Insight Blog

How to Create a Communication Plan

by Eileen Koch

October 12, 2020 | How To...

We all know a communication plan is important but too often a team creates one at the beginning of a project and then forget about it. Follow these simple steps to create a comprehensive communication plan and assign someone on the team to review it daily, weekly, and monthly.

The purpose of the Communication Plan is to help define the project’s communication and engagement activities, along with the details needed to create the required deliverables. The Plan also helps facilitate high-quality deliverable development per the schedule. In addition to defining and scheduling each communication or engagement activity, the Communication Plan also identifies the following:

Ref: A unique index for each message or communication.

Track: Where the communication plan is used to identify multiple pieces of work, this allows you to separately categorize communication for each.

Type: Identifies whether it is a project communication or engagement activity.

Phase: Indicates which phase per the initiative the communication or engagement activity is supporting.

ADKAR Element*: For projects using Prosci, ensures completeness of communication and reinforces adoption of ADKAR. For example, is the communication aimed at Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability or Reinforcement

Sender: Identifies the sender of the communication or engagement activity content (e.g. Executive Sponsor, Program Lead).

Audience / Stakeholder Group: Identifies target audience for the communication or engagement activity.

Key Message(s): Identifies the key messages, including who, what when and how.

Delivery Method (Channel): Identifies how the communication or engagement activity will be delivered (e.g., email, meeting, teleconference, video).

Frequency of Delivery: Defines whether the communication or engagement activity will recur and how frequently if so (e.g., One-time, Recurring – Weekly, Recurring – Biweekly, Recurring – Monthly, Recurring – Quarterly).

Communication Delivery Date: Designates the target delivery date for the communication or invitation supporting an engagement activity.

Event Date: Identifies the event or session date for which communications were developed, if applicable (e.g., invite for workshops, town hall meetings).

Status: Identifies the status of the communication or engagement activity. Status categories include: Not Started, In Progress, Under Review, Completed, On Hold and Cancelled.

Content Developer: Identifies who is responsible for developing the content of the communication or engagement activity (when applicable).

SME(s): Name of the subject matter expert(s) contributing to the communication or conducting the engagement activity.

Reviewer #1, #2 & #3: Insert name(s) of any reviewers required to review the document once the draft is complete. Reviewers can include: Managers, Business SME(s), Director(s), VP(s), Corporate Communications, and Legal.

Final Approver: Identifies the person responsible for approving the content of the communication or engagement activity.

Next Steps: Record follow-up, feedback, and next steps related to specify communication.

If you believe that communication amongst a team of internal and potentially external stakeholders is critical to achieving your program goals, invest the time to nurture a communication plan that serves as your playbook to inform, engage, and teach people.

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