How to write a project communications plan + a free template

Is your project equipped with a communication plan? It’s something that less experienced project managers often forget to do, even though even experienced project managers can stumble upon a project half-way through without a clear communication strategy.
Communication plans are so important in any project. If you mess up communications, everything can go wrong! If you need more information, I have another article on project communication management. Today, we will be discussing the document that is the communications plan and how to create one. If you are looking for a template, you can download one free of charge.
This article:
What is a project communication plan?
What should you include in a project communication plan?
Who needs communication?
How to manage each person or group
Don’t forget non-written communication
1. Understanding the project environment
2. Identify the stakeholders
3. Set your goals
4. Define your approach
5. Define the messages
6. Create a planProject communication requirements per phase

7. What worked?
Get your free MS Word project communication template

What is a project communication plan?
You use a project communications plan to describe how you will communicate on the project. Who gets what? It is part of your overall project planning and may be a separate document, or just a few paragraphs in your main project plan. The plan is how you will approach the work. Your task schedule is your timetable.
A communications plan is used to identify all people or groups that are interested in the project and to document how they communicate with it or receive communication from it.
What should you include in a project communication plan?
These are some things you might include in your document template throughout the life of the project:
Briefings for the Steering Group and Project Board
Newsletters for Projects
Presentations to other groups or town hall meetings
Press releases
Conferences (internal and your presentation at external events).
Articles in the company-wide newsletter for employees
You can find pieces for the intranet or remind yourself to update your project intranet/social networking page.

This template will guide you through what you should include. For more information about how to fill it out, please read on.
Who needs communication?
First, determine who your project interacts. You probably already have a list of stakeholders. For example, the marketing department could be one group. You don’t need to list everyone.
You may also need to deal with government agencies; an external stakeholder might be represented by one person who is your main point-of-contact.
Sign up to gain access to the Resource Library. I’ll send you a link to the resource librarian where you can download the comms plan template. How to manage each individual and group
For each stakeholder on your list, follow these steps:
What information do they need?
Who will provide this information?
How often do they require it (or when is it produced?
How will it be communicated

Let’s take, for example, your project steering group. It is likely to be made up of 3 to 5. Let’s also assume that you all meet monthly in order to review progress.
They need a status report on how the project is progressing against the agreed scope, timescale, and budget.
The information will be provided by the project manager.
They must see the status update at least three days before the meeting takes place.