Unit 3.2. – Planning and acting

In this section we present you some tips to proceed in designing and managing your promotional campaign. You can also find here examples, ideas and suggestion to take inspiration from.  

Photo by Siriwan Arunsiriwattana on Unsplash
Photo by Siriwan Arunsiriwattana on Unsplash

Step 2.1


The second crucial step in drafting our communication plan consists in fixing the objectives of our plan.

In doing so we can approach the SMART model. SMART stands for: 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action-oriented
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Through a correct definition of our communication objectives, it’s possible to point out what we’ll achieve and then cope with the monitoring and evaluation activities.

Examples of objectives:

  • Communicate our project to the youth local community through a good coverage in social media.
  • Communicate our website project page to the target audiences, through online and offline communication
Photo by Maarten-van-den-heuvel
Photo by Maarten-van-den-heuvel

Step 2.2 – Target

Maybe you perfectly know what the target of your organisation is but, before abandoning this section, we ask you to discover more on segmentation.

Step 2.3 – Strategy

When we define a communication strategy we are simply fixing how to get our goals and reach our targets. We can adopt a formal, informal, educational or funny, detailed or broad strategy depending on our goals and on the target we’re going to reach. In doing this we must be aware that our strategy is not given once for ever, but it should be updated and adjusted according to results, mistakes, new events, results, available tools. 

Always remember: operating in a network is a good practice. In designing our strategy we should list all the organisations that can be interested in supporting our initiative, define their potential role and present them our initiative to get their support. Again we can use  the 5 W’s + H (How) model where the 5 W’s stand for: Who, What, When, Where and Why. Here some examples of the kinds of questions we should use:

Who are we talking to? – Who are our specific targets? – What is our message? – What are we going to communicate? – How are we going to inform the audience? – When are we going to release our message? – Did we implement a timeline release for our messages? – Where are our targets located? – Where can or should our proposal be presented? – Why is our message relevant? – Why could we be supported by local public bodies or other NGOs or charities?

Try to answer the proposed questions and/or make others.

As regards the choice of strategy compared to the communication style we can choose different styles. Just as an example we quote the following: 

  • educational style: the communicator plays an educational role and so he/she is able to train the end-user about the message content. Open the link to get an example.
  • informative style: the communicator is neutral in disseminating the message. He just provides useful information, data and news. 
  • entertainment style: the communicator provides the information while trying to amuse the end-user.
  • a mix of the previous categories: derives from a mix of the above mentioned styles. 
Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash
Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash

Step 2.4 – Content of the message

Once we have identified our aims, our strategy and the target group, we can proceed in making a choice about the content of our communication. In doing this, it is important to decide which are the values and the information which we intend to communicate when drawing out the messages in a way that it is coherent, clear, explicit and true.

When we want to make successful communication we must be sure that the message is clear and relevant to our target audience, with complex messages broken down into a number of simple messages. It is helpful to stress the benefits and values of our proposal, and the call to action should be easy to remember and to do. 

The message must be visible, clear and easily identifiable. Its validity depends on the possibility to be adapted to the different forms and communications tools.

With reference to the accessibility principle*, remember that the message must reach all the targets to which it is aimed, in order to be understood without any difficulty.

Glossary in pills

*Accessible Communications is about responding to the fact people have different communication needs, and developing our communication products and materials accordingly. This ensures as many people as possible can access the information we provide, as well as communicate with our organisation. It is all about being user friendly and ensuring our organisation communicates in a way which is accessible to the widest pool of people possible.

Source: Purple “Changing the Conversation” 

To deep more you can explore “Advice & guidance” document 

Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash
Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

Step 2.5  – Activities and tools

Activities and tools must be defined on the basis of the previously identified objectives, targets and contents. In choosing an activity and a tool, it is advisable to compare it in terms of efficacy and effectiveness with other alternatives. Remember that tools are not mutually exclusive: they give the best results when used in combination.

To do this, we suggest using a Table of tools

Table of tools

Download the sample

Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash
Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

Step 2.6 – Task and timing

When we know exactly what we want to do, it’s time to map out the tasks to be done, their timelines, and who will be responsible for each.  Setting up a schedule of tasks and timelines enables us to implement a complex set of activities with maximum effectiveness and minimal risk of omission, confusion and disagreement.

The most successful communications are those which talk to the targets at the exact moment they are likely to need the proposal you are suggesting to them: it seems obvious but it isn’t!

For each activity we must specify:

  • Who will be responsible for implementing it
  • When the activity must be implemented
  • What are the costs associated with each single activity

Gantt chart

To keep your communication campaign under control, you can use the Gantt chart.

In addition, invite you to refer again to Capterra to have a comparison of the  product features and ratings to find the right  Gantt Chart Software for your organization. You can choose the one you prefer according to what you need. The majority of the platform proposes within the item “Pricing” also free plans. We invite you to try: it is worth testing. 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

Step 2.7 – Budget

The budget is a critical factor in our communication plans. In order to achieve our objectives we must have an adequate budget where “adequate” doesn’t necessarily mean “high”.

Sometimes the budget assigned to the communication plan is decided in advance and in this case we must tailor the plan to fit within it choosing the most effective strategies compared to the available resources.  

Our goal is to ensure value for money by targeting communication effectively: prioritising the audiences and channels and focusing on high impact/low cost activities.

Step 2.8 – Implementation of activities

The implementation phase foresees the carrying out of the different activities which will all contribute to the success of our communication campaign: it translates our communication plan into concrete action!

Following the designed plan, during this phase we’ll give “life” to our message: we’ll release news or newsletter; we’ll update our website or we’ll make a conference. We’ll do everything we have planned to do.

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The GOONJOB team is composed by 6 people representing the project partners: CREOLABS, BLUEBOOK srl, ADEL, USB.