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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Pereda

8 Steps To Create a Business Communications Plan

Step 1: Clarify Goals and Objectives

Everyone's main goal is to increase sales and raise profits. What else do you want to do with your business? Start off with some big, huge dreams and then break them down into short-term action plans. Make sure these goals are measurable, realistic, and attainable. Bonus points if you can set deadlines to them.

Step 2: Map Out Your Brand Image, Values and Standards

You'll want to have a clear aesthetic, tone and mood when starting to pitch and post about your business. Nothing says, "I have no idea what I'm doing" than not being cohesive with your message and image. The best place to start is to create a mood board or inspiration gallery.

Step 3: Define Your Ideal Client To Define your Media Targets

Pinpoint your Target Market. Create an entire persona for her. Give her a name, a story, some hobbies and a family. How does she make an income? What does she do on Tuesdays after work? What about Sunday mornings? What's her current living situation? Does she believe in public transportation to help save the environment or just because it's faster than sitting in traffic? Knowing all of this will help you determine what kinds of media your ideal client is best responding to: cooking and home decor glossies (magazines), makeup vloggers, or daily news digest emails from major news sources. This will make writing a pitch to the right media SO much easier because whatever angle you take will be a natural fit for THEIR target audience.

Step 4: Develop The Strategies Around Important Dates

Look at your calendar for the coming 3 months (do this every month). Are there any significant dates coming up for your business? Upcoming holidays? Grand opening of a second location? Work anniversary? Upcoming #NationalDay that pertains to your industry? Plan ahead for what kind of buzz you want to create for them and create a series of messages for each leading up to the date.

Step 5: Draft The Key Messages (and Imagery) of Your Plan

Make sure they are consistent with each other (but not identical) and are aligned with your branding standards. You want to portray the same idea in various different ways. Start with a fully detailed explanation (aka a press release) and then break it up into sections and shorten it to summaries (one-two liners). Don't forget to always give a very short explanation of your business at the very end (this is called a boiler plate). Remember to give your audience what they want to see; not what you want them to see.

Step 6: Decide On Directions

What kind of campaign will you be running? Cross-pollenation is fine for REALLY BIG campaigns (like a Black Friday sale) but definitely don't post about the same thing on each of your social media platforms, and email blasts, and press releases AND paid advertisements. It's redundant and frankly a bit of overkill. Decide on which direction will best suit your specific campaign and then pepper in some supportive assets.

Step 7: Carve Out a Marketing Budget

Want to delve into influencer marketing? Think big budgets and free product. Don't have that kind of money for a sponsorship yet? Try looking into social media advertising. Don't forget to be realistic and make sure to set aside money for unforeseen circumstances. A great habit to develop early on is being overly thankful to anyone who gives you free advertising (aka publicity). I'm sure that editor would love a nice bouquet of flowers to brighten up her desk as a sign of your gratitude for the piece she wrote about your community philanthropy event.

Step 8: Review Your Task List and Time Table Consistently

The success of your communications plan will heavily depend on your dedication to still to your deadlines. Don't be afraid to outsource!

Don't have the time, patience, or manpower to tackle a task like this all by yourself? Let's talk shop. Let me take care of it for you.

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