9. Communicating with Impact /

9.5 Developing a communications plan


We have a plan for making sure the right messages get to the right people.

To meet the standard in full, you have a communications plan that sets out what evidence you will share, how and when you will share it, and who will share it. Your plan is focused, realistic and considers the time and resources you have available.

It’s always best to plan your communication goals, audiences, and messages, together with the tools you will use.

Your Communications Plan can either be written down in detail (if there’s a lot to it) or agreed verbally within your team. Course 9 of the Impact Practice Series from the Social Enterprise Institute provides a useful template for a Communications Plan.

Regardless of how you plan and organise your thinking, the process should ideally involve the following steps:

  • Set your broad communication goals.
  • Systematically consider each of your main audiences.
  • Set out the key messages relevant to each.
  • Decide on the tools/assets best place to communicate these.
  • Choose appropriate channels through deploy your messages.
  • Agree associated resources and responsibilities.

This type of systematic approach can help to ensure that the right messages are getting across to the right people at the right time.

Ensure that the plan you come up with is focused and feasible given the resources available to you. Don’t underestimate the staff time, expertise and money that might be involved in some communication activities.< Although one person should co-ordinate the communications effort, it will be usually be most effective if you involve others. Think about how you will get others involved, allocate tasks, and use their expertise. Finally, it can be helpful to build in some simple evaluation measures at the start so that you will know if and how you have succeeded in meeting your communications goals.