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Running Head: HOW TO DEVELOP EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION PLAN 1

HOW TO DEVELOP EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION PLAN 6

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How to Develop Effective Communication Plan.

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With the increased use of technology in almost every sphere of human life, there have been simultaneous and tremendous human interaction progress across all parts of the world. Technology has improved human life in many ways and, to some extent, negatively impacted the human form of energy. The manner in which human beings interact and even communicate with each other has total changed: (Gauthier, 2018). As opposed to the last few decades where the communication process had to take several days, even months before the intended messages reaches the required destination, this day’s communication process has been simplified and made accessible in such a way that many people have access to various communication channels that could convey firsthand information a significantly large group of people at the same time although the audiences and the speaker may be located at different regions of the world.

Effective communication is an essential ingredient both in business, family life, relationship and even in learning institutions as it facilitates the exchange of ideas for better and greater understanding among the participants. Communication can be described as the process, an act of sharing or transferring vital information between two people, among many people or between one place and another: (Gauthier, 2018). Worth mentioning is that there must be a sender of the message and the message receiver in every communication act. In a nutshell, communication is the act of sharing, giving or receiving information. It can be achieved via various means such as writing, talking, reading, or even listening, among many other means. Perhaps good communicators are known to have the ability to listen carefully, speak audibly, and respect diverse opinions from others.

There exist various types of communications. This ranges from non-verbal communication, verbal –oral-face-to-face, verbal written, verbal, oral distance, informal, visual using graphs and graphs to formal communication.

Communicating effectively is one of the most crucial life skills we ought to learn and have. Good communications skills ensure effective understanding and heeding to instructions. Communications skills help in all aspects of human life, ranging from professional to life experiences to individual or personal life and everything that may fall between professionals and personal life situations. From a business perspective, all business transactions are as a result of communication. Therefore, good communication skills are essential as they allow each business participants to understand each other quickly and accurately (Dia, 2017). Bad communications skills such as lack of follow-through and consideration, failing to listen, intimidating and blaming others, passive and aggressive communication, deployment of wrong and incorrect mediums of communication when conveying an important message as well as lack of specific communication should be avoided if one needs to developed effective communication strategy or plan.

For effective communication between the sender of the message and a given group of audiences, the sender should develop a good communication plan that will help him, or her deliver the content that needs to be understood more professionally and understandably. Perhaps a good communication plan should incorporate various aspects and elements of communication to facilitate a smooth process of sharing or transferring ideas from the sender to the receiver. In a business-oriented communication, the plan will help set the expectation before communication is done, avoid unrealistic scope and unnecessary messages, and provide guidelines on developing and reaching out to business objectives. The following are the essentials of an exemplary communications plan that will help an organization enhance its business development and growth: (Gauthier, 2018) 

References

Gauthier, B. (2018). Strategic Communication in Canada: Planning Effective PR Campaigns. Canadian Scholars’ Press.

To come up with a successful communication plan, one needs to:

i. Conduct situational analysis.

In this case, a situational analysis will entail auditing your current position and stand with respect to communications. It will be wise to collect and analyze relevant information with a business set up to so as to get in-depth knowledge on how to proceed with the communication plan in question. During communication and current position audit, it will be wise to conduct surveys and focus groups, engage and talk to other relevant departments within your business or company and as well ensure to brainstorm the content with communication staff. Generally, a situational analysis will help get a better and deeper understanding of the environment in which communication will be delivered: (Gauthier, 2018) Perhaps this step will provide a platform for appreciating the benefits and risks of a bossiness project from which communication will be implemented.

ii. It will be wise to define your objectives before proceeding.

During situational analysis, adequate information is collected. That information is assessed and evaluated. the evaluated information is analyzed so as to develop and define a business overall communication goals. It will be easy to answer questions such as what kind of result do the communication plan want to initiate? What will be accomplished in the long run if the communication plan is implemented (Obaji & Saganuwan, 2018). When developing and defining the objectives of the communication plan, business objectives ought to consider SMART objectives that are; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. By clearly defining communicant plan objectives, it will be easy to specify what needs to be achieved at what time and how. This will ensure the communication focus is maintained as well as demonstrate how achievements will be made by measuring and providing a report on the progress realized (HS21+ Health and Fitness, 2016).

iii. Defining primary key audiences.

