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When starting a new business or developing a new project, it’s paramount that all the parties involved are speaking the same language. One person’s “cutting edge” is somebody else’s “yesterday’s news”. A well thought out communications plan can help keep messages consistent and on point. Right after a solid business plan, the best way to share and define your vision is through a document that clearly states the target audience and the image that will be projected to them.
While taking courses at BCIT, I have put together partial and complete Integrated Marketing and Communications Plans for businesses both real and imaginary. This past summer I had an opportunity to build one from scratch for a brand new company that my husband was starting with two business partners. The concept for the business, a high end confectionery business, came about from my own online and real world research. So I was involved from before day one.
The target market and how the products were to be marketed were very clear in my head and it was truly helpful to have a template, such as a Communications Plan, to give order and clarity to the bright images in my brain. It also created talking points for the principals of the business and gave us a starting point for conversations and decision making.
As the business evolved and issues such as locations came up, I was able to tweak and clarify the communications plan and start putting it into action. While the original document was all my own ideas and words, later incarnations were more of a team effort and had input from everyone involved. While it is sometimes hard to have your vision diluted, it is much more gratifying to see it begin to take shape and become something tangible. The word on the page never translate perfectly when shared with the real world.