information is sensitive, people may be uncertain about who else knows it and who they’re allowed to share that information with. This reduces opportunities for sharing ideas and task collaboration.

Assumptions may be made about who else already knows something due to their role or seniority. This can lead to knowledge gaps and reduced productivity.

Offering clarity about when and with whom information can be shared can be extremely important in making sure things are communicated effectively.

2. Increasing employee engagement

Good communication is vital for helping employees remain interested and engaged in issues affecting the business.

Open and transparent employee communication from organizational leadership also helps to develop a culture of maturity and trust.

3. Growing a feedback culture

Establishing a workplace that values trust and transparency enables greater learning opportunities.

Developing mechanisms for sharing both positive and developmental feedback can have a significant impact on organizational success.

Positive feedback from managers reinforces employee engagement. A recent study by Gallup found that line manager effectiveness accounted for 70% of employee engagement variances.

Image showing that employees who receive regular feedback are 3x more engaged than those who don't

( Image Source )

Plus, building 2-way opportunities for feedback means employees can raise concerns and offer ideas and solutions to things they can see aren’t working on the shop floor. That isn’t possible if they can’t trust how it’ll be received by managers.

Even when there’s little to be learned from employees’ issues, simply creating an opportunity for them to feel “heard” can positively impact the employee experience.

4. Building shared understanding

Good communication skills help build a shared understanding of goals and expected outcomes.

An essential communication skill is active listening, which involves listening to information and reflecting back on what you’ve heard.

Reflecting back is important as it ensures nothing is “lost in translation.” It’s an opportunity for whoever is sharing the information to check that what they said and what was actually heard match up.

This reduces the likelihood of misunderstanding and having to fix mistakes further down the line.

Plus, repeating information aloud helps cement it in your brain, which is good if just remembering where you parked your car feels like a daily challenge.

5. Influencing stakeholder behavior

Effective and well-planned communications can have a significant influence on stakeholder behavior.

Both the message and the way it’s delivered can act to persuade those receiving it. This is most obviously seen in marketing communications—such as email marketing— that work to convince consumers that a particular product or service can fulfill their needs.

Good internal comms can motivate or galvanize employees to support a change being made by the organization.

For example, reminding them of current pain points and painting a picture of how this change will act to remove them.

Are internal and external communication different?

Ultimately, communicating internally or with external stakeholders requires many of the same skills. However, there are a few extra considerations when communicating externally.

Firstly, remember that external stakeholders may not understand the jargon or acronyms that would be familiar to internal staff. Make sure to spell out acronyms to avoid confusion.

You should also be conscious of any cultural considerations when working with external stakeholders.

Understanding details like preferred communication methods and whether a more formal or informal approach is appropriate goes a long way to building effective external relationships.

Active listening is particularly important when working with external stakeholders and communicating virtually, as both of these elements increase the risk of miscommunication.

Structuring an effective communication plan

Let’s start with a simple definition of a communication plan.

A communication plan is a plan for how you effectively share information with stakeholders to inform, engage, or prompt action.

Communication planning is important in both normal business operations and in times of crisis or significant change.

What are the main elements of a good communication plan?

A good communication plan covers 5 main things:

  • Audience : who am I addressing my communications to?
  • Message purpose : what is the goal of this communication?
  • Delivery method : how am I going to reach people?
  • Schedule : when am I planning this communication for?
  • Measures of success : how will I know if this communication has been successful?

Image showing the 5 key components of a good communications plan

How supports effective communication

If you’ve landed on this article, you probably know that can do a lot more than help you create a communications plan.

Though, if you do need one, we’ve got a great communications plan template to get you started.

a Work OS, helps you create workflows within and between organizational functions that build relationships and support effective collaboration.

With fully customizable building blocks, lets you get work done in a way that works for you and your team. Our platform is colorful, easy-to-use, and scalable to your needs.

Let’s look at how you might put us to work.

The first step in a good communication plan is knowing your potential audiences. Who are you trying to reach with your messaging? This might be internal staff groups, the C-suite, project stakeholders, or your customers.

Completing a stakeholder analysis can be a good first step in identifying that audience. The stakeholder register lets you store information about key stakeholders.

Image showing example stakeholder register in

You can note their level of interest in the work being done and allocate them a status based on their current and desired engagement level.

This can clearly indicate those people who might benefit from a more targeted level of communication.

If you’re leading marketing or sales teams and focused externally, you can use the CRM to see where your customers are in the customer lifecycle.

Image showing customer lifecycle on a mobile device

This can help you plan communications to nudge prospective customers along and get closer to making a purchase or help with the retention of current customers.

Message purpose

As you identify your target audience, it should clarify the purpose of the message.

