Strategic Communication Planning

What is Strategic Communication Planning?

Reactive, Proactive and Strategic Communications Planning – three different approaches to communications, but do you know what they mean?

Reactive Communications – is when an organisation only communicates in response to external factors. It might be that a negative article appears, and the organisation wants to set the record straight by responding with their version of events. Or it could be that a reporter contacts the organisation for a comment to appear in a story they are producing.

Proactive Communications – is when an organisation decides to issue news or commentary on a certain topic. It could be the announcement of a new product launch or a new customer win. In this case the organisation is not waiting for an external influence before communicating but is communicating on their schedule.

Strategic Communications – is when all the company’s communications are geared towards building awareness around a single concept or idea. Strategic communications can be both reactive and proactive, but in both cases the communication will focus on the company’s key messages. – i.e. what the organisation wants to be known for. Strategic communication is also known as Strategic Public Relations.

Which is most effective?

Hopefully it is easy to see that Strategic Communications is much more effective than either Reactive or Proactive communications. Proactive is better than Reactive, but if you are being proactive with lots of different messages you will end up with a confused audience, and you may not gain much awareness of your organisation at all.

With a Strategic Communications Plan you are reinforcing your key messages and building your narrative with every communication. Every time your audience reads an article, listens to a story, or watches a broadcast that features your key messages, they become more familiar with your organisation and what you stand for.

A Strategic Communications Plan (or Strategic Public Relations Plan) doesn’t mean doing more, it means using your resources more effectively. There are limited opportunities to get coverage for your organisation so make sure each one you get makes a positive difference to your business and helps to build your narrative.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you to develop a Strategic Communications Plan for your organisation, please book a short no-obligation conversation or email

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