Strategic Communications Planning

SAE Communications was established to help local public agencies analyze their existing communications efforts and create strategic plans that support organizational goals and objectives. We’ve married the needs of the public sector with the proven approaches of the private sector to help agencies educate, engage, inform and listen, to their publics.

We believe strongly in the value of conducting appropriate communications research prior to embarking on any form of communications planning. Without a clear picture, for both our firm and for staff, of the organization’s business objectives, key messages, and current level of communications effort, it is impossible to recommend strategies, tactics, and other program elements.

The steps that go into creating a Strategic Communications Plan include:

  • Conduct external stakeholder interviews

  • Purpose: To gain a qualitative understanding of the perceptions of key audiences, generate buy-in to the process/plan through their early participation, develop an inventory of all relevant communications tools, and gain an accurate external perception of the agency’s operations.

  • Conduct an external audience survey

  • Purpose: To gain a measurable, projectable assessment of the views of the overall population.

  • Conduct internal stakeholder interviews

  • Purpose: To gain an understanding of how issues are perceived by leadership and staff.

  • Conduct resident/business focus groups

  • Purpose: To gain an understanding of how issues are perceived by a broad range of community members.

  • Conduct an employee survey

  • Purpose: To gain a quantitative and qualitative assessment of employee perceptions of the agency’s communications vehicles and processes.

  • Review existing internal and external communications tools and media coverage

  • Purpose: To analyze existing tools, including message consistency, appearance, communications effectiveness, representation of all employees and all community segments; and to gain an understanding of breadth, balance, and accuracy in media coverage.

  • Develop external/internal strategic communications plan

  • Purpose: To provide a clear blueprint for future communications activities in order to reach, and hear, external and internal audiences in the most creative and efficient manner possible.

    See a few case studies here.

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