5 tips for your association’s Communications Plan

People merging puzzle pieces

5 tips for your association’s Communications Plan

Breaking news: the communications plan is not just one additional tool your association needs to tick a box. It is a precious document that helps all teams (yes not only the communication team) to reflect on priorities and success.

Yes, in 2023 you will tweet, post on LinkedIn, send out press releases and maybe open a new communication channel … but why? The Communications Plan must answer to this question.

Communication does not have a purpose in itself, it must be guided by the vision and mission of the association as well as the goals that it has set for the year. The Communication Plan should be done at least once per year and should be part of a longer-term strategic plan, so to take into consideration where the association wants really to be and how communications can help the association getting there.

The engagement of all teams is therefore very important: being aligned on what your association’s priorities are for the years to come and how your communication activities can help, will save you some many headaches along the year. When in April you’ll ask the team to help you drafting the script for a video, they’ll not question why you are putting so much effort in that. There is of course a red flag: engage with all teams but make sure you are seen as the communication expert. It is not because they have seen a viral dog video that you need to include it in your strategy. Use their inputs wisely and feel free to say a couple of noes (or more if needed) keeping in mind that every action costs (your) time.

Practical tips

  1. Make an assessment of your existing communication strategies (use analytics but do also a qualitative analysis)
  2. Ask yourself and the rest of the teams what are your goals for the new year
  3. For each action point of the communication plan ask yourself
    • how this would help us achieve the set goals (the “but why?”)
    • what success will look like and set measurable KPIs (reaching more followers is not a KPI, reaching 1000 followers is a KPI)
    • assess if this is a priority and if you’ll have the time/money to actually do it (nice having three blogs but who fills them in with content??)
  4. Share the draft Communications Plan with your colleagues and ask for honest feedback not a simple proofreading
  5. Remember that the Communication Plan is a guide that needs to be regularly consulted as a compass of your communication activities but a living document that can be adapted (COVID-19 docet). Take always some time to make an audit of your activities and to see if something needs to be changed.


How can we help you?

CLERENS Communications team counts 7 consultants with an extensive knowledge on how to create Communications Plans for EU Associations and EU Projects. Feel free to reach out our Communications and Events Director Doriana Forleo if you are struggling to have an effective communication!