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Develop a Strategic Communication Plan of the Transformation Roadmap Phase 2

Strategic communications is about publicizing strategic initiatives to promote achievement

and to reinforce enforcement actions & good governance at major media channels.
Communications is an effective tool in shifting public attitudes away from ambivalence and
towards active resistance.

The purpose of a strategic communications plan is to integrate all the organization’s

programs, public education and advocacy efforts. By finalizing a long-term strategy, the BOC
will be positioned to be more proactive and strategic, rather than consistently reacting to
the existing environment.

The strategic plan will help BOC deploy resources more effectively and strategically by
highlighting synergies and shared opportunities in BOC’s various programs and work areas.
The creation and adoption of a strategic communications plan represents a significant step
for any organization. For many organizations, the adoption of such a plan represents a
cultural shift toward communications and a clear recognition that all the organization’s
efforts have a communications element.

A strategic communications plan has the power to transform an organization: both in terms
of BOC’s credibility and status in its community, and in terms of the way BOC works to
achieve its mission and vision for its community.

It is also important to note that communications is not an antidote for corruption but when
paired with other initiatives such as strengthening systems, improving law enforcement and
bolstering prosecution, it can play a crucial role in creating necessary conditions for
minimize corruption – including intensifying public participation, building public trust in
institutions, and increasing access to information. Communications should be targeted to
the Public and to the BOC personnel to shape cultural shift in attitude towards corruption

Situation Analysis

Before a plan can be devised, a thorough audit of a client or project environment should be
taken. This is a situation analysis and is the foundation from which plan recommendations
are made.

This process incorporates research, audits, risk assessment and analysis in order to gain
insight into the current landscape. It should also include thorough briefings with you, the
client, and with relevant stakeholders so that business goals, objectives, and target
audiences are understood. A solid comprehension of a client’s position in the marketplace
from differentiators, marketing strategies, and public perceptions to market conditions, and
an analysis of stakeholder communities all contribute to an insightful situation analysis.

Strategic Approach

Once the situation analysis is complete, your agency should have the information required
to make recommendations that forms an overall strategic approach in a summary. You
should expect goals, strategies, objectives and program specific tactics within a defined
scope of responsibilities. It also entails confirmation of target audiences.

Goals are higher-level concepts about what needs to be achieved, a strategy is the
approach, objectives are the steps to accomplish a strategy and a tactic is a tool used to
achieve the objective.

To be successful in supporting goals, your agency should commit to objectives that are
specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-sensitive (as well as consider overall
strategy). And, tactics should consider an integrated mix of activities that ladder up and
support the strategy and will reach target audiences, such as media relations, experiential
marketing, influencer campaigns, digital and social, events, community outreach,
government relations, and employee and internal communications initiatives, etc.

Scope & Budget

It’s important that your agency defines scope. This allows a client and the agency to
understand the roles and responsibilities associated with executing the strategic
plan. Within the scope are detailed timelines, human-resource allocations, program
guidelines and key milestones/deliverables.

Strategic communication plans should also include budget detailing costs for all
recommended tactics as well as any administrative outlays, third party costs, and out of
pocket expenses. Budgets should also be able to scale up or scale down given
that communications planning process is often fluid and may require periodic adjustment.

Measurement and Reporting

An approach to measurement and reporting should be set during the planning process and
take into a consideration a regular cadence throughout a campaign in order to monitor and
assess continuously. Successful communicators do not wait until the end of campaign to
evaluate. Reporting could include feedback from research, audits, surveys and focus groups
to digital and social data (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter all provide activity and engagement
reports), as well as media relations analysis and event management metrics. If possible,
integrating business results such as sales or engagement results is a terrific way to connect
communications objectives with business objectives.

The communications plan pyramid on the following pages outlines six questions that must
be answered before formulating and implementing a strategic Communication Plan:

1. Assess communications infrastructure.

 What worked - describe funding opportunities on the horizon?

o Who will do the work—are they comfortable with and knowledgeable about
o What is your program budget? If you do advocacy, are you willing to commit 30% of
that to communications?
• How powerful is your brand? Is it well known?
• The answers to these questions are the foundation from which your communications
work will thrive or fail. your top three communications wins and three worst blunders
from the last two years.

