This step by step guide on preparing a Communication Plan, using the Enudge Communication Plan feature, will help take the pressure or stress out of maintaining a regular series of email and/or SMS messages to engage with your target audience.
Step 1. Brain Storming Session
Get together with the key people involved in your business / organisation / group - and if it's just you, that's perfectly okay! Then brainstorm all the different topics you might like to talk about in your email / SMS campaigns.
- do this true brainstorming style - have a whiteboard / big sheet of paper, and write up every idea that comes. Don't judge the idea ... just write it down.
- if you have a few people in your group, or you are having trouble getting started, you might like to start the ideas flowing by considering these areas:
- new products / services
- revisions of existing products / services
- complementary products / services
- special staff skills
- foundational industry knowledge
- what knowledge would make it easier to deal with us?
- holiday themes
- date / event specific information
Step 2. Rationalise & Prioritise the List
Now choose the right people (or just yourself) to go through the list created in Step 1. Go through each topic and weed out the ones that you don't think would be very exciting or useful to talk about to your audience.
Next, create two groups of topics: those that can be written about now, and those that need further research (add a mark / special colour to these so they are easy to identify later).
Take the topics that can be written about now, and put those into a logical sequence. You may find that there is a logical sequence for discussing the different topics, or perhaps not, but it is worthwhile giving it some consideration as it will help you introduce your next newsletter to your readers.
On your whiteboard or a blank piece of paper write out the quarters / months / weeks in which you would like to send out a newsletter.
Slot in any topics that are dependent on a particular date or time of year, whether they are ready to be written about now or not.
Now is a good time to think about how many topics you would like to include in each newsletter. Some newsletters come out with one main theme topic, with perhaps a few little tidbits of "supporting" information; others include a range of topics.
Then slot your topics into the available slots in your time scale, starting with the sequence of topics that can be written about now, followed by the topics that need further research.
Voila! There's a plan for you.
Step 3. Assign Writing Responsibilities
Beside each topic in your time scale, add the name of who will write about it. Spread the load where you can. You might need to re-order the topics slightly to stagger the writing responsibilities.
If you are the primary person responsible for your organisation, don't think that you can't get other people, even external people, to write the content for your newsletter. It's a great networking exercise, and can strengthen your relationships.
Step 4. Setup your Communication Plan in Enudge
Add your communication plan to your Enudge account. This is done through the "Communication Plan" option located in the main navigation of Enudge, once you have logged in.
For each message add the name, description (brief details of what you want to achieve / the topic of the message), date you intend to send it, person responsible, and who should receive a reminder email message and when.
Setting up your communication plan within your Enudge account keeps all the information relating to your communications in the one place, and also ensures that the writer responsible for each message is reminded at an appropriate time to prepare the message.
Step 5. Make it Easy to Gather your Research
Leading up to the due date for a particular email message, whenever a piece of information arrives that is related to a particular message, the details can be added to the notes for that message. You may in the process find other things to write about ... add a new message, and slot in the input to that new message on the spot, thus helping to extend out your plan.
Step 6. Write Your Message using your Research
When you receive the reminder email from the Enudge Communication Plan for the next message to be written, first review the notes in your Enudge Communication Plan, and then start writing your message.