A solid communications strategy can be critical to your work, as it will serve as the framework that will help you think through a whole range of challenges—whether it is engaging new people to join a task force, building awareness about your research, announcing the results of a study, or seeking the adoption of an innovative model, program, or service.
A strategic approach to communications and dissemination is relatively straightforward. Developing a good plan that powerfully connects your objectives with a dynamic set of messages and vehicles is harder. And creating a good plan you can actually execute against is even harder.
You will have limited resources dedicated to your communications and dissemination efforts, and your time is no doubt spoken for in a variety of ways. So when developing a strategic approach to any communications and dissemination challenge, try to be both ambitious and realistic. Look for ways you can leverage existing activities to support this work. Think about sources of supplemental funds that might pay for you to implement some of the strategies you set out. And when you actually begin doing the work, focus on your preparation so that each activity can be as effective as possible.
- A Strategic Approach to Communications and Dissemination is a worksheet created by Strategic Communications & Planning that will guide you through the process of creating a communications strategy.
- The Nonprofit Marketing Plan, from Nancy Schwartz, is a complete guide to creating a baseline marketing plan for your organization in five hours.
- The Gateway to Health Communication & Social Marekting Practice, from the CDC's National Center for Health Marketing, is a tremendous resource to help build health communication or social marketing campaigns and programs. It includes tips for analyzing and segmenting an audience, choosing appropriate channels and tools, evaluating the success of your messages and campaigns, and much more.
The Hartford Online Communications Resource depends on the active participation of the foundation’s grantees. If you have a communications strategy or resource that you would like to share, please let us know so we can post it on the site and make it available to the rest of the Hartford network.
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