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Developing a Strategic Communications Plan. Overview This session will cover how to: Outline team functions and chain of command Identify key stakeholders.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing a Strategic Communications Plan. Overview This session will cover how to: Outline team functions and chain of command Identify key stakeholders."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing a Strategic Communications Plan

2 Overview This session will cover how to: Outline team functions and chain of command Identify key stakeholders Create materials that support the trial Monitor and evaluate trial communications

3 Developing Your Strategic Communications Plan A good plan will contain: Strategies for communicating with internal stakeholders Strategies for communicating with external stakeholders Flexibility to adapt to emerging issues or events

4 Introducing your Plan To begin, describe your topic in one or two paragraphs. Explain why your research is important and why it is occurring in a particular community. Summarize background information on purpose, methods and context. Identify your study’s communication-related vulnerabilities and strengths. Detail your vision and objectives for the trial.

5 Goals and Objectives The goal of the communications plan is your vision for what you want to accomplish. Your objectives are the steps that must be taken to achieve those goals. To develop communication objectives, identify key policy issues, constraints and problems for which communication can serve as part of the solution.

6 The Communications Team List your team members and their roles. Also list multiple ways to contact them.

7 Identifying your Key Stakeholders Who needs to know about your trial? List each name. Include internal audiences, such as colleagues in your organization or officials at the trial sponsor. Segment: organize your stakeholders into audience groups.

8 Audience Segmentation Audiences for HIV prevention trial, for example, could be segmented as follows: Policymakers and national opinion leaders Sophisticated lay audiences Scientific audiences Community members

9 Understanding Your Stakeholders Create a table that explains what you know about your stakeholders. –Design one table for each trial at your site. Understand the potential influence of key stakeholders as opinion leaders and communicators. Develop detailed contact lists to communicate with stakeholders. –Organize your list, and update it regularly.

10 Ongoing Communications “It’s helpful to separate out in a communications plan, first the content of what you need to communicate; secondly, the strategy for how you will communicate your message; third, how to adapt the factual information to different audiences; and fourth being sure to have the right messengers for each audience.” –Manju Chatani-Gada, MPH, Senior Program Manager, AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention

11 Communication Channels and Activities Plan Use your environmental scan to guide communications. –Ask stakeholders how they would like to be kept informed. –Provide regular updates rather than one-time announcements. Develop an action plan of activities, messages and timing for each target audience. Consider a staged strategy, mapping out whom you will approach first and the order of subsequent contacts.

12 Plan for Key Milestones Plot the trial milestones on a timeline.

13 Crisis Communications Summarize your strategy for managing controversy in your communications plan. Be prepared to respond quickly to misinformation or unexpected events that could jeopardize your trial. Anticipate and prevent potential crises.

14 Dissemination Plan Summarize your plan for sharing results. Later you will need to develop a more detailed dissemination plan. Outlining the basic dissemination plan early allows you to budget for essential activities. As the trial progresses, this plan will evolve.

15 Support Materials List the internal and external documents you will develop to support the trial. External documents –One-page backgrounder. “Who? What? When? Where? Why?” Non-technical –External Q&A. Succinct. Non-technical. One-paragraph answers Continued on next slide.

16 Support Materials Internal documents –Talking points and key messages –Internal Q&A –Holding statement –Spokesperson bios

17 Preparing for Dissemination Know your target audience’s capacity for technology. –Do they have reliable Internet? Pre-test your materials for language, content and format. Does your message connect with your audience?

18 Monitoring and Evaluation Briefly describe how you will track stakeholder perceptions of your trial, relevant media coverage and the utility of your approach. –Set up a mechanism for staff to report rumors or concerns from participants and community members. –Establish a procedure for monitoring media coverage at each site.

19 Summary Develop your communications plan early, and consult it often. It is a living document. Include strategy, activities and approaches for communicating with stakeholders, both internal and external. Summarize brief plans for dealing with controversy, disseminating results, and monitoring and evaluation.

20 For More Information

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