Guide to Incident Management System Implementation


Communications Strategy Outline

This is an optional sample template that may be modified to suit your organization’s needs.


  • Business Objective: Why are you doing this? What outcome/result are you hoping to achieve?
  • Communications Objective: What do you want your target audience(s) to know/think/do as a result of your communications?


  • Find out and detail the environment surrounding the initiative.
  • Outline attitudes and behaviours, current trends, potential issues.
  • Detail where there are links to other organization initiatives or programs. How does/can this initiative fit into/advance the organization’s strategic priorities?

Target Audience

  • Considering your objectives, and given the context, determine:
  • Who you should be communicating with?
  • What their positions are or are expected to be on the issues?
  • What will motivate them to think/act differently?
  • Provide specific examples of public and stakeholder/influencer audiences.
  • Identify opportunities for stakeholder/influencer endorsements.
  • Break down strategic approach, messages and tactics for specific audiences and over time (chart format works well).

Strategic Approach

  • Based on your analysis of the information in the previous sections, what is your recommended approach to achieve your communications objective?
  • What choices are you making about how you will achieve your objectives?
  • Consider: profile, proactive/reactive, resources & timeframe (i.e. phased), targeted or mass media?

Key Messages

  • Lasting Impression: What’s your key message?
  • Given what you know about your target audience(s), write a set of messages for each one, as needed. Include:
  • How this initiative will make a difference in their live?
  • 2-3 key messages that support your communications objective.
  • 2-3 key facts that support business objective/challenge and address problem/solution — why government needs to do something.


  • Given what you know about your target audience(s), consider how best to reach them using communications channels they use regularly.
  • Develop tactics that flow naturally out of your strategic approach, are specific to your target audiences that happen over time and are integrated across media.


  • Given all of the above, how will you know if your communications had the desired effects/impacts? Devise a plan to evaluate your communications strategy.
  • Explain what happened as a result of your communications activities. What were the communications outcomes? Was the communications objective met?
  • Don’t demonstrate that you got the story out, but that you influenced opinion or changed behaviour.