Without it, your plan is likely to take you in the wrong direction and you’ll miss your target.
What we will cover:
- Sections of the Strategic Communication Plan
- Why research is essential
- What to look for
- Where to find the info you need
- What to do with it now that you’ve found it
Sections of the Strategic Communication Plan
Why is research essential?
- It provides valuable insight for planning the campaign.
- It lends credibility to your Strat Comm process.
- It positions you as a business partners within an organization.
How does research help with planning?
A: It gives us the answers we need to make informed decisions during the planning process.
To complete the Research section of your plan, find the answers to these:
- What is overall “problem?” – this helps determine the plan’s goal
- What needs to change to fix it? – this identifies objectives
- What will make audience change? – this helps with creation of the theme
- What does audience care about? What can we claim? What makes us different? – this helps with key messages
- What are key dates / months? – this helps with timeline
- How much should we spend? How much can we expect to make? – this helps determine budget
Where do we get answers to those questions?
You’ll use a variety of sources including:
- Interviews with key informants like leaders, planners, project managers, community members, & customers
- Reports on financials, customer satisfaction, and business trends
- Websites on communication planning, competitors, business outlook, & industry trends
What do we do with this info now that we have it?
Categorize & summarize it in your written Strategic Communication Plan.
Components of Research Section of your Strat Comm Plan
- Identify the “problem”
- Background information
- Overall summary of key findings
- Complete this from the perspective of the business you’re going to be advertising
- Strengths &Weaknesses are internal to the business
- Opportunities & Threats are external to the business (include business drivers & industry outlook)
The SWOT Analyis almost becomes a summary because it categorizes all the important facts you’ve uncovered during your research.
Target Audience Profile
- Identify primary & secondary audiences
- Don’t forget about Centers of Influence – groups that influence the customer’s decision
- Include demographics (age, gender, education level, income, access to and use of media and Internet, etc.)
- Include psychographics (preferences, beliefs, misperceptions, behaviors, etc.)
Media / Communication Tool Analysis
- Identify TV programs, radio stations, magazines, targeted mailings, billboard locations, etc. that are most likely to reach your target audience
- Include info on readership, circulation, reach, etc.
Now we have the intel we need to begin the Planning component of our Strat Comm Plan.
Planning Section includes:
- Key Messages