Are you informing the business about project progress? Are you persuading customers to choose your product or service over rivals?

Setting objectives for each communication is smart.

It helps you focus on what you want people to do or think about differently after they’ve heard what you have to say.

Image showing the 5 parts of the SMART acronym: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound

Using SMART goals focuses the communication effort and enables its effect to be measured.

Delivery method

This is the nuts and bolts of your planning. How are you going to get your message out there? What media types are you going to use, and which channels?

You’ll need to consider whether to use push or pull communications and whether to use rich or Lean media.

Image showing the definition of push and pull communications and rich and lean media is ideally placed to deliver both push and pull communications using either rich or Lean media to suit your audience.

Need to agree on a project goal? You can use our in-platform collaboration tools to view, share, and annotate documents, use @tags to bring team members into the conversation, and communicate on tasks in real-time.

image showing communication features in

Want to generate a monthly performance report for leadership? Our Work OS pulls information from across the business into straightforward, attractive presentations.

Image showing a colorful dashboard displaying KPI data in

Plus, integrates with over 40 other applications. You can sync up with your favorite communication channels or tools and carry on conversations where you left off.

If you’re more concerned with generating content for an external audience, we’ve got you covered too. Templates, like our content calendar , help you to map out and schedule upcoming communications to try and move your prospects down the sales funnel.

Image showing an example content calendar in monday,com

Speaking of scheduling, it’s essential to time your communications so that your audience isn’t overwhelmed by several messages at once or left in information purgatory.

When deciding when to schedule communications, go back to your purpose.

Is this a regularly planned communication to share information? Are you updating project stakeholders due to a change in status? Is this an ad-hoc communication seeking feedback from employees on an upcoming change? has a number of automation recipes that can help schedule communications for any of these reasons.

Image showing some example automation recipes in

For example, a change in task status could prompt stakeholders to review the project website for updates.

Or, after a certain time period, your sales team could be prompted to reach out to current prospects with a promotional voucher to try and convert them to customers.

Measuring success

The platform keeps a history of your communications in one place, so you have a record of what messages you’ve already shared, with whom, and their type and content.

Image showing how conversations are stored and added to using

By tracking the effect of communications against their planned objective, you can begin to evaluate how impactful they were and what you might want to try next.

For example, by following the lead conversion rate after a social media marketing campaign, you can assess whether the communication effort was worth the return.

For more information on all things communication, check out our 2021 Guide to Communications Management.

Invest in a plan that keeps your communications on track

In this article, we’ve looked how you can create a strategic communication plan

We also explained the 5 key elements of an effective communication plan, so the way you reach your audience is more structured strategy and less silly string.

Now you’ve nothing left to fear, why not get started with our project management communications plan template?

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How to Communicate Your Company’s Strategy Effectively

  • David Lancefield

communications business plan

Ditch the lofty purpose statements and lengthy slide decks.

For too long, communicating strategy has been an afterthought. Executives have shared long, bombastic documents or withheld critical information and expected people to just “get it.” And it hasn’t worked. Greater external uncertainty, collaboration, employee anxiety, and organizational openness demands a change of approach. The author presents five actions that will improve the clarity and quality of communication, enabling stakeholders to make a more substantive and meaningful contribution to the strategy.

Most people can’t recall the strategy of the organization they work for. Even the executives and managers responsible for strategy struggle, with one study reporting that only 28% of them could list three strategic priorities.

communications business plan

  • David Lancefield is a  catalyst, strategist, and coach  for leaders. He’s advised more than 40 CEOs and hundreds of executives, was a senior partner at Strategy&, and is a guest lecturer at the London Business School. Find him on LinkedIn (@davidclancefield) or at , where you can sign up for his free “Mastering Big Moments”  workbook .

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Telecommunications Business Plan

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Telespace, Inc.

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

The telecommunications revolution has arrived: Personal communications and unified messaging systems are at the vanguard of this technological phenomenon. Dating from the 1984 deregulation of local and long distance telephone service, competition has accelerated and sought out every nook and cranny of telecom products and services for both consumers and businesses. From that day only 15 years ago, when consumers were tied to a fixed phone with its fixed phone number, mobile and cellular phones have proliferated to meet the demand for communication anytime, anywhere in the world. Companies that have not foreseen change–or kept up–are quickly consigned to the technological and financial graveyard, Iridium being just the latest example. Financial muscle has been displaced by quality and depth of management and speed of execution as the final arbiter in the marketplace. AT&T finally realized this and brought in a technology-savvy CEO who could pull the trigger on needed change; Iridium did not and paid the price.

