Digital Communications Plan Example

The plan outlines the OPS Dragon Boat Club digital communications for 2012 which is part of the club’s larger integrated marketing and communication planning (IMC plan).

Digital Channelsopsdragonboatclub-Twitter-295x300

The following are suggest channels the club should create for a diversified social media presence

  • Yelp! – create for where the club has an address or will have majority of its practices
  • LinkedIn – create a new company page with the re-branding of the club
  • Foursquare – create general page and locations for where the club has an address or will have majority of its practices
  • Google Places – create for where the club has an address or will have majority of its practices (e.g. Balmy Beach Canoe Club)opsdragonboatclub-geo-location
  • Pinterest – create page for club and boards like paddling technique, practices, regattas, people (paddlers, coaches, etc.)
  • Instagram – Create an account for your biz and upload pictures relating to your store, service, etc – try posting at least once a week and make sure your information on your profile is completely filled out.
  • Google+ Page with general information similar to the website
  • YouTube – create channel to host introduction video of club (contains races, interviews, and dragon boat showcase from OPS Spirit initiative), feeds on videos posted by paddlers, races from regattas

Thanks to Liz Oke for suggesting channels for local businesses to attract customers online.

Website Content

  1. General club information about teams, people, payment, history, practice sites, regattas, training camps, and contact forms.
  2. Early season awareness articles: President’s message, about coaches, about the season and its regattas, training that happened in winter.
  3. Executive minutes, decisions, or info targeted to paddlers (email communications)
  4. Multimedia: video, photos, podcasts
  5. Newsletters
  6. Annual report / Annual general meeting materials
  7. Program promotions (discounts, new teams)
  8. Late articles season: AGM, Winter training
  9. Off season articles: Holiday message, club updates (e.g. we’re working hard on next year’s plan, any feedback is welcome, what does next year look like?)

Use an editorial calendar to plan the timing of these messages.

Digital Assets

Photos and videos from 2002 onwards

Media is stored on a variety of platforms and shared document folders listed below.

  • Official club video showcasing paddlers, interviews with athletes, and club initiatives and competitions.
  • Photos from fundraising, showcase, lunch and learn, AGM, and regatta events.


  • = current club domain, managed in combination with Google Apps
  • = old domain circa 2002 to 2011

Shared Documents

Includes past meeting minutes, photos, and club administration documents.

  • Google Apps account for both domains listed above
  • Shared Dropbox Folder


Oke, L. (2012, November 4). Local Bricks and Mortar Business Listings – some tips on attracting customers online. Retrieved November 30, 2012, from Liz Oke Inc.:

About this Plan

The plan was written by the OPS Dragon Boat Club communications coordinator Justin Tung in 2012. The plan aims to make future communications for the organization easier by planning common goals/messages, ways to communicate, budgets, schedules, and recording how the club has operated in the past.

It incorporates lessons learned by the club from event planning, writing press releases, website development and operations, social media community management, and good practices in PR, marketing, and communications.

Start with a Plan to Market Your Product

Start with a Plan to Market Your Product

When promoting an organization, service, product, person, or event, you must start from a plan outlining goals, people you want to engage, and what you plan to do.

When working with people on communications I always ask them whether they have a plan. Following a plan will ensure you meet your goals whether it is to raise awareness, change your audience’s behaviour, build relationships, or reinforce desired behaviour.

Here is an outline for a integrated marketing and communications plan which includes concepts practiced by people from strategic communications, marketing, and public relations.

  1. Organization’s goal and communications goal
  2. Context / Situation
  3. Target Audiences
  4. Strategic Approach, Key Messages
  5. Tactics (schedule, communication channels, budget, actions)
  6. Evaluation (metrics)

You can start a integrated marketing and communications plan template with these headings and fill in details as you go. Usually the tactics section will be large since it is a detailed plan of actions you will take and how they relate to your goals and audiences.

Here is an example integrated marketing and communications plan from a mid-sized sport organization if you are looking what a plan can contain.

5 reasons to Advertise on Internet TV, Video, and Radio

5 reasons to Advertise on Internet TV, Video, and Radio

I’ve advertised on internet video channels and here are benefits I found you can consider when media planning for internet TV and radio.

Advantages of Internet media

Reaching a Niche

Some people just prefer to listen to free internet radio and watch TV online. They’re usually young people who have modern technology and don’t use radios or have or can afford cable TV.  If those people are your target audience, the digital channel is important for your campaign and you’ll want people clicking on your online ads or going to the campaign landing page.

Ease of Reporting and Tracking Ad Effectiveness

Thanks to services like Google Analytics, you can find out easily your ad’s engagement, impressions, and return on investment.

Market Research

YouTube and other internet media offer you detailed information on people viewing and clicking on your ads (e.g. gender, age, interests). It is worthwhile to run campaign just to see which audiences prefer your brand and style of advertising. I’ve received a lot of marketing data from internet media companies by running ads.

Quick to Test Ads and Change Them

You’re getting real time data about ad impressions and clicks. You can easily test different ads and change them on the fly unlike traditional media. Your ad viewers are one click away from your website and the real time nature can aid in campaigns that are time sensitive.

Reuse your digital media

Most strong brands have videos and sounds clips online already. You can reuse parts or your organization’s existing media (e.g. popular YouTube videos) for an internet TV/radio ad.

