It’s that time of year again — time to create a communications plan for this year’s annual enrollment while the lessons learned from last year are still fresh in your mind.
When you’re talking about your annual enrollment campaign, whether a postcard, 140-character tweet or decision guide, you have to take more than a minute to think about what you want to accomplish, and your communications plan is how you can achieve results…if you stick to it.

So, as you begin working through this year’s annual enrollment goals, consider the following.

Objectives — Define meaningful and measurable objectives so you can show results. And, show how your objectives support the company’s overall objectives.

Audience — In addition to your obvious target audience, consider those who might influence your audience as well as those who could act as champions.

Key messages — Keep in mind the 8-second attention span. Don’t overwhelm your audience with too much information. Try to stick to three to five key messages and let them know where they can go for more information.

Vehicle — Consider vehicles that are available to you and preferred by your target audience. You’ll also need to think about what your budget can support. Try to use as many vehicles as you can so you can get the key messages out as often as possible.

Timing — You need to reach your target audience at least seven times before the key message starts to sink in. Repurpose the same information across various vehicles — postcards, intranet, posters, brochures, employee meetings, blog, twitter, etc.

By taking time now to create your communications plan, your entire team will know the plan and can maximize time, energy and budget.