A huge part of having an impact in politics is being able to communicate a message that resonates with people. That means that you need to have “something to say” about things that people care about. But it also means that you need to have a plan for being be able to “say it” as often – and in as many “places” – as it takes to penetrate people’s minds, impact the way that they think and cause them to take action.
If you can’t do that then you’re wasting your time.
There are several simple steps to a good communications plan, but one of the first things to remember is that you need to WRITE IT DOWN. It doesn’t help you to spend time figuring out what, where, how and when to say something and then not have it written down so that you can refer to it later and make sure that you’re staying on track.
Think of it as a road-map. Without it, it’s easy to get lost and waste a lot of time and resources.
Key Elements of a Simple Communications Plan:
- Develop your message – (What do you want to say and to whom?)
- Package your message – (How are you going to say it?)
- Push your message – (Will people hear it? How will you make sure that they do?)
- Frame the debate – (Will it help control the ground you fight on…or change it?)
- Determine what types of media to use – (Where are you going to say it?)
- Create a schedule – (When are you going to say it?)
Think about and determine each of these separately, then put them together and you’ve got a simple but effective communications plan for any campaign, organization or lobbying effort. If you need to adapt and change it later as you go along, fine. Just be sure to keep it written down and easy to understand.
Follow the links above to get some simple tips on how to use many of the most common tools for communicating your message.
Remember: fail to plan, plan to fail!