This impressive group of three association executives began with defining a problem statement about their association’s communications back in May. They range from 200 to 800 to 4,000 members. I refer to them as Partners In Innovation. They are partnering with each other to figure out how to better communicate and get more of their members’ attention.
As they look past Labor Day, each association is at a crucial step; they have all the information, conducted the research, and know the 8 elements of the plan they’ll create.
So now it’s time to write the plan. Their challenge is to block out the time, sit in a quiet empty room with all of their notes, survey results, matrices and thoughts, and prepare to make sense of it all. Their goal is to come out with something worthy to present to their board of directors.
It can seem overwhelming, but in getting to know these CEOs (and one communications director), I think they will create some great work.
For anyone who is undertaking writing a communications plan, I’d remind you, in Dave Ramsey words, “You can’t wander into a goal.” You’ll never get there without a plan. I know one thing: if this were easy, everyone would be doing it. And they are not. Here are three reminders about constructing a usable plan:
– Creating strategic communications ties your communications to your association’s strategy.
– A Strategic communications plan is specific in the tactics, but first it aligns to the annual objectives of your association.
– The plan begins with “why we’re doing it” and “what we need to change”; then it lays out the “how”.
This project began with three associations defining a specific problem with their communications. The temptation is to document today’s communications, and justify why it still works. But we all know this is not the way to get different results. For Partners In Innovation, this is their chance to be bold, do something different, and hopefully change their minds about how they communicate.