The implementation stage of your PR plan will need to outline the various communication methods or channels to the key stakeholders. It is important to identify measurable actions that each stakeholder group or sub-group needs to take to fulfill the selected goals.
For example, if the CEO wants to change the corporate culture, you should discuss first, before developing a communication plan, what observable and measurable behaviors will be different if people respect each other more or have more integrity, etc. Once the behaviors reflecting each desired cultural value are defined, the behaviors can be measured before and after the communication plan is implemented.
Each communication activity should be based on an objective – either a process or a results objective – so that completing all the planned activities means that all the objectives have also been met. This should signify successful achievement of the plan.
The results should be measured against the objectives, which should have been written in quantifiable terms to see how closely the actual result for each objective has matched the intended result. In total, all the component results contained in the plan should add up to successful achievement of the overarching results objectives so that the overall plan is achieved.
The communication techniques (also known as communication processes or tools) used to achieve objectives can be categorized into activities such as:
- issues management
- crisis communication
- stakeholder communication
- employee communication
- change communication
- safety communication
- investor/financial relations
- media relations – corporate and marketing publicity, social media activities
- community relations
- risk communication
- event management
- marketing communication
- sponsorship activities.
The individual channels may be widely varied. In this era of electronic communication there are many more channels available to communicators than in the past, and research has shown that a combination of channels generally provides the most effective result. However, too often the communication method used is employed for its convenience to the sender rather than its effectiveness in changing the behavior of the stakeholders receiving the message.
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