During effective communication plan development, it is always good to identify who you will be communicating to (Obaji & Saganuwan, 2018). This an essential step towards making effective and reliable communication as it makes it easy to know whom you are sharing your messages with. Some audiences may be irrelevant to deliver the message to more so when the message does not concern them directly nor will they apply the message in any way. Worth noting is that by defining and identifying your audience will help adapt a speech that best suits the audience group, meet their level of understanding, beliefs and attributes, which play an important role in message interpretation.

Taking condensations of the audiences –based communication approach is imperative as it will improve the speaker’s effectiveness more so when the communication presentations are created and delivered in the most appropriate manner. Some of the audiences that need to be considered include educators, clients, media representatives, local government officials, members and non-members (Obaji & Saganuwan, 2018).

iv. Identifying media channels that will suit the communication plan.

Identification of media channels will be an essential part of developing an effective communication plan. This is because this step will help in identifying various channels of communications that can be deployed to implement the plan more efficiently and perhaps facilitate easy sharing and transmission of a message in question clearly, understandably and in good time. Communication channels such as e-mail, web portals, SMSs, prints and mobile applications

References

Obaji, N., & Saganuwan, M. U. (2018, July). (PDF) Effective Communication and Planning as Management tools for Organizational Performance. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326154191_Effective_Communication_and_Planning_as_Management_tools_for_Organizational_Performance

It may also entail sending setting up a multi-channel communication framework to

help send out information or materials contain the message to convey through several channels. When identifying media channels, it will be essential to consider communicating to your key audience using multiple medial channels and perhaps ensure to select channels that will be most effective to get the message timely delivered to the target audiences. The importance of this strategy is to ensure that there is an increased number is of engagements, improve audience perception and also ensure there is better personal alignment (HS21+ Health and Fitness, 2016).

v. Develop a timetable.

Establishing a communication plan timetable will help plan how the message will be delivered to the key recipients. Besides that, having a reasonable communication timetable will ensure that the speaker is organized and project his communication towards the already set communication objectives. It is good to plan in advance effectively have all the activities scheduled well with a specified time for each objective to ensure each content carries its main agenda that needs to be fulfilled (Prysock & Iacolucci, 2018). Based on the needs for communication and the resources available, developing a solid communication timetable will help identify what need to be communicated at what time, which media to and who are the key recipients.

vi. Evaluating the results.

This will be the most important part of the planning as it will reveal the plan’s ability to meet the set objectives and perhaps indicate any hitches that might have arises during the implementation process (Prysock & Iacolucci, 2018). Worth noting is that it is often important to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of your communication plan to ascertain its validity and take time to measure the final outcomes with respect to the communication objectives. If the plan achieved most of the goal, it would then mean that a few adjustments need to be done to improve its value, but of most of the communication objectives were not achieved, it will then mean that the entire plan might be unrealistic and therefore necessitate a need to develop a more reasonable communication plan that will help reach and realize all the objectives as required. Some of the elements that need to be evaluated include annual reports, progress report, monthly reports, and reports from other departments (Prysock & Iacolucci, 2018).

Lastly, after developing a communication plan, as shown above, it will be essential to ensure that you get a better understanding of the communication components which will aid in the entire process of communication. These elements will include;

a. Source of information.

This will involve the creation of information that is what to say and how to say it, then encoding of the message by selecting the most appropriate words to deliver intended message after which the message is sent to the receiver using various media channels and finally watching the reactions the audiences.

b. The second element is the message itself.

This element provided the meaning of the content produced by the source.

c. The third element is the receiver.

This is a crucial element as it interprets the message sent and provide feedback to complete the process of communication.

d. Feedback.

Feedback is a component that ascertains the extent of understanding of the message sent from the source to the receiver. An increased amount of feedbacks means better understanding and increased accuracy of the message shared (Prysock & Iacolucci, 2018)

References

Gauthier, B. (2018). Strategic Communication in Canada: Planning Effective PR Campaigns. Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Obaji, N., & Saganuwan, M. U. (2018, July). (PDF) Effective Communication and Planning as Management tools for Organizational Performance. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326154191_Effective_Communication_and_Planning_as_Management_tools_for_Organizational_Performance

Prysock, J., & Iacolucci, T. (2018). Plan for Effective Communication in Health Care Settings. The Hearing Journal71(5), 34. doi:10.1097/01.hj.0000533806.79472.cc

Pyle, A. S. (2017). Teaching PEACE: A plan for effective crisis communication instruction. Communication Teacher32(4), 209-214. doi:10.1080/17404622.2017.1372598

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