Planning and carrying out communications strategies

Comms pros mostly do their planning on a quarterly or monthly basis, leaving room for tweaks and adjustments more frequently, according to the 2021 Communications Benchmark Report.


In a very real sense, planning and carrying out communications strategies is the most essential work of all communicators. Ragan’s 2021 Communications Benchmark Report reveals a remarkable consistency in how this job is done.

For example, the cadence of creating communications strategies occurs every one to three months, according to the Benchmark Report, with week-to-week planning the next most common, and quarterly planning ranking third.

The is one of the more significant findings in the 2021 Communications Benchmark Report. The report indicates that more than a third—35%—of communicators do their planning on the one-to-three-month schedule, while 23% do it week to week. The likelihood there is that the difference relates to the emphasis. Strategic communications planning is done less frequently, whereas tactical planning, or tweaks, or course adjustments, and more are all done more frequently.

In terms of activating comms plans, the preferred channel for internal communications is email, by far and away—90% of respondents. For external communications, the channel of choice is social media, again by an overwhelming number of respondents.

[EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Communications Benchmark Report 2021]

Not all respondents were happy with the reliance on email. “We need to consolidate or streamline the amount of emails we send to the company,” one wrote. “Less reliance on email,” said another.

These compelling findings are just a small fraction of the key findings from the third annual Communications Benchmark Report, an exclusive study from Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council, that reveals a range of sentiments and best-laid plans during a very dynamic time.

Download a copy of Ragan’s third annual Communications Benchmark Report executive summary here. To obtain a full copy of Ragan’s 2021 Communications Benchmark Report become a member of the Communications Leadership Council. Click here for more details.



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