TeleSpace is well positioned to become the market leader in personal communications and unified messaging. Now that business and the consumer have telecommunications mobility with numerous phone and fax numbers, pagers, and email, they are demanding simplicity and speed: One identifier for their complex business and personal lives that will find them anytime, anywhere, and deliver their communications. They want and need MyLine .

MyLine has been an operating system for over five years and has a loyal, though small, core of customers. The technology is clean, elegant and maintainable. The system has a complex array of features, some critical, most not. MyLine has had limited success because it was engineered and marketed like the pocket knife of the early TV ads: Rather than the sleek cutting tool the consumer wanted, the early knife had a corkscrew, screwdrivers, awl, key chain, etc. It weighed twice as much as it had to, and came with instructions, instructions for a pocket knife! Consumers knew they were in trouble before they even used the product.

Internal market research has shown what the consumer wants, and MyLine has it! There are five primary target markets, three of which will be discussed below, starting with the businessman and consumer who just wants to get phone calls no matter where: In the office, in a car, in a plane, playing golf, wherever. If the customer is on earth, MyLine will find him/her. Then there’s the Soccer/Sports Mom, totally mobile and often just as totally unreachable-except with our toll-free, 800 MyLine. And the military market, for both professional and personal use, is inviting. They demand mobile, reliable, and confidential communications–MyLine is ready and able to enlist.

The overall telecommunications market is huge, well over $200 billion. The personal communications and unified messaging sub-industry, with its hundreds of millions of actual/potential users, is difficult to quantify at this stage. Management estimates that projected sales of about $40 million in the third year, with sales running at the rate of $5 million per month by the end of that year, would still be only approximately a one percent market share. To become the market leader, a five to ten percent market share would probably be needed. Management plans to achieve this within five years.

Telecommunications business plan, executive summary chart image

1.1 Objectives

TeleSpace’s primary corporate objectives are:

  • To become the market leader in personal communications and unified messaging products and services within five years.
  • To become the lowest cost provider and drive an aggressive pricing model through the industry.
  • To have the best and most responsive customer service by year-end Year 1.

1.2 Mission

MyLine is already the most technologically-superior personal communications system in the world. TeleSpace management will build on MyLine’s brand and technical reputation to become the market leader in personal and business communications, and unified messaging systems within five years.

1.3 Keys to Success

There are three keys to success for TeleSpace:

  • Marketing must generate sufficient sales volume to drive an aggressive pricing model while still achieving planned profitability projections.
  • Strategic partners must be found to private label MyLine and promote it through their distribution channels.
  • Equity capital must be secured at a reasonable valuation.

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Company summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">.

TeleSpace, Inc. develops and markets programmable personal communications and unified messaging services for individuals and businesses. The company was incorporated in early Year 1, and operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AmericomUSA, Inc., a public reporting company. In response to overtures from AmericomUSA senior management, TeleSpace management has proposed a leveraged buyout of the company from Americom and has incorporated this proposal in a Letter of Intent (LOI) sent to Americom. A copy of this LOI is included in the plan appendix. Briefly, the proposal calls for TeleSpace management to purchase 81% of TeleSpace common stock from Americom, with an option to acquire an additional 10% within two years. Americom will deliver all rights and ownership of the MyLine technology and customer base and cease active association with the company. They will not be represented on the Board of Directors. Management expects this negotiation to be completed by the end of October, Year 1, when management will actively pursue equity capital to finalize the acquisition and fund corporate operations.

* Attachments are not included in this sample plan .

2.1 Company Ownership

TeleSpace, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AmericomUSA, Inc., a public reporting company. Mr. Robert Cezar, Chief Executive Officer of AmericomUSA, Inc., owns approximately 58% of the common stock of AmericomUSA.

2.2 Start-up Summary

Start-up costs, shown below (exclusive of salaries), are comprised mostly of legal fees, marketing collateral, advertising, and consulting fees. Start-up costs are being financed by the parent company, AmericomUSA.

Telecommunications business plan, company summary chart image

2.3 Company Locations and Facilities

TeleSpace corporate offices are located in Arroyo Grande, CA. Existing space of 900 square feet is adequate for existing staff, but new facilities have to be leased when sales representatives are hired.

Products and Services

TeleSpace, Inc. develops and markets programmable personal communications and unified messaging services for individuals and businesses. The MyLine system can best be described as a personal communications platform, a remotely programmable “telocation” service which allows the user to access MyLine services from any telephone device or personal computer anywhere in the world.

