Communication Plan Template for Scaling Businesses

This communication plan template will walk you through what a communication plan is, why it's beneficial, how to create one, and the essential components it should include.

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Communication Plan Template for Scaling Businesses

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Scaling a business requires clear, concise, and effective communication. A robust communication plan is not just a tool—it’s a necessity for ensuring that everyone in your organization is on the same page and moving towards the same goals.

This communication plan template is what you need to get your message on point, every time.

What is a communication plan?

A communication plan is a strategic document that outlines how internal and external communication should be handled within an organization. It specifies the communication goals, the audience for each message, the methods and channels for communication, and the timing for when messages will be sent. 

This plan serves as a roadmap to ensure that all communication efforts are deliberate, consistent, and effective, contributing to the overall objectives of the business. 

Having a well-written SOP for your communications will help strengthen your brand amongst other benefits.

The benefits of a communication plan

Workplace communication statistics show that 86% of employees and executives cite the lack of effective collaboration and communication as the main causes of workplace failures. (Pumble)

And this extends externally too. Teams that are not aligned are likely to have increased customer communication problems, challenges in rolling our products, and even mixed marketing messaging.

Communication plans are critical for businesses, whatever phase they may find themselves in.

Here are some key benefits:

Alignment of team goals

Ensures that everyone in the organization understands the business objectives and their role in achieving them.

Enhanced efficiency

Reduces miscommunication and potential errors by providing clear guidelines on who communicates what and when.

Stronger stakeholder relationships

Regular and transparent communication helps build trust and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders, including investors, customers, and employees.

Better crisis management

Prepares businesses to handle unexpected situations with a predefined communication strategy, mitigating potential damage to reputation or operations.

Effective team communication positively affects employees in terms of:

  • Productivity,
    Retention, and

Matt Abrahams Of Stanford Business School talking on The Essentials of Communication

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Use cases for a communication plan

Communication plans have a variety of use cases. Comms plans (as they’re informally known) are frequently used in;

  • Product Launches: Ensure all stakeholders are informed and engaged from the development phase to the market release.
  • Change Management: Communicate organizational changes such as leadership shifts or policy updates effectively to avoid confusion and resistance.
  • Crisis Communication: Prepare and respond to crises in a manner that preserves trust and confidence among stakeholders.
Shocking Company Communication Statistics from Whale

Communication plan examples

Although this PR disaster happened in 2006, it’s a great example of lack of a communication plan or lack communication full stop.

Radio Shack, an American retailer, used email communication to make over 400 employees redundant with no advance notice.

Apart from this obvious example, let’s consider a few scenarios where communication plans have proven invaluable:

  1. Tech startups: For tech startups introducing a new app, a communication plan can map out how features will be announced to users through email campaigns, social media, and in-app notifications.
  2. Retail chains: When a retail chain opens a new location, a communication plan helps in announcing the opening through press releases, local media, and social media, ensuring community engagement and a successful launch.
  3. Marketing launches: When launching any new marketing activation, a thorough communication plan will ensure a streamlined rollout. 

How to write a communication plan?

Before you write any communication plan, you need to understand;

  • What do you need to say?
  • WHY do “they” need to hear it? (this is even more important than the first point).
  • Who is they
  • When does it need to be said?
  • How does it need to be said?


Let’s break it down.

Creating an effective communication plan involves several key steps:

  1. Define Your Objectives: Communication for the sake of communication will not achieve much. Clear, measurable goals will guide your communication strategies and help you evaluate their effectiveness.
  2. Identify your audience: It’s not just enough to know your audience. You need to understand them. Understand who needs to receive your messages (e.g., employees, customers, investors) and tailor your communication accordingly.
  3. Choose communication channels: Decide the best channels to reach your audience, whether through email, social media, internal memos, or public announcements.
  4. Develop the messaging: Craft messages that are clear, concise, and aligned with your objectives and brand voice.
  5. Set deadlines: Schedule when each piece of communication will be released to keep everyone informed at the right time.


Elements of an effective communication plan

Every effective communication plan should include the following elements:

  • Plan Purpose. Why are you creating a communications plan? 
  • Situational Analysis. A situational analysis develops a basis for understanding the environment. 
  • Audience Personas.
  • Messaging.
  • Channels.
  • Communications Matrix.
  • Goals, Strategies & Tactics. 
  • Calendar & Budget.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Ways for recipients to provide feedback, which can help refine future communications.

FAQs on a communication plan?

The crucial steps involved in creating a communications plan include:

  1. establishing goals; 
  2. defining key audiences;
  3. identifying key messages;
  4. creating a tactical outreach plan; and
  5. specifying deadlines

A company’s communication plan should be updated at least once a year. This is the bare minumum. Depending on the company communication plans can be updated as much as quarterly.

Absolutely! Even small businesses need a clear communication strategy to ensure efficient operations and consistent growth.

The biggest mistake companies make is either not having a communications plan or having one and not implementing it. 

In the case of the company’s communication plan not being adopted, you may need to incorporate change management to help teams adopt the process.

Other common mistakes include not aligning the communication strategy with the overall business objectives, leading to mixed messages and confusing stakeholders.

Other common mistakes include;

  • Not documenting communication.
  • Assuming communication has happened when it hasn’t.
  • Talking about “I/we” instead of fine tuning the message to what the audience wants to hear.

Use our templates to fast-track your documentation

Customize this template and 100s of others for free in Whale, the fastest way to get your team aligned.

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