You may or may not be aware that your organization has a communications plan. But a lack of structure in this department is sure to get noticed by everyone across all levels.
Proper planning should help it run smoothly throughout day-to-day operations with standard operating procedures (SOP) in place for things like a crisis, emergency, or any other big change.
If there’s one big misconception surrounding effective business communication plans, it’s that how you’re sharing information isn’t as important as what you’re sharing. But as anyone who has struggled to share important information knows, a reliable method of delivery is integral.
Here at SimpleTexting, we’re particularly fond of texting for this very reason—it puts the read and response rates of other communication methods to shame. So we want to take some time to
convince share how you can phase SMS into your internal and external communication plans.
This isn’t the easiest question to answer as communication plans are often confused with marketing plans. The two are very similar, but there are a few key differences we hope to illuminate here.
But first, we define a business communication plan as: an organization’s detailed description of what they hope to achieve or accomplish through the information they send out—physical and digital contact alike. It’s all about what an organization is saying and how they’re saying it, also known as core messaging. A good communication plan will go on to overview who is doing the communicating, who they’re communicating this information to, and the channels or mediums through which they’re doing so.
To help give you a better understanding of this definition, we’ll go into some of the main elements that separate marketing and communication plans.
Have you ever heard the old math riddle that a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is never a square? Similar logic can really be applied in this case. Elements of a communication plan often make their way into marketing plans, but a marketing plan is never itself a communication plan.
By taking this time to focus on only the communication plan we’re driving home the emphasis on your messaging and the most effective ways to deliver it.
If after reading to this point in the piece you still consider yourself a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants marketer thinks a communication plan isn’t necessary, we’re here to say that there’s some serious benefits to approaching communications with a critical eye!
The secret of every good communication plan is in the order of your steps: look at where you’ve been, audit where you are now, and project to where you’d like to be.
Always remember to be SMART.
With the focus ultimately set on long term goals, these five elements are crucial if you want to get the most juice from your communications orange.
When your plan is specific, it points directly to the goals and objectives you want to see. It helps you down the line when your boss asks you “what have you done over the last six months.” You can see how responding with “created new communication pathways with millennials through the social media platforms Facebook and Instagram” sounds a lot better than “worked on reaching more customers with our messages.”
Taking this example a step further, making a plan measurable answers the question: “how did we do?” You want to ensure your communication plan has ways for you to find out if you’re achieving what you set out to do. For the example above, we would make that goal measurable by adding on ” “boosted our communication engagement with millennials through the social media platforms Facebook and Instagram by 25%.”
When developing your communication plan, you also want to ensure that everything in it is serving a specific purpose. You don’t want to do something just for the sake of doing it. Before you add any strategies or tactics to your plan, ask yourself, is this actionable: aka can this be used to improve performance?
In developing something worth your time, effort, and money, it also needs to be relevant to your audience. Are you tackling the most important communication pain points? Also, be sure to prioritize your plan to address the highest acuity needs first. What’s the most important information your audience needs to understand and how do you plan on sharing those messages with them?
Finally, and for your own sanity, the last thing you should ask yourself when developing a communication plan is— can I actually meet these goals in the amount of time I have? A timely plan is one that sets realistic measures. Short term communication plans, for example, may be relevant for a specific project, or quarter. An annual communication plan, however, may have larger scale objectives more realistic for the scope of time and resources on hand.
Now that you understand the physiology of a business communication plan, let’s cover its anatomy. If you were to write a communication plan for your business today, here’s how it should be structured:
We thought it might be nice to give you a break from all the hypotheticals and instead give you some real life examples of business communication plans in action.
We’ll provide links out to read the full plans if you’re interested, but here are some highlights from communication plans from several different industries.
So, we’ve dissected everything you need to know about writing a communication plan, now let’s get in to how you can see it through start to finish. More specifically, how you can work SMS into your communication plan.
SMS can serve you as a tool for developing, executing, and evaluating your plan— start to finish.
The very first step we covered for every communication plan is a situation analysis. You need to take a critical look at what your organization is already doing to communicate with its audience and how well (or poorly) it’s doing with it. Thankfully, conducting research through text is a quick and easy way to gather feedback from your audience. By using the text to vote feature, you can send out questions and watch the results pour in.
You can take on this same methodology to connect with customers during and after your communication strategies are rolled out to check in and see if it’s working. Do they feel like their suggestions have been heard? Are common misunderstandings or pain points being more clearly addressed? Just text your question and find out! SMS has an average response rate of 45%!
Once your situation analysis has helped your business develop its core messages, your ready to start sharing them. Thanks to the popularity of texting as a communication medium, we believe SMS is the perfect tool for you to start connecting with your target audience. No matter who what target audience may be…
With nearly 5 billion cell phone owners in the world, texting has become popular across all kinds of demographics. Thanks to a study by medium, enough data has been gathered to show that every age group is texting almost every single day, just some a little more than others:
People aged 18–24, send and receive about 128 texts daily. People aged 25–34 send and receive more than 75 messages per day. Adults 34-55 send and receive around 16 texts per day. People aged 55-64 send and receive an average of 80 text messages per month. Senior citizens 65+ average 32 text messages per month.
The one thing to keep in mind when it comes to SMS is that it requires permission from recipients. Because of anti-spam laws, each subscriber on your texting contact list must have given you express written consent to receive your messages.
If you’re looking to use texting as a medium for your internal communication plan, this means you’ll need to encourage employees to adopt the method in order for it to succeed. To help boost participation and get you closer to 100% adoption rates, here are some things you can do to help encourage employee buy in:
While SMS isn’t the newest way to digitally communicate, its popularity continues to grow. With little to no learning curve required by recipients and advanced marketing features available to senders, it’s the perfect compliment to any communication plan.
Additionally, through things like Zapier, texting can easily be integrated with your existing digital marketing/communication efforts allowing you to do more with even less work.
With reward greatly outweighing risk, SMS is the perfect communication solution for creating actionable results.