3.1 Product and Service Description

The MyLine system can best be described as a personal communications platform, a remotely programmable “telocation” service which allows the user to access MyLine services from any telephone device or personal computer anywhere in the world. MyLine is a virtual telephone number which allows the user to control inbound telephone, fax, and data calls and receive them anywhere, but only on demand. MyLine is the only telephone number users will ever need. They receive every telephone call, fax, or email sent to their MyLine number in real time or stored for later use. Or they can screen and elect not to receive any particular communication, delete or divert for later handling. MyLine includes a proprietary security system to prevent unauthorized access and has real-time billing and accounting capabilities. The latter can generate, using a telephone or personal computer, comprehensive billing records by project and/or general ledger account.

3.2 Sales Literature

Initial radio and Internet ads and sales collateral will be developed by the company’s marketing, advertising, and public relations agency in Silicon Valley. This is a well-known firm specializing in high-tech clients.

3.3 Competitive Comparison

In 1992, AT&T launched their Easy Reach service which, although simplistic in design and use, signified the need for a universal telocation virtual number and thus found immediate acceptance. MCI reacted by introducing its Personal 800 Follow Me Service. These services today require users to subscribe to their networks, lack a broad range of integrated services, and offer limited remote control capability.

There is one striking difference between MyLine and competing technologies: The competition has not integrated all means of communication. Some offer voice mail and follow me technology, others offer this, and other features, on a piece meal basis, not totally integrated. MyLine is the only totally integrated voice, fax, data, and email system on the market.

3.4 Fulfillment

The company now maintains its servers locally for supporting MyLine. As volume grows, management plans to co-locate at Above.Net’s facilities in San Jose, CA. A strategic marketing partner will also be sought, especially for the toll-free, 800 number.

3.5 Technology

The MyLine hardware platform is a state-of-the-art digital industry standard, and its design provides unique redundancy and flexibility. The MyLine system places the user on an electronic highway of digital call processing, operating on a Novell Local Area Network (LAN), integrating computer and telephone information into computer telephony technology. The LAN is connected to the Public Switch Network with the capability of using the ISDN/DSL features provided by the long distance carriers.

MyLine users have a personal communications exchange as a zero-blocking private global network providing voice, fax, and data transfer between themselves and any other MyLine or non-MyLine user. MyLine overlays and utilizes the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or the Public Switched Data Network, providing access to anyone with a MyLine number. The network routes all incoming and outgoing requests and data to a central hub for distribution to external routers, the Internet if needed, or delivers the request directly to local destinations.

The MyLine switching center provides the telephonic connection to the PSTN, which the network utilizes as its gateway. The MyLine system utilizes a Novell Netware Global Messaging Service which operates on Novell Netware file servers, providing a standardized platform and format for global message distribution to other Novell Netware servers, compatible applications and Internet addresses. Thus, access to the MyLine system is virtually unlimited. All communications within the network are encrypted, either with public/private key algorithms or with the proprietary MyLine rotational encryption algorithms.

3.6 Future Products and Services

MyLine features can be summarized in the following categories. A comprehensive feature set is available upon request by potential investors.

  • Call forwarding.
  • Selective call screening.
  • Automatic callback.
  • Wake-up services.
  • Conference calling.
  • Call waiting.
  • Call wonferencing (integrating call waiting and conferencing).
  • Voice messaging.
  • Real time billing/accounting.
  • Information on demand.
  • Number referral.
  • Fax store and forward.

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

Dun and Bradstreet estimates that 1999 sales of the U.S. telecommunications market will be over $150 billion, of which the personal communications and unified messaging market is three percent, or $4 billion. If the company can achieve a one percent market share within three years, its sales would be $40 million in a market growing eight percent per year. These estimates are conservative, given the accelerating growth rate of telecommunications and unified messaging in particular. There is ample space for the company, and many competitors, in this huge and fast-growing marketplace.

4.1 Market Segmentation

TeleSpace has targeted five primary market segments:

  • General consumer and business market.
  • Sports Mom toll-free.
  • Domestic Traveler/Calling Card.
  • International Traveler.

Telecommunications business plan, market analysis summary chart image

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

The company will market its products to customer segments that require the basic mobile telecommunication services (such as voice messaging, fax, and email) in a single solution. Other features will be specific to each customer segment. The company will spend substantial marketing efforts in determining which set of features are the most attractive to each customer segment. Offering customized quality product to each customer segment at a competitive price level will be one of the marketing goals of TeleSpace.

