Communications Planning

​​​​The Chapter Communications Plan

​Purpose: To ensure needed information in delivered to the appropriate stakeholders when needed.
Description: The Communication Plan is an agreed upon approach for chapter level communication that identifies target audiences, key information that needs to be communicated, key timing, and the process for transferring the information.

The first step will be to determine what information must be communicated between the chapter and people external to the organization. Next, identify the available communication methods. These may include face-to-face, e-mail, voice mail, teleconferences, web meetings, Web pages, discussions boards and Fax. Then, determine which method best fits the purpose of the communication and the user of the information. The type of information, whether a response is required, the criticality of the information and the cultural factors should all be considered. For example, posting a last minute meeting change on a Web page may not get the information to the right people in a timely fashion. Or if the topic requires discussion, teleconference or face-to-face interaction would be more appropriate than e-mail. In some cases multiple methods may be appropriate or the method may differ depending upon the target audience. The final step in developing the plan is to decide upon frequency. In some cases it will be on an as needed basis. In other cases, the communication should occur weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

Once the plan is developed, a role out strategy will be developed and implemented. A process for periodically evaluating the effectiveness of the communication should also be developed and implemented. The evaluation includes an assessment of whether or not the communication is occurring, the information communicated is needed, the method used is effective and the timing is appropriate.


According to Yulia Dianova, there are 6 steps to creating an effective communication plan [1]

​​Develop a strategy for delivering information to your target audiences

When you want to introduce a new service or product or launch an initiative within your company, you’ll need to communicate this new information to your target audiences. You need a communication plan. A communication plan is your road map for getting your message delivered to your audience. It’s an essential tool for ensuring your organization sends a clear, specific message with measurable results. Writing a communication plan can be time-consuming. Here are six steps that will help you create an effective communication plan for your business.

  1. Perform a situation analysis. Conduct an audit to evaluate where you currently stand in terms of communications. You need to gather and analyze all relevant information within your chapter. To conduct your own communications audit, you may need to do the following: Brainstorm with chapter communication team; Conduct surveys and focus groups across your membership base; and Talk to other committees and working groups within your chapter and within INCOSE.

  1. Define your objectives. After you collect and evaluate all information, define your overall communications objectives. What are the results you want to achieve? What do you want to accomplish by implementing this communication plan? Your objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-focused.

  1. Define your key audiences. You need to know to whom you are delivering your messages. List all the key audiences of your chapter. These may include the following: Members/non-members; Sponsors (Corporate and Educators); Related professional associations; and Educators/STEM.

  1. Identify media channels. Plan to deliver your messages to your key recipients through multiple media channels (Constant Contact, Social Media websites, etc.). Decide which media channels would be the most effective to get your message delivered to your target audiences.

  1. Establish a timetable. In order to achieve your communications objectives, you need to plan and time your steps for the best results. Based on your research and your resources, develop a solid timing strategy to execute the steps of your communication plan.

  1. Evaluate the results. It’s always important to measure your results to understand whether you achieved your objectives. If you aren’t satisfied with the results, make necessary adjustments in order to perform better next time. Your evaluation might take the form a monthly report to your chapter board of directors; or an annual report.

Developing a written communication plan will take some effort – and it’s worth it. A communication plan is your main tool for successfully delivering your messages to your membership and sponaors in order to develop your mutually beneficial relationships. A well-written plan will help you achieve your business objectives and maximize your performance. Note that the Communications Plan can be combined with your Operating Plan in its own section.

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