Did you know you can maximize engagement by creating a communication plan for your next local community development project? Developing a clear, concise and well thought out plan is critical for success. How do you craft an effective plan? Here are five tips to put you on the communication plan path.

1) Establish Objectives

What does your plan hope to accomplish? Remember, communication objectives are different from project objectives. However, they must work  in hand. The objectives must be in simple terms, understandable and easily explainable to the average person. They must be clear, specific, measurable, and realistic. Generate ideas to gauge the interest of the community about the project. For instance, your objective could be – “to build awareness among a defined group of stakeholders.”

2) Target Stakeholders

Stakeholders are, or could be, people who the project affects. To determine the right audience, research all possible stakeholders ranging from citizens, employers, community service agencies, boards, institutions, and local councils.

3) Publicize your Project

A project’s success can be increased by the mediums adopted for publicity. Design eye catching materials that are informative, thorough including a call to action.  Conduct research  to learn which communication channel best fits your project. In addition to newsletter and posters, presentations, robocalls, postcards, websites, and publicity through radio and TV.

4) Communication Management

Communication management is the planning, implementing, monitoring and revision of the plan. Part of management that includes a clear explanation of meeting places, attendees, and outline all the staff members and their responsibilities.

5) Evaluate the Project

After all, success or failure is revealed by the method of implementation. Determine what performance indicators and measures will be used. Evaluating the plan and strategies, will be helpful for future projects.

When the communication plan is successfully executed, it will ensure efficiency and informed and engaged stakeholders.