4.2.1 Market Needs

All customer segments that we target seek reliable communications that are easy to use. However, feature preferences vary in between the segments. ‘Soccer moms’ that spend so much time driving their kids around are in need of an ‘always on’ accessibility. A permanent 800 number is what they covet.  Business travelers, on the other hand, have a strong need for a universal communications portal that will take care of all their communication needs. In this respect, TeleSpace will specifically tailor its market offering to each customer segment.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

TeleSpace is part of the telecommunications industry, including the following sub-industries:

  • National and international carriers (AT&T) which dominate the long distance market and offer unified messaging system (UMS) to their customers.
  • Regional operating companies (Pacific Bell, GTE) which provide local service and switch long distance traffic to the carriers and CLECs. They also offer UMS to their customers.
  • Competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) provide both local and long distance service and market UMS to their customers.
  • Resellers aggregate traffic and provide discount long distance service and UMS to their customers.
  • Unified messaging and personal communications service providers with in-house switching capability, such as TeleSpace, that offer MyLine and similar services to all consumers and businesses.

4.3.1 Business Participants

The personal telecommunications and unified messaging system sub-industry of the overall telecommunications market is a new, technology-driven, and immature industry characterized by a high growth rate, low barriers to entry, several large, and many small, competitors. The industry evolved during the last ten years as a spin-off the the telecommunications de-regulation, and subsequent explosion in competition and technological innovation. Overall industry sales should continue to accelerate for at least the next three years as consumers learn they can have their own unique local and 800 phone numbers for anyone to find them anytime, anywhere. Several industry leaders have emerged including:

  • AT&T: The overall industry leader is expanding both vertically and horizontally into new markets and technologies and will probably have an impressive UMS.
  • Excel Communications, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Teleglobe, Inc., a large public telecommunications company. Excel is aggressively marketing its UMS.
  • Linx Communications, a leading national communications service provider which recently received venture capital financing. See Competitors, Section 4.3.3.
  • Nextel Communications, Inc. is a large public company providing digital and analog wireless communications services throughout the U. S. See Competitors, Section 4.3.3.
  • Sprint PCS offers a wide variety of UMS services marketed primarily to its long distance customers.
  • Voice Mobility, Inc. is a public company offering UMS for CLECs, wireless and other communication providers. They offer a MyLine clone to providers who re-market to their consumers.

There are numerous small competitors, the primary of which are described in the competitor section.

4.3.2 Competition and Buying Patterns

The primary buying factors in personal telecommunication systems are price, accessibility, and ease of use. There is significant brand loyalty based on the company’s experience with its current customer base. Once an individual has acclimated to the MyLine system and memorized the access routine, he tends to be reluctant to switch to another service. Very much the same attitude prevails in consumer long distance, where demonstrable savings fail to sway a large segment of the population to switch carriers. AT&T still has over 60% of the market even though they are the highest cost carrier in a commodity business. Powerful branding and advertising, even with premium pricing, will create a significant barrier to competitors taking our customers. Being the market leader, like AT&T, will strengthen the company’s branding position and also make it more difficult for the competition.

Management feels the primary competition will be other well-branded companies like Nextel and Linx Communications, which have deep advertising pockets, feature-rich and competitive services, and an established brand. All the major telecommunications companies, including the Baby Bells, are moving into UMS because they have the infrastructure to support it and the brand to promote it. They will have the initial advantage in branding and marketing muscle, but their services to date are inferior. The marketplace is big enough to support all this competition and then some.

4.3.3 Main Competitors

Our main competitors include both telecommunications and unified messaging companies, most of whom have deep financial pockets, and all of whom appear to be competent at packaging and marketing their products. They are shown below with brief descriptions of the company and product(s):

  • Webley Systems offers a UMS called the personal assistant, which Small Business Computing and Communications Magazine has rated the most sophisticated product they have rated. The personal assistant provides subscribers with a phone number where you can leave faxes and voice messages. Messages may be accessed either through a password-protected website or by phone, where you can listen to voice mail or have email or fax headers read. It also supports fax forwarding and broadcasting and offers an effective voice recognition engine to navigate through menu choices. The assistant will notify you by pager when new messages arrive and can also screen and selectively forward calls to any phone number you designate. You can also load your contact list into the assistant and have it place calls for you while on the road, including conference calls. However, the assistant only supports one email account at a time.
  • StarTouch International, Ltd. entered the UMS arena in July, 1996 with its Electronic Secretarial Administrator (ESA). ESA offers a switch-based service including call answering, forwarding, voice mail, fax, broadcasting, and conference calling. The company claims to be debt-free and to own their own switch. Overall, ESA is impressive and competitive, though sign-up is difficult and rates confusing.
  • Nextel Communications, Inc. is a large public company offering a digital, nationwide service competing with other cellular service providers such as GTE, Cellular One and AT&T. Nextel operates on radio taxi frequencies, and their system is based on radio “walkie talkie” style communications for short-range communications. The service is thus tied to the range of their wireless transmission system. Within that range they do offer many features including caller ID, paging, voice mail, call waiting and forwarding, and conference calling. Nextel offers a national system within their transmission range with unlimited long distance. For example, a national account with 1,000 minutes costs $135/month with an additional $.10 per minute for call forwarding.
  • Linx Communications, Inc. offers a Web-based unified communications platform called LinxWeb, a personal Web portal that manages personal daily communications including phone calls from any landline or mobile phone, messages, pages, and faxes. LinxWeb is very similar to MyLine. Linx has teamed with Focal Communications to co-locate their switches in Focal facilities across the U.S.
  • JFAX.COM unified messaging provides a single phone number in one of 60 cities world-wide allowing faxes, emails, and phone calls to be managed via your email account. The system is accessible via phone but best accessed through computer.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

