Sample Communications Plan Outline

Name of Project:_____________________________
Date: ______________________________________

  1. What is the housing issue to be addressed?
    Briefly describe the housing problem or issue that the communication plan is to  address.

  2. What are the Goals to be achieved?
    Why communicate?
    What do we want people to do as a result?
    What do you want to get out of the communications plan?
    What changes in policy or behaviors are desired?

  3. Intended audience(s)?
    Who is your Primary Target Audience?
    Who are some Secondary audiences? 

  4. What is the main message (s) we wish to communicate? What are secondary messages, and messages for different audiences?
    When you are talking to the media what are the key points you always want to  hit on? 

    The message can change depending on the audience, but there should be a few  bullet points that get included into every conversation. 

    How do you want the issue to be described? Think of a 5-10 word description that reporters can use that isn’t biased.

  5. Communication Tools?
    What tools are you using to spread the messages? Website? Newsletters?  E-mails? Tours? Speaking engagements? Forums? Mailings? List every outlet for communicating with audiences that you have or want to have.

    Select those tools that will have the greatest impact or penetration on your target  audience (s).

    Include any and all media contacts as an attachment to your document.

  6. Time frame?
    Establish a time when the desired results are needed.
    Establish intermediate deadlines for individual activities.

  7. What relevant research, data (surveys, focus group results, similar projects elsewhere, etc.) are or will soon become available?
    What data clearly illustrates the issue?
    What case studies or illustrations put a human face on the issue?
    The data must be compelling, locally based and evoke emotion.

  8. Activities/publications/events/media?
    What activities will be the most effective in communicating your message(s) to he  target audiences?
    Resources and time are limited so it is important to select those activities that will  have the greatest impact.

  9. Resources required: funds; skills; equipment, supplies; staff time, temporaries, consultants
    For each activity list the resources that will be required to undertake that activity.

  10. Who has primary responsibility? Who are the collaborators/helpers/supporters?
    Make sure that each activity has a person willing to take responsibility for that  activity and ensure it is completed on time and within budget.

  11. Evaluation?
    Make sure you have a way of evaluating your efforts.
    How many people were reached?
    Who was reached?
    Were there any positive actions taken as a result of efforts?
    Include both input and output measures (news articles written vs actions taken).
    Come up with some ways to evaluate, and make sure some of those evaluation indicators include numbers and stats.
Other possible items to include:
  • Calendar of events
  • List of potential spokespeople and their expertise areas
  • Possible feature stories to pitch to the media

Samples of Communications Plan Outlines: