Recipe for a Strategic Communications Plan

A strategic communications plan mixes together all your communication vehicles to accomplish your mission. Its methodical recipe helps you get the results you want.

Key ingredients of a communications plan:

  • Executive summary: Write this section last and limit it to one page.
  • Communication process description: Provide information to help decision makers who are not trained in communications.
  • Background: Share what events or issues led to the need for the communication plan.
  • Situation analysis: Conduct primary and/or secondary research to understand the issues facing your organization. Strategic communications plans rely on facts.
  • Strategic summary: Determine high-level goals, SMART objectives with a focus on measurable outcomes and a mix of communication tactics to produce timely, cost-effective results.
  • Implementation schedule: Use a Gantt chart to plot the action items, critical path and timelines for your tactical implementation.
  • Budget: Use an Excel spreadsheet to plan scenarios that meet your needs and constraints. Focus on budgeting to achieve each objective based on related tactics.
  • Evaluation and monitoring: Conduct new research to see if your communication efforts accomplished your objectives. To maximize your effectiveness, evaluate your plan on an ongoing basis.

How many of these ingredients has your company been using?

Lisa Goller
Lisa Goller helps businesses tell their story. As a Toronto-based Strategic Freelance Writer & Editor, she helps executives and entrepreneurs stand out, look good and save time. Learn more at


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