MyLine has an impressive array of features that will quickly overwhelm the typical prospect, unless the sales presentation is focused on the key features that especially appeal to the particular target market. The feature set is so rich, in fact, that many potential customers have admitted they decided MyLine is too much for their needs, that the system is overqualified. Management has decided to focus on a few features that have the broadest appeal and aggressively market these features to our five target markets.

Management will emphasize speed in penetrating selected markets and implementing advertising and public relations campaigns. Financial results will be compiled and reported weekly so that gross and net margins can be reviewed and benchmarked against the competition. Marketing will be continually monitored and adjusted as needed to maximize market penetration and profitability. Cost control and brand management will be critical to the overall strategy.

5.1 Competitive Edge

One of TeleSpace’s major competitive advantages is its technological lead over the major competitors. None of the incumbent companies has managed to seamlessly integrate the voice, fax, and data communications needed by the target market. At the same time, the company boasts a superior management team with decades of experience in the telecommunications industry. These people have a track record of capitalizing on the technology market and have all the means to make TeleSpace another success.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

The strategy used in the past by GST for MyLine was an evident failure because MyLine was presented as being all things to all people but nothing critical to anyone. Almost no one will use even 90% of the system’s capabilities, so why try to market MyLine that way? The potential market is so huge, segmenting markets AND the Myline feature set would seem a viable marriage and be the foundation for a viable business model. So, for example, marketing the unique 800 number service to several tightly focused market segments such as “soccer moms” and the general military population seems feasible. The former market has a critical need for the 800 service and can be migrated to the long distance services; the latter is a prime mobile market that can be sold MyLine as a unique add-on to their basic service.

MyLine or its predecessors has been available for over a decade. These systems have had limited success in the marketplace but overall have not lived up to their potential and achieved the market penetration they should have. The primary target market has been the so-called “road warrior” as this market is large, well-defined, relatively affluent, and well-educated, the very definition of an early adopter market. MyLine, though, is difficult to understand if the prospect is shown most or all of the features and capabilities at once. To the new and/or unsophisticated user, MyLine is simply overwhelming in its complexity and capability. Any successful marketing strategy must focus on the core features of the system and treat other features as “icing on the cake:” Nice if you can use them but not a reason to buy.

The key to selling MyLine is the ability to identify a singular market and its unique needs, develop channels to these markets, so configure the MyLine system, and market that particular feature set to that market. This strategy has the distinct advantage, critical with a potentially complex product, of a focused and simple sales message.

5.2.1 Promotion Strategy

A company has been retained to coordinate the marketing, advertising and promotion strategy, which will rely heavily on radio and print advertising for MyLine and trade shows for CLEC, carrier, and business prospects. This firm has already begun organizing focus groups to determine the best feature set and pricing for the present MyLine service.

5.2.2 Pricing Strategy

TeleSpace will have the lowest cost structure in the industry, but premium pricing based on its uniquely rich feature set and quality service. The company will be the pricing leader, manage both the TeleSpace and MyLine brands for this identification and do whatever it takes to maintain this leadership. As a well-known telecom CEO once said, being the lowest-cost provider covers a lot of sins. MyLine services will be priced to match significant competitors, such as Pacific Bell or Excel Communications.

5.3 Sales Strategy

Sales strategies will vary depending on the target market and the result of focus group marketing research currently underway, managed by our marketing relations firm in Silicon Valley. Trone Miller and Matt van Steenwyk will present to close carriers, CLECs, and corporate prospects identified from personal contacts and trade show leads. The marketing firm is also developing the sales strategy for the consumer markets, which will rely heavily on radio and print advertising.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

The sales forecast for the first three years, beginning with the July first fiscal year, is shown in the following table. Even if this forecast is achieved, the company will still have less than one percent of market share. There is substantial room for high sales growth and industry competition.