• What is your communications capacity?

o How much staff time are you willing to devote to communications? If you feel you
can not afford communications staff, are there communications

2. Define your message or Determine Goal or Establish your goals.

There needs to be a clearly defined message you want to send during your strategic
communications campaign. Whatever that message is, keep it simple. Try to condense it
into a short phrase or sentence. This will be the big idea you keep coming back to. There
are several situations for which you need to define a message via a strategic
communications plan.

 Reinforce a current idea. Help staff members connect with and support your
organization's vision and mission statement.
 Introduce an organizational change. Communicate the problem or challenge and its
planned solution.
 Integrate new leaders into the company by announcing them and creating multiple
opportunities for staff and customers to hear from them via one-on-one or
departmental meetings.
 Re-brand your organization. Give customers a new impression of what your company
stands for.

 What are your program, campaign or organizational goals?

• Why are you launching communications efforts in the first place?
 What, specifically, do you want to win?
• What is your positive vision for the future?

Develop a series of concrete measures to capitalize on strengths and neutralize

weaknesses of the BOC. There should be a measurement of the effectiveness
of arguments and counter-arguments, attacks and rebuttals in the drive to enhance the
role of the BOC in nation building as an important vanguard to the Global Supply Chain

3. Who is your target

Who can give you what you want?

• Can you directly influence this individual’s decision making?
• If not, who can?

Who do you need on your side to get what you want?

4. Analyze your target audiences or Identify and Profile Audience or Who is your audience?

Communication needs to be shaped to each audience in order to communicate clearly

and effectively. As you identify each group, perform an audience analysis to determine
what information they need to know. Look at basic demographic information, as well as
personalities, your relationship with them, and how your message will affect them.

 Your internal audience involves your staff members. However, you may need to define
messages even more specifically for different levels of staff: leaders, middle
management, and standard-level employees.
 External audiences include your clients, business partners, and the general public.
Though information may overlap, each audience will need a well-defined message.

The people who can to persuade the decision maker to do what you want. Know your
audience through research:
 Focus groups
 Surveys
 Door-knocking/canvassing
 Talking to strangers in the supermarket, on airplanes, etc.

3. Define your goal(s) or Develop Messages or What is your message?

Communication needs to be tailored to each group. Identify what you would like each
audience to do in response to your message. Some strategic communications plans aim
to raise awareness, while others are structured to bring about a change in thought or

Craft a campaign message that is credible, appealing and that matches the
political demand. This serves as a basis for speeches, campaign materials, ads,
press releases and legislative proposals.

Describe the issue in a way that resonates with the values and needs of your audience,
and is also interesting to journalists, or “newsworthy.”
 What is this issue really about?
 Who is affected?
 Who are the players?
 What hooks does this frame contain?
 What pictures and images communicate this frame

The SPIN Project recommends a message made of the following three-part framework.
Each part should be no longer than 35 words.

 Problem Introduce your frame. Describe how your issue affects your audience and its
broader impacts.
 Solution Speak broadly about the change you wish to see. Speak to peoples’ hearts
with values-rich language and images.
 Action Call on your audience to do something specific.
o Make sure key people in your organization buy into this message.
o Craft your message to be appealing to journalists and convincing to your target
o Brainstorm soundbites, or spoken language that expresses much or all of your
message in 7-12 seconds.

4. Explore Appropriate communication outlets or Select Communication Channels or

Choose Activities and Materials

There are many options available to organizations. As you consider different outlets,
there are several things you will want to keep in mind.

 Choose communication mediums your audiences will connect with. This might include
social media or an online video, both popular with younger generations. It might also
involve face-to-face communication, more popular with older crowds.
 Identify any current communication outlets. These provide a natural outlet to
communicate important information.
 Look at your budget. If you have a smaller budget for your communications plan,
consider using cost-effective mediums, like email and social media. If you have a larger
budget, you have more opportunities to utilize other options, like radio and television
ads, a direct mail campaign, or posters.
 Consider using multiple outlets for each audience. People tend to remember
information better if they receive it in various forms.

Who are the best messengers to reach your target audience? • Hint: the most powerful
person in the organization is not always the best person to put on camera. Choose someone
with an effective speaking style and a look that appeals to your audience. • Have
spokespeople practice delivering message on camera. Review and critique the tape. Adjust
the message if needed at this stage; something that works on paper may fail when you
actually say it.

5. Create a time frame or What is your frame?

Decide when you will first share this message and how you will continue sharing it over
the course of weeks or months. Be intentional. Realize that this time frame is tentative
and may need to be modified as you implement your strategic communications plan.

