Planning Communications for a Project

Purpose
When a group of people starts working to make a change in their workplace, with the Governor or at the Legislature, there is usually some acknowledgment that communications will be important at some point. Maybe the idea that something will need to be posted online or a press release will need to be sent or a flyer created.

Though the public launch of any campaign that MAPE creates often comes weeks or months after the work has started, the groundwork for successful communications actually starts from the very beginning. Below is a worksheet that we hope will help guide you toward that success.

Message Development
Goal: What is it that you are trying to accomplish? This is of course basic to any campaign or action but naming this is incredibly important to shape the communications part of your plan.

Target Audiences: Who is the decider in accomplishing your goal, what influences them?

For instance, if you want a change in your workplace that can be made by your direct supervisor, one audience is your supervisor, but also likely other co-workers who might be affected and potentially your supervisors’ boss.

Or, if you are working on a piece of legislation, think about the legislators, their constituents, the caucus leadership and the press.

Content

As you think about your goal and your audience, next think about what messages will resonate with them. It is not about your opinion- if it were, you would not need a campaign! You could just make it happen!

So, ask yourself and the group working on the issue, what will move the decision-makers and those around them?

Ask

Finally, every good communication is about moving an audience, so do not forget to spell out for them what you want them to do!

Calendar
Good communications often take more than the amount of time to write a press release or a post! Here are some things to think about when planning out your communications timeline.

  • What are the different events that you will want to communicate to your audiences? Will you want to communicate before, after or during those developments?
  • When would you want a message to be made public (posted, emailed, etc.)?
  • Who will give final approval? Does anyone else need to be consulted?
  • Does the communication need filming, graphics, or other technology needs?
  • Do you need stories or quotes from other people? Have you gotten their approval?
  • Is the communication going out in a publication that is published periodically?

Answering these questions will go a long way toward making sure that your audiences get the messages you want when you want them to get them!

Have more questions or need help developing your communications plan? Email or Text Leah Solo, Public Affairs Communications Director, lsolo@mape.org or 507-351-0961