Telecommunications business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

5.3.2 Sales Programs

TeleSpace will utilize five primary sales programs:

  • Direct Sales: This will be done by the CEO, Director of Marketing and Sales Channel Managers, all of whom have extensive contacts in the industry and have already been invited by several key prospects to present MyLine and other company services.
  • Radio advertising: This will be the main entree to the consumer market, which the company will approach on a target market basis. Personal endorsements by celebrities will be emphasized.
  • Print advertising: This will be used primarily for MyLine and placed in magazines and newspapers targeted to amateur sports and military officers and enlisted personnel, probably with endorsements by our contracted endorsers.
  • Trade shows: Will be used to promote MyLine, mostly to businesses, CLECs, and small carriers.
  • Web advertising: The company is now developing ads to be run on customer websites of its sister company, AdCast, Inc., which markets advertising delivery systems for the Internet.

5.4 Milestones

The following table lists important corporate milestones, with completion dates, budgets and responsible executive for each. This milestone schedule indicates our emphasis on planning for implementation.

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

TeleSpace’s management philosophy is to outsource all possible non-critical corporate functions and to focus on building a telecommunications marketing and sales internal team, accelerating MyLine sales penetration into our target markets, and completing the MyLine 2000 upgrade.

The company now has four executives and will be hiring a Sales Channel Manager in January, 2000.

6.1 Organizational Structure

TeleSpace is organized into three primary functional disciplines: Marketing and sales, operations and product development and finance and administration. Each is managed by a senior executive who reports to the Chief Executive Officer.

TeleSpace, Inc. is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of AmericomUSA, Inc., a public reporting company. When the management buyout is complete, Telespace’s current board of directors will be replaced by Trone Miller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Phil ErkenBrack, the Chief Financial Officer, and an investor representative.

6.2 Management Team

Mr. Trone Miller is the founding Chairman and CEO of TeleSpace. **Personal information has been removed for confidentiality .

Mr. Phillip ErkenBrack, Jr . is the Chief Financial Officer, Director and a co-founder. **Personal information has been removed for confidentiality.

Mr. Russell Rish is the Vice President of Operations. **Personal information has been removed for confidentiality .

Mr. Matthew van Steenwyk is the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. **Personal information has been removed for confidentiality.

6.3 Management Team Gaps

The company will be hiring a Sales Channel Manager in the near term. This will complete the management team for the first year.

6.4 Personnel Plan

There are four executives now and a Sales Channel Manager will be hired shortly. Two sales representatives will be hired shortly after the advertising program starts, completing the hiring for the first year.

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

TeleSpace, Inc. seeks a seed round of equity capital to initiate corporate operations, secure office and engineering space, hire the executive staff and initial employees, and initiate billing and customer service for the core MyLine customers. The company seeks start-up equity financing to accelerate market penetration through a multi-media national advertising campaign, hire additional sales, marketing, customer service and engineering personnel, and upgrade the operational hardware and software capability of the existing MyLine system. There is also a need to invest over the next year in hardware infrastructure. This capital investment will be sufficient to take the company to profitability and ongoing positive cash flow until the acquisition of the company, or initial public offering of common stock.

The company is offering 20% of its fully-diluted common stock, on a post-funding basis, for this investment, which can be Series A convertible preferred stock or any reasonable form the investor prefers. The company has also reserved one seat on its Board of Directors for the investor(s) or his representative.

The financial exit strategy would preferably be through acquisition by a public competitor or potential competitor. The company plans to be generating sales at a “high run rate” within three years, with comenserate gross margins and net margins. We should be an attractive stock acquisition for a large company contemplating the time and cost of competing against an established brand and experienced and successful management team. Management will naturally assess the viability of the public stock markets with its investment banker and will take the company public through an initial offering of its common stock if that vehicle offers superior returns to our investors at that time.

The following financial plan details the staffing plan and pro forma income statement, cash flow, balance sheet and other financial analysis over the next three years. Management assumes that its present owner, AmericomUSA, Inc., will pay all costs and expenses through 1999. The sale of the company is assumed to be effective January 1, 2000. Profitability should be achieved by June, 2000 and positive cash flow by September, 2000.

7.1 Important Assumptions

The financial plan depends on important assumptions, most of which are shown below. The key underlying assumptions are:

  • A stable U.S. and world economy, with no worse than an average cyclical recession in the next year.
  • As unified messaging technology continues to evolve, no new proprietary technology obsolesces the MyLine technology.
  • The federal government does not significantly alter the regulatory climate and continues to allow the evolution of telecommunications into a more competitive industry.

7.2 Key Financial Indicators

The key financial performance measures for TeleSpace are:

  • Sales growth: The company must demonstrate steady and accelerating growth to establish market presence in this huge marketplace.
  • Gross margins must remain high to provide the internal growth capital needed.
  • Productivity as measured by sales per employee must be at least $130,000 by the end of the first year and should approach $1 million by the end of year three.

