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The Four Point Communications Plan

© Matt Mullenix, Mission Media, 2014

“The intelligent have plans; the wise have principles.”

― Raheel Farooq

"These are my principles. If you don't like them, well, I have others."

― Groucho Marx

A friend asked today if I have a communications plan she can use.

She knows me. Knows I own a communications business—fancy logo, letterhead, the whole ball o’ wax. And here she comes, asking me to give away a cornerstone of my value proposition: the CP!

“I don't have one handy,” I said.

And that’s the truth. There are hundreds of books and articles on communications planning (I have several within reach) and at least as many free templates available. You can Google for these, as I’ve done when asked for a quick answer for how to plan, pen and send messages in a systematic way.

But whatever book or template you choose, know this: Every communications need must have its own communications plan. There is no all-purpose CP.

What I prefer to plans are principles, which as the Marx quote above implies, are just as common. So here are mine, and if you don’t like them, well, I have others!

Click to download in PDF:


  • For many, a plan is pointless without a schedule. After mapping each component of your communication plan, spread them across a twelve month calendar to give a sense of the year's narrative and set the timing of communications.

  • Read your media metrics as relative rather than absolute values. Aim for growth in target areas rather than at specific numbers.

  • Don’t be afraid of annoying people with multiple messages, but don’t annoy them with irrelevant messaging.

  • Choose news over hype: If the ungarnished truth of your message, the import of your event or the value of your product is not worth knowing and sharing on its merits, you are a huckster and should be ashamed.

  • Be not a huckster.

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