Crafting Your 2020 Digital Communications Plan
We’ve reached the end of our five-part blog series following our “Finishing 2019 Strong” webinar. Over the past four weeks, we’ve focused on tackling your challenges and priorities across three key areas to have a strong Q4 and set yourself up for success in 2020: content strategy, outreach strategy, and reporting strategy. Now it’s time to start looking ahead to your 2020 digital communications plan. As you look towards 2020, some of the most common planning challenges include:
- What to include: You’re unsure of what should be included in your 2020 plan
- How to link 2019 data to 2020 plans: You’re not sure how to effectively link 2019 data to next year’s activities
- How to get approval: You’re uncertain of how to present your plan to decision-makers and budget keepers
- How to make the time: There is so much to do in Q4, you are struggling to find the time to even think about this
What to include in your 2020 planLet’s start with your plan! There are lots of elements to a strategic plan, so what makes the most for your situation and leadership might be a challenge. Points you will want to make sure to include are:
- Organization-wide mission: reiterate for which purpose your organization was created
- Organization-wide goals: map to broader 2020 plans OR to general goals year over year
- Digital communications goals and tactics: develop your digital communications goals and tactics in-line with organizational goals
How to link 2019 data to 2020 plansAs much as 2019 is still running, you do have a lot to work from already from the first three quarters of the year, so you’re in good shape! You also have your Q4 2018 data that you will want to incorporate into your planning. Make sure to include qualitative data, beyond analytics dashboards, as well. Ask yourself, “what is my audience saying?” Other examples of non-web data include feedback from events, specific social commentary, and emails from supporters. In terms of setting goals, there can be a feeling that you should simply “do more” next year, i.e., multiplying your KPIs from 2019 to say what you’re going to even better in 2020. If you go down this path, be sure to connect the investment to the goal. You may not have the resources to simply multiply and that may not be feasible. A successful plan is a realistic plan.
How to get approvalSimilar to reporting, you may not be feeling 100% sure what format is going to be the right fit for your leadership to respond to positively. It’s likely your leadership won’t sign off on your plan and final budget until late December or early January; however, prepare to get something on their calendars now to discuss it. Carve out the time over the next few weeks and develop (at least) an outline of your 2020 plan before Thanksgiving.
How to make the timeYes, it’s the busiest time of the year, which means you don’t know when you’re going to have the time to get all of this planning on the priority list. #Pro-tip: Incorporate your 2020 planning into what you are already doing this fall. From content to outreach to reporting, make notes about ideas you have for next year: things you’ll want to keep doing, stop doing, change, try for the first time, etc. Then compile those notes together when it’s time to delve into the details. Now that we have covered all of the strategy clusters, keep in mind that the most important thing across all of these areas of focus is prioritization. You’re not going to be successful if you try to do everything that is thrown at you this quarter, so be strategic in how you prioritize your time and your to-do list. As much as this is a stressful time of year, it can also be the most rewarding one with big, positive results.
Get started already: watch the webinar!
Pull up your second screen and follow along with our webinar “Finish 2019 Strong, and Set Yourself Up for Success in 2020.” Complete the below form to get your free recording today.