Telecommunications business plan, financial plan chart image

7.3 Break-even Analysis

The break-even analysis shows that the company has a good balance of steadily increasing operating costs and sales, and where the break-even point will be reached in monthly sales.

Telecommunications business plan, financial plan chart image

7.4 Projected Profit and Loss

Profitability will be reached in June, 2000 resulting in a loss for the first year. Consistent high gross profit margins and net margins will be achieved within one year.

Telecommunications business plan, financial plan chart image

7.5 Projected Cash Flow

Management expects that equity capital will be required to take the company to permanent positive cash flow by September, 2000.

Telecommunications business plan, financial plan chart image

7.6 Projected Balance Sheet

The balance sheet projects substantial growth in net worth by the end of fiscal year 2002.

7.7 Business Ratios

Standard financial ratios are shown below and indicate a plan for manageable yet aggressive growth. Industry profile ratios based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code 4899, Communications Services, nec., are shown for comparison.

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communications business plan


Serviceplan Sets Up Ambitious Leadership Team for Moscow Office


Serviceplan Moscow have announced a new leadership team comprising three women at the top of their game; Evgenia Arabkina, Olga Starichenko and Anastasia Boykova.  The goal of the new team is to take Serviceplan Russia to the next level, and raise the profile of Serviceplan Group's 'House of Communication' in Russia, which offers clients an integrated agency comprised of digital, marketing and creative expertise.  

The Serviceplan Group is the largest and most diversified owner and partner-managed agency group in Europe. Founded in 1970 as a traditional advertising agency, Serviceplan quickly developed its “House of Communication” concept, creating the only fully integrated agency model in Germany, combining all communication disciplines under one roof.  With 4,200 employees the Serviceplan Group is represented in 24 agency locations around the world including Moscow.   Serviceplan Russia's new management team aims to put the House of Communication on the map of the Russian advertising industry. The appointment of the new leadership team in Moscow is a natural progression for Serviceplan Group, as it continues with accelerated internationalisation of the House of Communication model.  

Serviceplan Russia Managing Director Olga Starichenko has over 18 years experience in major advertising agencies: Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and BBDO leading account services for international Clients such as P&G, Dirol Cadbury, The Coca-Cola Company, Philip Morris, X5 and many more.

Olga Starichenko commented: “Serviceplan globally stands for “Building Best Brands” and thanks to the concept “House of Communication” we have all possible services to come up with fresh omnichannel campaigns. We are here to offer more energy to our clients and the industry itself. It’s an honor for us to join such a famous network and we’ll do our best to be aligned with our experienced European offices.”

Serviceplan Russia Executive Creative Director Evgenia Arabkina has worked in advertising for more than 15 years, including within the Saatchi & Saatchi and Havas Networks. She set up Havas Life Moscow agency, which focused on the wellness and social responsible advertising.

With her extensive FMCG experience, combined with digital and wellness expertise, she was the leader of Durex global communication development and other global health brands. Arabkina has won multiple awards including; Effie awards, Red Apple, Ad Black Sea and Young Lions Russia. She believes that in order to incite change, you should put passion into your creative ideas.

Evgenia Arabkina said: “We are here to change the rules of the game in advertising. This is the time for new creativity, which unites thinking and technology, cultures and talents. Because outstanding creativity is what can change brands into great ones.”

Anastasia Boykova has more than 10 years planning experience. She began her career at McCann Erickson, where she was mostly responsible for Nestle Purina brands, and from a communication point of view she successfully managed Friskies, Felix and Gourmet in one portfolio. In 2013 she joined the strategic department of Havas and became a trusted lead on two of key accounts: RB and Sandoz. Boykova is proud to be responsible for client winning strategies, and proud to enjoy the trust and love of the creative teams.

Anastasia Boykova added: “We believe that constant challenge is the only way to win in this ever changing world. So we challenge ourselves, we challenge rules of the game in advertising and push the boundaries to benefit our clients.”

Serviceplan Russia is a creative agency in the Serviceplan Group, together with Mediaplus, – full digital services and Louder - experiential marketing agencies.


communications business plan

Kellogg’s Worker Seeks to Revive 401(k) Suit Sent to Arbitration

By Jacklyn Wille

Jacklyn Wille

A lawsuit challenging Kellogg Co.'s 401(k) plan fees was wrongly dismissed in favor of arbitration, a former accountant for the cereal maker said in a brief asking the Sixth Circuit to revive the case.

The arbitration provision in Kellogg’s retirement plan can’t be enforced because it impermissibly restricts the rights guaranteed to workers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, plaintiff Bradley Fleming said in a brief filed Monday in the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. ERISA authorizes workers to seek relief on behalf of the plan as a whole, but the Kellogg plan prohibits participants from ...

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