Your guide to an effective communications plan, bringing multiple facets together for business growth

Communications Plan AI image

In today’s business landscape, having a functional communications plan is key to success. In this post Countdown Creative founder, Al Gibson shares insights that will help you develop your company’s comms strategy and provides links to partner companies that you may find helpful.

At Countdown Creative, we are dedicated to creating compelling content. Having worked in corporate communications and journalism for many years, I understand the pivotal role that a well-thought-out communications plan can play in driving business growth. There are many facets to consider and I would be pleased to meet with you to discuss your specific requirements. Some of the things you should be looking at are listed below and not necessarily in this order of priority.

10 things to consider in crafting your communications plan

1. Brand building

At the heart of every successful communications plan lies a strong brand identity, from choosing the right name to developing an appropriate brand personality. Every aspect of your brand plays a crucial role in shaping your audience’s perception and it’s important to develop your own tone of voice in all you do. We work with Chris Outlaw of Elements Brand Management who can help you stand out from the competition with everything from logo design, corporate identity to developing a brand strategy. Our role as a copywriting service comes in with writing content to match your brand style.

2. Websites

In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is indispensable. Your website serves as your digital storefront, providing visitors with a glimpse into your offerings and values. We recommend Paul Edworthy of Edworthy Media for website design and development and Pay Per Click Advertising. We can assist with your web copy and blog section. Our website is hosted by Dynamic Servers which is part of the Edworthy group, which provides eco-friendly hosting.

If you are a startup company and don’t have a website, you can set one up yourself with the likes of Wix, SquareSpace etc however we recommend WordPress. Reason being is that you are not stuck in with their hosting and move your website to another host as needed. There are multiple hosting companies like UK-based Siteground that have discounted deals for new clients. Plus most sites use WordPress.

At Countdown Creative we use WordPress every day across multiple different blog sites. So happy to talk through the various options available to start building your online presence. These include registering for a free Google Business Profile to promote your website and Google Analytics that will help you test and measure what works and what doesn’t.

3. Social Media

Social media platforms offer great opportunities for engagement and visibility. It’s quite important to have some kind of a presence on Facebook/Instagram, LinkedIn, and X. These are the main platforms for business, LinkedIn especially. An workable strategy to follow is to have a company page on both Facebook and LinkedIn which you can build through your personal profile by inviting friends, and by sharing in targeted groups.

Remember social media is one big conversation and it’s not a place for hard selling. Also be sure to mix up your content. This means posting different types of media from text to photographic to video. Creating visual elements that people just have to share works well in growing your page! At Countdown Creative we engage Andi Davies of FOMO Content for the social media management of our Devon Business Directory Project.

4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

In the vast expanse of the internet, visibility is key. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plays a pivotal role in improving your website’s ranking on search engine results pages. By optimising your content for relevant keywords and providing valuable information, you can attract organic traffic to your site and stand out in a crowded digital landscape. At Countdown Creative we approach this by creating SEO blog posts which can help your website rank higher, while also providing valuable backlinks through our blogging platforms. For businesses in the Southwest of England this includes our Devon Business News website.

5. Photography

In a visual world, professional photographs make all the difference. Working with an experienced photographer can add authenticity to your communications plan. This will foster a deeper connection with your audience. We advise against relying solely on stock images as high quality original images really do set your brand apart.

However for the purposes of this blog we have used AI images from Image Generator in the paid version of ChatGPT 4o. People will have mixed views about the quality of the images. At worst they may look too staged while at best they do provide helpful ideas of what may work if you were to get a photographer to take a similar picture. (See point 10 for more about AI.)

We have several professional photographers listed in the Devon Business Directory including Martin Bartnicki who specialises in commercial photography and Sarah Aires of Cadenz Remote Headshots who is an electronic wizard with an iphone, elastic band and a can of beans!

6. Storytelling

Telling your story lies at the heart of an effective communications plan. We can help you achieve this in multiple ways. From copywriting for brochures to leaflets, blog posts, newsletters and press releases, every piece of content offers an opportunity to engage and inspire your audience. At Countdown Creative we champion the ‘They Ask, You Answer’ philosophy of Marcus Sheridan which focuses on addressing your customers’ questions and concerns which “to build trust and eliminate doubt.” We have also worked with charities helping them to develop their donor journey. Often this means focusing on the Story of the One (SOTO) – finding an example that will resonate with donors and provides a profound overview of all you do.

7. Videography

Having at least one promotional video about your company is a no brainer. This enables you to start a YouTube Channel with all your contact links listed in a very powerful search engine aligned with Google. This video can also be easily embedded into your website. Martin Bartnicki specialises in this. Marcus Sheridan insists that each website should be a learning centre with a video on every page!

8. Newsletters

Newsletters are one of the most potent communications tools, both internal and external. We produce both printed and electronic newsletters at Countdown Creative and sometimes a client asks for both which can be easily accommodated. Newsletters requires a process of news gathering that may benefit from journalistic interviews and editing. This is our forte. We produce physical news updates in Adobe InDesign and use platforms like MailChimp to create eblasts.

9. Repurpose content

Be sure to get the most of all the content you have created as part of your communications plan. If for instance you do a video interview or podcast, turn it into a blog to ensure all the keywords are searchable. Also a series of themed blogs, edited together could become an ebook. This can then be used as a lead magnet.

At Countdown Creative we look for ways to help clients maximise their content. For example, selecting quotable quotes from blogs to to be used on social media. We can also turn an SEO blog or news articles into a press release, especially if there is a newsworthy angle that we know the media will pick up on.

10. AI

Last but not least is Artificial Intelligence. In fact, this is now the starting point for many people in creating anything, as AI is such a valuable tool. However ChatGPT-generated copy does need human quality control. It also helps to ask the right questions. This is where an experienced ‘prompt engineer’ and editor can provide a valuable service. Again this is within our field of expertise.

At Countdown Creative we see the unprecedented opportunities for efficiency and innovation that AI offers and believe everyone should us it to stay ahead of the curve. However, you may not have the time to focus on your own content generation. Whatever you do, keep an eye on accuracy and bring in original content to avoid your communications becoming bland or boring. And call us if we can support you in your AI journey.

Your communications plan

Crafting a comprehensive communications plan is essential for business success. By leveraging these insights you can develop a comms strategy that resonates with your audience, drives engagement, and fuels growth. Feel free to email me at for a free initial discussion.

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