At Helpful HQ we’re a big fan of tools like the Lean Canvas or our friends Comms2Point0′s Comms Planning tool (PDF). A simple plan on a page or two that sets out what you’re trying to achieve, how you’ll know if you’ll achieve it, and what you’ll do to get there is more useful than a fistful of social media policies and gives senior colleagues the confidence that Things Have Been Thought Through.
We reckon you can boil a project down to three main elements:
- The ultimate goal of the project, normally an offline thing you want to change or create
- How communication can help as part of this, towards the ultimate goal
- What the specific steps are that you’d like people to take online, and therefore what your digital calls to action should be
- How you’ll know if you’ve achieved these goals
- The audience you’d like to reach. Nul points for ‘the general public’
- Who can help you to find and talk to those people
- How you’ll get things done, and who’ll do the work (or where you’ll commission it from)
- What the reaction will be from those people if things go as you intend
- Which channels and tools you’ll use in combination to achieve the goal, including how digital will work with offline methods
- What you’ll use those tools and channels for in order to get the response you’re looking for: stories, examples, funnies, pictures, answers?
- What specific constraints you need to work around, what risks need managing, and what opportunities you want to seize
- What successfully reaching your audiences will look like and what kind of things you’ll track to measure that
Importantly, there’s a start and end timescale box too, as finite plans normally make for happier teams.
What do you think, is there anything you’d add into the mix?