How To Avoid A Communications Plan That’s Just A Plan

If you’ve been hanging out with me for a while on social and in these emails, you know I love RPIE – the acronym for the strategic communications planning framework (Research | Planning | Implementation | Evaluation) that I believe closes gaps and reveals opportunities we often miss. 

I also believe every PR pro should love it as much as I do.😃

All of the phases are important, but if you’re not giving special love and attention to the Implementation phase, your plan is well…just a plan. 

Implementation is where all of your strategizing comes to life. It’s where the real magic happens and if you’ve planned properly (and realistically), you should be able to stay on track or course-correct when the inevitable unexpected stuff happens.

So what’s involved in this phase of planning? Deciding who does what, when, and the budget required to get it done. 

Consider the roles and responsibilities needed to get the work done. For example, if the organization has decided that speaking engagements is an area of opportunity for key spokespeople to build thought leadership,  you’ll need to decide what topics should be addressed and who should own them, who will research opportunities, develop the pitches, and follow up with conference or event organizers, who will manage calendars, and more. You might also consider speaker training or external contacts who can make referrals. But again, someone’s got to own it.

I like to think of the Implementation phase as the “accountability” phase. We’re far more likely to do the work if we’ve agreed on who will own it and then discuss how we’ll support one another to get it all done. Pro tip: Immediately block time on calendars, prioritize activities, and discuss what happens when the inevitable pulls you away.

A well-crafted plan is chock-full of great ideas and includes the input of a variety of people. It also considers roles and responsibilities, a timeline for completion, and budget. 

When you consider in advance how the ideas will be implemented and what takes priority, you’re much more likely to stay the course – and ensure everyone else critical to the success of the plan does, too.  

Check out my online course, 5-Figure Planning, where I teach the RPIE framework to help you develop and implement the kind of impactful communications you’ve always dreamed of!