Bonus: 3 Tips for Design TV/radio Internet Ads

creative pencil analytics interaction between people

photo credit: David Berkowitz

So now that you’re exciting about making some ads, here tips based on data from past internet campaigns. One insight is very few people will listen or watch a whole internet ad so:

1. Front load important information and in the first 3-5 seconds of the ad. People who are really interested in your product will watch the rest if they need to.

2. The first part of the ad should have catchy visuals and/or sounds to capture your audience or allow them to self-select whether the ad is relevant to them. Here are examples – show a map to indicate a location, choose music to represent your product category’s environment, use text or voice to summarize the ad’s topic or provide a hook.

3. Be open to trying different variations of ads and then use the most successful one (one with the most clicks or engagement). My experience with 2-3 variations of ads is over time 1 will become the preferred one. An easy variation can be to alter the duration of the ad.

12 Tips for Low Cost Advertising & Promotion Strategies and Tactics

12 Tips for Low Cost Advertising & Promotion Strategies and Tactics

I kind of specialize in low cost advertising and marketing promotion production after working for non-profits and promoting employee programs where there is no budget other than people to do the work who are usually volunteers and basic equipment like cameras, printers, and computers. Here are tips I use to make the most of common supplies with a zero to low advertising budget.

Strategies for Low Cost Production

Use as much free stuff as possible like open source/free software, creative commons media, sponsored materials, public domain media (sound clips, videos).

Partner with other organizations to lower the cost of their advertising and combine marketing plans to strengthen their market presence. For example, a tourism organization I work with partners with regional tourism groups and the provincial government to promote their area.

“Who you know” — Ask your team about their talents, especially their hobbies outside of work. You’d be surprised how many people outside their work are talented musicians, video editors, photographers, renovators, etc. who can donate their time or have contacts with people who can provide low cost advertising materials.

woman reading a book in a library stack

photo credit: J. Star

Be simple with your ads and use a casual everyday scenarios, lighting, and scenes for yours ads. A recent ad by President’s Choice is a good example. It was Galen Weston Jr. sitting in a well-lit kitchen talking to two women about the new product – – that’s it!

Use your archives and find older ads and media. Is there something you can reuse and recycle?

Set up a common repository of advertising stories, media, materials, etc. for your organization. It’s common to share a stock photography and video library.

Tactics for Low Cost Production

stormtroopers loading piggy banks with coins

photo credit: Kalexanderson

Combine marketing campaigns with an advertising partner. Ideas to combine are direct mail campaigns, out-of-home media, events, and commercials.

Use free open source software. Lots of choices for creative people on different computer platforms (online web tools, Windows, Linux, Mac)

Ask your corporate/organization’s sponsors to help you with events by providing materials you can use for promotion. My sponsors commonly pay for printing of posters if you include them in the poster and thank them for sponsorship.

Borrow and Share. Do search on the internet for ads that resemble yours and adapt their designs or approach to your brand.

Use Bing/Yahoo, Facebook, or Google promotional coupons for free digital advertising. Usually they provide $50 of free advertising for new sign ups. You can sign up, use the free $50 and continue if you like.

Use social media to get input from customers. Not an innovative idea, but getting input either through voting, a contest, or reward system is a win-win for the company and consumer. Plus, you can get good publicity from asking for input.

Social Media and Website Management for Club

Cornell Club of Toronto Website and Social Media channels

Cornell Club of Toronto Website and Social Media channels

News/events information, feedback form, and content about Cornell Club of Toronto posted on website and social media Facebook and Twitter channels. Email marketing through newsletters and social media community management linked to websites.

Internet Advertising and Web Marketing Implementation Resources

Internet Advertising and Web Marketing Implementation Resources

The list below provide sources to be used with the development of electronic / web / online marketing as well as integrated electronic communications.

Good marketing implementation resources

Google Advertising Programs (AdSense and AdWords) and Microsoft Advertising provide a variety of advertising opportunities both through search engine marketing (SEM), TV ads, content network ads, website banners ads, and other channels like mobile, games, etc..

Google Alerts allows you to monitor the web for interesting new content via email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Alerts can be used to monitor marketing campaigns and web
activity (e.g. competitors, trends, social commentary).

Copy blogger contains tips for copywriters, bloggers, and content marketers and aims to give effective online copywriting and content marketing strategies.

Radian 6 offers paid tools for social media monitoring. The tools allow you view relevant conversations on selected topics and aggregate and report on those
conversations allowing easier analysis and measurement.

Social Oomph helps manage your social media efforts through scheduling, links management, monitoring, a channel synchronization among other things. The are free features and paid features.

TweetDeck is a tool for managing social media feeds, viewing profiles and updates, and performing interactions in one tool. It is available for deskops and some mobile platforms. It makes it easy to monitor various social media networks in one place and is particularly strong in using Twitter API features.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2.0) provide principles and content
techniques to ensure content is inclusive to various people including people
with disabilities and the ways they consume web content. The principles are
also standard practices to follow to make web content easily accessible,
usable, and understandable. is about usability and web design research, studies, news, and guidelines.

Website grader is a website search engine optimization (SEO) tool that tells how well a website is doing for things like SEO, social media mentions and popularity, and page analytics.