Step by Step Check List

6 steps in Communication Planning and Development

This step-by-step list should help you towards execution, but first of all serve as a check list. If you are in doubt at any point, recheck earlier sections of the guidelines – if you’re past the need for checking, look for more advice on health literacy, evaluation considerations, or visit the tool and case-catalogue for more information.

Know your objective!

What goal would you like to achieve – and for whom? Answer as specific as possible.

Remember: Establishing your desired objectives is vital for your work towards building successful communication tools and campaigns, and also vital to determine the realistic/satisfactory outcome of your efforts.

If you’re in doubt, click for more information on choosing specific goals.

Know your audience and their situation!

Do you know the characteristics of your audience? Remember considering factors as current habits, abilities, level of health literacy, demographics, and even geography. This will help you target your communication and message.

If you’re in doubt click for help on analysing your target audience and your communication situation.

Know your budget and options!

Attempting to do a lot with too little resources is hard – very hard. To help you reach your goal, remember to think about what resources you have available and how best to use them. Consider seeking extra resources and reaching out to partners in your country.

  • This could involve
    • Change champions
    • Networks and partners
    • Key opinion leaders

If you need help, click to find more information about different stakeholders within self care and consider how this might be used to gather resources for joint benefit.

Know the appropriate communication tool(s)!

From steps 1-3 you should already know enough about your objective, your audience and your resources to be able to choose a communication tool – or perhaps a combination of tools.

Remember also to consider your selected tools in relation to your channels of distribution – e.g. through GPs, pharmacies and other agencies? Have you engaged with any of these agencies to ensure this? (see step 3 above).

FYI the guidelines also has a section with specific European cases for inspiration.

Test your tool(s)!

Remember to engage members of your target audience in your development – either by focus groups, advice from patient, consumer, or citizen organizations or by known key members. Getting early report on your deliberations will help overcome many challenges.

You should especially remember to make sure that your communication (tools) matches the level of health literacy of your target group – if you’re in doubt, click to read more on this.

Remember to Execute AND Evaluate

Putting your plans into action is of course key. But remember to measure and evaluate your results – whether they are as expected, better, or worse your evaluation will be essential for you to improve and perhaps expand your next communication efforts.

Remember to consider the appropriate time of evaluating/measuring effect. Measuring outcomes or reactions too early will sometimes not give correct answers.

Any intervention – with or without involving communication tools – should last long enough to make changes. But there are cases in which the intervention was successful and also the tools, but the assessment of them were conducted too early to initially show this.

If you’re not sure, click to learn more about communication evaluation and help you establish useful success criteria.