By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on December 12, 2013
Filed under: Social Media, Strategic Communication

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You Can’t Know Where You’re Going If You Don’t Have a Map

Communication is essential to an organizations success. Without clear, consistent concise communications, even the best organizations can crumble. This is especially true for government organizations, particularly economic development and tourism agencies, which typically handle a myriad of issues and initiatives that are not always fully understood by the public. Lack of communication can appear as if the organization is doing nothing at all.

Not sure where your organization is going? It's time to create a strategic communications plan. It will outline where you're going, how you're going to get there and the tools you'll need along the way.

Not sure where your organization is going? It’s time to create a strategic communications plan. It will outline where you’re going, how you’re going to get there and the tools you’ll need along the way. Photo via betanews.com

We all understand that communication is important, but many organizations do not strategically plan their communication. The communications plan serves as a road map to organizations goals. Organizations must know what they want to communication, to whom they want to communication, when to communicate and how to most effectively get where they want to go.

We’ve worked with a number of economic development and tourism agencies throughout Maryland and West Virginia on creating and implementing communication plans. The process involves defining the goals of the organization, identifying the strategy and what tools will be needed to execute the plan. This process can take months and can turn out to be quite a large project, but always results in clearer communication with the organizations target audiences.

Social media plays a bigger role than ever in the communication efforts of organizations. It allows organizations to effectively create and maintain relationships by getting to know target audiences on a deeper level, while working towards their communication goals.

Before you jump onto the social media bandwagon, have a plan in place. Social media policies for employees should be covered in your organizations communications plan, as should knowing your key audiences and key messages. Most importantly, know you’ll need to know how to measure the effectiveness of your efforts.

Different communication outlets work better for some organizations than others. It’s important to identify what works best for your organization and be sure to stick to your plan. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t have a map. Your communications plan is that map. Let us know if we can help you get there.

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