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While the world remains uncertain, although brighter, in 2021, a communication roadmap plays a critical role in driving a company’s initiatives each year. The roadmap identifies the communication priorities for target audiences, with desired goals aligned with business objectives. A communication plan can help corporate communication teams be more proactive and less reactive in their efforts. Teams can remain agile with a smart communication opportunity that achieves a specific business goal. A communication plan can help the corporate communication team turn down or shelve a communication prospect or initiative that does not align with the current strategy.

Here some things to consider when developing a communications plan.

Components in a communication plan

The roadmap first outlines the company’s business objectives and how communications will support those goals. The plan aligns leadership and the corporate communication team in navigating the year ahead. The plan also clarifies the company’s audiences and defines the most effective ways of communicating with them.

By identifying a few communication initiatives or “anchor projects” that are intricately linked to its business objectives, the team can prioritize its efforts. Identifying those high-level initiatives, such as updating the website, launching a new internal communications tool or developing media relationships will ensure the company steers the actions in the same direction.

Also, be sure to include the support of managers and supervisors, particularly those in the field. Research continues to show employees favor those personal touchpoints as the best channels of communication. According to the Institute of Public Relations, study respondents noted that direct communication through supervisors/managers (61%) and one-on-one check-ins (76%) are “very effective” channels. This is especially true for employees in the field. Be sure to include practical tools (such as communication training, intranet, email or an app, and a feedback loop) to help supervisors/managers effectively communicate to employees.

Alignment on the path forward

The communication plan, supported by leadership, focuses the company and team’s communication efforts, so everyone knows the path forward and shares consistent messaging to critical audiences. Alignment allows everyone to work from the same playbook and understand the goals for the next 12 months. Should an unexpected communication event show itself, the plan enables the team to determine whether the opportunity should be folded into the communication roadmap or postponed for the following year.

Always measure and audit

It is important to measure successes or milestones in the communication plan and enable feedback to adjust the strategy. Measures of success can include an increase in new-hire applications or client engagement. It is also important to consider a quarterly or mid-year review to determine the plan’s success and improvement areas, then adjust the plan accordingly by implementing any new necessary approaches. Also, gather information directly from stakeholders and leadership via one-on-one interviews, group discussion or surveys. All the data from any existing analytics, such as email tracking and website traffic, should be reviewed to analyze the communication plan.

In conclusion, communication teams must work to remain agile to pivot, if necessary, in these times of uncertainty. A communication roadmap can help steer the construction company amid those sharp turns while keeping communications on track to deliver on the year’s outlined priorities.

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