The Mediterranean Lab for Co-production 

of Social Innovation

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Advocacy communication in our project: the communication plan 08

Unknown Member 22 November 2022

Once we know our starting point and the possible general strategies that we want to carry out, we are in a position to land a strategic planning that crystallizes in a communication plan. There are various types of plans, you can consult some of the bibliographical section or search the network. In essence, all of them seek to address the following points: objectives, audiences, messages, strategies, audiences.

Defining our goalsit will probably be the starting point; Wanting to influence political agents at the municipal level with our proposals is not the same as trying to set up a neighborhood project or platform or hold a series of talks to publicize our organization. The objectives that we set ourselves with our plan will be aligned with the vision of our organization and the general objectives of our organization. The “objectives” section may be hierarchical in general and specific objectives as well as be accompanied by the result linked to achieve, to quantify and be able to evaluate the achievement of said objective. It is often useful to use the SMART rule, so that the objectives are: specific (specific), measurable (measurable), achievable (achievable), result-oriented (result-oriented) and determined in time (time-limited).

Key aspects for a communication plan (Source practicaltema.com)

From there, knowing who we want to address is also very useful. Generally we want to reach “everyone”, but we forget that not everyone uses the same language or has the same receptivity to our proposals. We must, therefore, delimit our public in order to better reach it, based on specifically focused messages and channels. To define them, it is usually useful to analyze their values ​​and sensitivity to our goals, as well as the degree of affinity and closeness we have to them.

Thematic and affective affinity map (Source: Communication manual for organized citizenship)

Generally, when we think about audiences and communication, we tend to look outside, forgetting how important our own communication is within our group or entity. Taking care of internal communication itself , giving it the importance it has for the care of the group itself and its purposes, through appropriate channels and languages ​​will help us not only to achieve our objectives but to do so easily and satisfactorily, enjoying the process and doing of this an end in itself, something that should not be trivial.

Once we know what we want with our communicative act and we know who or who we want to reach (splitting up the target audience does not mean that we cannot have an interest in reaching various audiences) we will be in a better condition to determine what we want to tell them, which is why both our message e. To create them, focus attention on a single, great idea, broken down into three messages that support it: What do you need to convey? What would you like to convey? And how do you want your audience to react or act?

Before proceeding further, it is important to register a budget section , where we collect the financial and resource endowments that we can count on, both for the revitalization of our activities and for their execution, since this will largely condition the projection of what we can plan.

At this point we will be in a position to land a matrix strategy for our plan and our communication. The strategic axis is the starting point from which the key messages and the actions that must be carried out to achieve the objectives set are established. The axis must be consistent both with the objectives set (since these constitute the goal where we want to reach) and with the resources available to achieve them. When targeting specific public segments, specific communication actions must be defined for each of them. These actions should always keep the strategy in mind so that all messages are consistent.

Once we know the resources we have, what we want to tell and to whom, we must think about how we are going to get it to them, that is, through which channels we are going to spread our messages. Broadly speaking, we can talk about:

  • Offline communication channels: radio and television, written press, street furniture, posters, billboards, public relations acts and events…
  • Online communication channels: Web, blog, social networks, newsletter, bulletins…

Depending on the public we are addressing, we will use one or the other channel or combine several, which is what usually integrates a communication into its strategic plans. The channels must be in line with the public and with the message. For example, the language of radio content is not the same as in the written press or on social networks; Some will have a more colloquial language than others, a greater or lesser thematic depth…

At this point, it is time to design the action plan and schedule it . These actions must be aligned with the objectives and audiences described above and grounded in tasks, responsibilities, deadlines and resources.

Action plan (Source: REAS RdR)

Finally, like any strategic planning in other areas, it is important to include an evaluation section , which allows us to assess whether we have achieved our objectives and reorient our planning according to these results. The more concrete we have been defining our objectives and actions, the easier this work will be for us. Although we must give ourselves some time for our plan to take effect and, therefore, provide ourselves with a sufficient period of time to carry out our evaluation (annual, biennial…), it is advisable to have a periodic analytical look to correct and implement possible small changes during the execution itself.