Well, it had to happen. I had my first detailed run through of some Christmas plans. It still feels too soon to talk about the festive season as I am still waiting for summer.
Planning is an essential part of communication and is so fundamental that it surprises me how little time we spend on it. We need to know what lies ahead, what might happen and what staffing we have available if we are to be prepared. Yet when we are busy and under pressure it can be put to the bottom of the list.
We talk a lot about the need to evaluate communication and PR to know what is working and where to put our effort and that is quite right. But we have to ensure that information goes into our planning and development of activity and teams.
I am a pain with staff as I try to encourage them to think ahead and plan. I moan, I nudge and I cajole. We have to bring all the elements of the communication team together in a coherent and cohesive way if we are to effectively manage the brand.
Our plans do need to be open to change and amendment. There needs to be flexibility around them so that we can be nimble in this fast moving and fast changing environment. The best laid plans may change as we never know what is round the corner.
So, think planning and have a merry Christmas.