 Consider how often you want your audiences to hear this message. Repetition helps
them understand the message and adopt it as their own.
 Recognize that change is a slow process. People's beliefs and actions will not change
overnight. Be realistic in your time frame and give people enough time to adjust to
your message.
6. Identify ways to get feedback or Establish Partnerships

Feedback is important throughout the entire strategic communication process. You want
to make sure your message is getting across clearly and that there are no
misunderstandings. You also want to see if your message is effective.

Provide real time feedback from public view, internal view and educated second opinion
to calibrate applicable additional measures to enhance public perception of the
strengths of the BOC and address public perception of weaknesses of the BOC.

Feedback Centre of the AFP-CRS (Social Media, Text or Call Centre) Receiving complaints
are integral to uncovering evidence of criminal wrongdoing and corruption. While there
are many criteria to complaint processing, the one developed by ADB for its internal
controls provides a good example of appropriate screening criteria. Complaints received
by ADB are screened against four criteria during the screening process. (a) is the
complaint within the mandate of the organization? (b) is the complaint credible? That is,
is there a reasonable possibility that a violation has occurred? (c) is the complaint
verifiable? Do practical options exist to obtain sufficient evidence to determine the truth
of the allegations? And (d) is the matter of sufficient importance to justify the projected
requirements of the investigation and any consequential action?

7. Get approval or Implement the Plan

After you have written a draft of your strategic communications plan based on all your
research and fitting the needs you devised, run it by anybody who needs to approve it,
such as upper leadership or board members. Accept feedback and suggestions, and
continue re-writing until you get a strategy everyone is comfortable with.

8. Implement the strategic communications plan or Evaluate and Make Mid-Course


Delegate responsibilities to different people on staff. Keep an eye on how your message
is being received. Adjust your plan as needed to make sure it is effective.

Advocacy techniques and campaigns can encourage transparency by providing greater

access to public information.

 Expand the Integrity Development Committee into the equivalent of the MSGC with
all stakeholders to shape policy and monitor compliance to the PGS
 Tracking and Accountability thru IT for Private Sector Transparency
 Publish internationally accepted valuation of products for public transparency

 Engage a communication plan group like ISA-ICD or the KBP

 Appoint a Likeable “Spokesperson” who would represent the new BOC.
 Spokesperson will work with Kapisanan ng Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) to develop
the communication strategy.
 Adopt a Trimedia Communication Plan

 Have a full time BOC Spokesperson

 Enhance Social Media Presence thru Twitter, Facebook and You Tube
 Expand Broadsheet exposure of the Bureau of Customs that focuses on
accomplishments throughputs/collections and prevention of smuggling &
 Commissioner’s TV Corner
Why do we need a Strategic Communication “Plan”

• To affect the change that we want to create.

• To focus on the key elements that we want to change.
• To prevent unwanted surprises
• To let people know what we are doing and intend to do.
• To help keep communication clear and focused.
• To create opportunity for feedback.
• To jumpstart the behavioral change process.
• To persuade people to take action and events.
• To offset demoralizing actions.
• To address rumors.
• To clarify objective and plans.
• To provide instructional information that explains what to do and how to do it.
• To provide contextual information that shows the big picture.
• To provide motivational information which will address staff willingness to act.
• To stimulate questions and comments.

Tips to consider in designing a communication plan

• Who is the target audience?
• It should function two ways so that information can easily be passed up and passed
 down.
• Begin the process early.
• Acknowledge/address significant milestones in the VENA implementation process.
• Sharing the state plan for VENA implementation (allow for at least 30 day viewing)
• Incorporate on going VENA implementation activities.
• Provide detailed activity time line to be used as marketing tool for group
 presentation, discussion starters, staff meetings, etc.
• Use to gather opinions before change.
• Use plain language that every level of staff will understand.
• To explain how change will affect staff at all levels.
• Use to answer immediate concerns.
• Solicit ideas for implementing VENA.
• Used to advertise time lines for change.
• Recognize and celebrate successes after steps have been taken
 Vehicles
• Newsletter
• E-mail
• Focus groups
• Conference Calls
• Phone calls
• Work groups
• Conferences/seminars
• Photographs
• *Face-to-face meetings
• Continuing education trainings
*The preferred and most effective form of communication.