A communication plan is a very useful steering tool for programming a company’s communication and marketing actions throughout the year.
Definition of the communication plan
The communication plan is a paper or computer document defining the communication strategy of a company for over 12 months. This document will list the marketing actions that will be carried out as well as the budget allocated for each action. The idea being simply to settle at the beginning of the year and to take stock of the actions that will be undertaken. For each communication action, it is necessary to define a budget, a sales objective, which allows measuring the return on an investment after completion.
The communication plan can be established using a spreadsheet, a text editor, or presentation support. The idea is to make it easy to use and above all to be able to manage it as you go along. The company director or communication manager can thus manage month after month the actions to be undertaken and justify the budget used.
What should be put on a communication plan?
The drafting of a communication plan is not done without guidelines, i.e. the company will define a production objective (number of sales, turnover to be reached…) and will define a budget to reach this objective. The idea is therefore to list the actions that will be necessary to achieve this objective, according to the budget that is allocated. It is therefore necessary to have a numerical part to calculate the money invested, the returns, and the return on investment (ROI).
The communication plan must therefore specify all the actions that will be carried out: trade shows, internet communication, TV advertising campaign, newspaper advertising campaign, sponsored links, advertising campaign on social networks, event, open door… Ideally, it is necessary to list all the events on which the company can communicate according to the calendar and foresee the dates of each action.
Plan, observe and measure the impact
The idea of a communication plan is simple: set a goal, define the means to achieve it, and measure the impact of each action. This communication plan must therefore be drawn up each year. It makes it possible to know where the company can invest money and, above all, to identify the actions that have generated profitability, compared to those that have not generated satisfactory results. In this way, it is possible to avoid repeating the same mistakes and to switch the budget to other actions.