Mapping Your Plan

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter

It’s that time of year again… the 2017 calendar is looking thin and we’ve turned our attention to next year. If you haven’t already started planning your marketing communications for 2018, now is the time.

To have a successful year, it’s important to do more than just set goals. You don’t just jump in the car to go to a new location for the first time, you look at how to get there, how long the trip will take or at least put the destination into your GPS. That’s planning.

Planning is crucial no matter the size of the organization or depth of the project. Whether you’re initiating a rebranding campaign or creating a 30-second video, you have to plan.

To map out your journey, you need to determine:

  • Who will be involved. Make sure you know who will be in charge of each aspect of your project and if you’ll need outside help. Determine in advance if you have the personnel resources already, or if you’ll need to add staff.
  • What strategies and tactics need to be. Sometimes this is a simple statement of intent and the steps the “who” of your plan will take. Other times this is a large document that will guide your team in your new effort.
  • Where you will focus. In the example of a 30-second video, the where is not only your filming location but where the video will go next and who you’re trying to reach with it. If it’s a product advertising campaign, will you use print, digital, broadcast or other types of ads?
  • When will your project start, end and when are your check-in points. A large year-end goal is great, but plan for pit stops along the way to see how you’re progressing and rework that plan.
  • How your project will get done and how much will it cost. Make sure you know what time, talent and equipment resources you need and how much you can spend to complete your project.

Your plan is your road map to completing a project. You can’t always plan for everything, but having a plan in place gives you guidance along the way and can help you navigate whatever detours you encounter.

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