Formulating a communication strategy requires careful planning. You need to identify your stakeholders, design that your template and then track the messages as they are sent out. In this article I’ll go through the three steps to make sure your strategy is effective.
It all begins with creative management defining who the stakeholders are for their project or team. You can contact internal stakeholders directly to find out what messages are data they will expect in your communication reports. This is less easily done for external stakeholders so you should communicate and collaborate with your own management teams establish what messages should appear in an external communication strategy.
Identify exactly what types of report frequency and communication methods are going to be used. This should attempt to accommodate as many stakeholders as possible.
The planning phase can then end with defining your communication strategy template. Include sections on what your objectives are, the progress you’ve made, financial updates, scheduled milestones that were hit, issues experienced as well as risks and opportunities. This will alter greatly depending on your industry as well as the nature of the report (internal versus external). Include as many of the messages which stakeholders have explicitly requested earlier in the planning phase.
All that is left to do is to start sending out reports. Track exactly which stakeholders are receiving the reports and when. This can be useful later on to establish if there are gaps in your stakeholder lists and if the frequency is in fact correct.
A change log should be kept to analyze and detail any feedback or change requests you receive to alter the location strategy template structure or the basic content. Use appendices in the template if necessary to drill down further into specific areas of information or data which has been explicitly requested.