Work plan – Division 1 to 3
The work plan is an executive summary of your communications strategy. It should:
- Describe the context for your program or project
- Clearly state the communication challenge or opportunity
- Provide an analysis of your target audiences
- Demonstrate high-level goals and measurable objectives stated as communication outputs or outcomes
- Provide insight to your strategic approach and state the key messages
- Highlight your budget
- Provide an abbreviated tactical execution plan
- Discuss any challenges that you faced during planning and execution
- Demonstrate the use of research and collaboration with stakeholders
- Provide measurable, meaningful results that are aligned with your stated objectives and audience and business needs
If you’re entering the same program or elements of the program in multiple categories, be sure to tailor your work plan so that it fits each category.
Entry work plans must follow the instructions below to avoid disqualification.
Work plans must be:
- A maximum of four (4) typed 8.5×11-inch pages for projects submitted in ALL categories
- Typed using a minimum font size of 10 points
The work plan should be saved as a PDF and must clearly list the entrant’s name and organization, the category number and name, as well as entry title.
The work plan file should be saved using the following naming convention: Div#Cat#Plan_lastname.pdf (Div meaning Division, Cat meaning Category).
- It can be challenging to fit your entry into the required page length – but it’s not impossible! Edit your plan to be clear and concise. Bullets, tables and lists, rather than full paragraphs, can help save space.
- Review the score sheet for Division 1 to 3 to help create a targeted work plan
- The maximum length of work plans for all divisions and categories is four pages. However, it can be shorter if you feel you’ve covered all the main areas of the work plan in fewer pages.
WORK PLAN FORMAT
In addition to basic entry information, the work plan reviews six sections of IABC’s strategic communication planning model against international standards of excellence.
To receive maximum marks for your entry, work plans must follow the format outlined in this template. See below for more tips on your work plan.
1. Entrant’s name
List your name. The entrant should be the project leader or the person responsible for the majority of the development, management and execution of the entry.
2. Organization’s name
List the name of the organization where you worked while the project was implemented. Advertising agencies or media companies must list the client and the agency.
3. Division and category
Indicate the appropriate division number and category number and name.
4. Title of entry
Provide a name for your entry.
5. Time period of project
Entries must have been produced and implemented between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. You may also submit work produced before 2016 if the work and/or measurement extended into 2016.
6. Brief description
Summarize the content in two or three sentences.
1. Business need/opportunity
What need or opportunity did your entry address? Make sure you create context. Clearly describe the environment in which the organization operates. Identify challenges and opportunities. Detail how your project affects the business. State the communication challenge. You could look at performance, reputation, image, profits or participation. Highlight any formal or informal research findings that support your analysis. Make sure the need or opportunity is aligned with the business need and described from the perspective of communication or marketing.
2. Stakeholder analysis
Identify your primary audience and any other audiences. What was the audience’s state of mind? What key characteristics did you consider when developing your solution? Think about psychographic and demographic characteristics, communication preferences, the impact of different age groups, the corporate culture and other factors that shape how people think, feel and behave. Share any audience research.
3. Goals and objectives
Goals describe what your strategy is intended to accomplish. Think big picture. Choose only one or two key goals and make sure they are aligned with the business needs of the organization. Goals don’t need to be measurable, but objectives do. Objectives should be stated in terms that are outcome-based, although you might include some output-based objectives as leading indicators. Output-based objectives typically describe volume. Finally, make sure the objectives are realistic and measurable. Goals and objectives should follow the SMART formula: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed.
4. Solution overview
Outline your solution and the logic that supported it. Tell us why you did what you did. The solution should demonstrate your thought process, imagination and approach to problem solving. Discuss how you involved stakeholders in developing the solution. Identify key messages. Present the tactics and communication vehicles you used and tell us why you used this approach. Identify your role in the project and your level of involvement and responsibility.
5. Implementation and challenges
What was your budget and how did you use the resources available to help you plan and deliver the strategy? How did you use the budget? What about the time and people who were at your disposal? Discuss any limitations or challenges that you faced when selling, implementing and communicating the program. We’ll be looking for flexibility, collaboration and problem solving abilities. Note any special circumstances and tell us how you handled them.
6. Measurement and evaluation
How did you measure the results? Every result should be linked to one or more objectives and they should be valuable to the business, thorough and convincing. Measurement should clearly demonstrate business outcomes, although outputs are also indicators of progress toward the objectives. For example if your media relations campaign was designed to support a product rollout, you should measure media pick up of key messages and spokespersons, and bottom-line numbers related to sales and qualified leads, instead of only measuring the number of clips and impressions. Measure quality, not just quantity.
Work plan – Division 4
The work plan for Division 4 – Communication Skills has been updated for the 2016 Virtuoso Awards. Use this template to assist in creating your work plan. To better align with a skills and tactics-based division, entrants need to provide 100 word responses for six questions in order to demonstrate the purpose and audience alignment, creativity, resourcefulness, innovation, and professional execution of the communications skill.
The questions are:
- Describe the organization.
- Why was this project undertaken?
- Who was the audience(s) for this project? What do you know about the audience(s)?
- List up to three key measurable objectives for the project. How well did the project meet the objectives?
- List up to three key messages for the project.
- Describe the resources (budget, time, others) available for the project and how effectively they were managed.
- Be thoughtful and concise with your responses. Tell the evaluators a story.
- Review the score sheet for Division 4 to help create a targeted work plan