TCC External Communication Plan Guidelines.

TCC External Communication Plan Guidelines.

All Tanana Chiefs Conference projects should (must) develop a communication plan approved by either the project manager’s supervisor or the TCC Corporate Communication Director. All communication plans must call for specific actions that are on a time table and can be measured and achieved. A preliminary communication plan should be developed early in the project. The basic steps and an example follow:

All communication plans should include the following in writing

Project name and one paragraph description

A brief description of the project that will allow people to quickly discern the breadth and depth of the project. The description will also help explain the communication needs.


Have a clear list of tangible, achievable goals that you hope to accomplish within the communication plan.

Target Audience

Who are you trying to reach?

Messages/Information needs (Fact sheets, press releases, talking points PSA’s)

How will you get your message out? Will you use free media, TV and radio Commercials or PSA’s? Do you want use radio, TV, newspapers web or all of the above. Will you hold town meetings or Community gatherings? What are your theme’s and messages for press releases, fact sheets and talking points.

Timeline and contact lists

Who is going to contact what stakeholders, what media, make what presentations and when

Define a process for updating/changing the Communication Plan

Things in your project will change. What is the approval process for making changes in the communication plan?

What is your feedback loop

How are you going gauge if the communication needs of your project are being met.

All communication plans should have a plan for the four keys to success

Internal Alignment

Is all of your organization (TCC management-and staff) on board with the project? Is anyone on staff going to speak out against it internally or publicly?

Stakeholders/stakeholder contact lists

Who or what organizations are going to like the project, who or what organizations are not going to like the projects. How are you going to approach those you think will agree with you, and those who don’t?

Press Strategy

How will you get your message out in “free media” to your target audience? How will you keep the press positive?

Legislative strategy

When necessary, how will you “sell” the idea in Juneau, or Washington DC?


How to Scale

The Communication Plan is scaleable. The plan for a very large or high risk project may be quite complex. More stakeholders will mean more information needs and that may mean more and varied ways to get messages and information out. There may be several individuals with responsibilities for the different types of communications required by a project. There may be many steps involved in the process of developing and approving communications on a large project in order to ensure communication is accurate, effective, and sensitive to the needs of the project.

Highly visible projects may require separate public information or communications expertise. For example, if the Legislature is a stakeholder on a project, an Agency Public Information Officer may need to approve all communication prior to it being sent from the project to the stakeholder. They may be the position assigned responsibility for developing communications going to the Legislature. Most projects will require some form of both internal and external communication on a regular basis to sustain momentum on the project and to fulfill organizational reporting requirements. For small projects that have only a handful of stakeholders who are intimately familiar with all project details, it may be sufficient to provide a standard status report to all stakeholders on a regular basis. Be sure to include an open invitation for feedback on even such small projects.

This is a sample and only a canvass on which you can create. Remember the size and scope of the communication plan is based on the size, scope and visibility of the project.

Sample Communication Plan for Specific Project

Spill Prevention- Residential Heating Oil Tanks.

In Alaska leaks from home heating fuel tanks have become a public health and safety risk because the leaks lead to fires, tainted drinking water and sewer systems that injure or kill people each year. While we cannot check every tank we can educate people on what to look for to keep their homes and their families safe.


Increase public awareness of potential problems with residential fuel tank leaks or spills and suggestions of how to lesson risks of a spill or a damaged tank. If we prevent one fire, keep one fuel spill from getting into drinking water or convince even a few homeowners to check their home heating fuel tank, we will have helped keep Alaska’s families a little safer.

Target Audience:

Home owners and property owners in urban Alaska.

Information needs

Fact Sheet(s)

Press release(s)

Opinion editorial(s)

Talking points and speeches

Spa’s Radio

Spa’s TV

Buy radio and TV time

Presentations to municipal groups

Chamber and Rotary presentations

Presentations and one on one meetings with realty groups

Develop press event in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau

(Possible scenarios)

Press Conference with Realty Agents

Press Conference with DEC Water quality people

Press Conference highlighting a home owner who had problems with a leaking fuel tank

Theme’s (Work into every sound-bite for TV, and interviews on radio or with newspaper reporters)

This is about protecting your family’s health and safety

DEC is here to help keep Alaska’s communities, families and environment healthy-but we need your help

We all have a responsibility to help protect the health of our families, friends and neighbors as well as the environment

A few hours of prevention, can save years of headaches

A few dollars spent on prevention can save you thousands of dollars in the long run


Develop Calendar to include the following

-Contact all identified stakeholders by mid-January

-Commitments for assistance (speeches, press conferences, and other help) by end of January

-Press Conference in Anchorage on a Monday first week in March, Monday Second week of March in Fairbanks and Third Monday in march in Juneau

-Press release for each community on day of press conference

-PSA’s written approved February to stations by March One

-TV and Radio time bought for month of March, by Feb 1st.

-TV and Radio spots completed and approved by Feb 15. Air through March

-Set dates of speeches, presentations to Rotary, Chamber Business organizations

Feedback Loop

-Project manager will check with realty groups and DEC staff to see about calls, website hits and information requested. Lists of media stories will be compiled.

Internal Alignment

Director’s meeting approval necessary by first of the year. Staff meeting in Water Quality and Spill Prevention and Response. E-mail to all staff with a mid January date for comments on plan

Stakeholders/stakeholder contact lists

Realty groups in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau

Chambers of Commerce in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau

Fuel delivery businesses in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau

Homeowners associations in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau

Identify a few people in each city who have had fuel tank leakage problems.

Fairbanks Anchorage and Juneau media (listed below)

Press Strategy

There is no conflict in the story and it is a preventative one, we will do our media events on Monday (media usually desperate for stories) and send our communication officer and project manager on the speech and talk show circuit identified below. The challenge is to get high profile coverage on a soft story.

Legislative strategy

We will make a courtesy call, to our budget subcommittee, but due to the non-controversial nature of this project, that will be the extent of the Legislative Strategy

Media Circuit to sell the story



1) Pitch story/press conference to Fbnks. Daily News-Miner (Chat w/ Chris Talbott or Dan Rice)

2) Request meeting with News-Miner Editorial Board to discuss issue

3) Write an OP-ED for Statewide Distribution (All Newspapers)


Live Interview on KIAK

2) Pitch KFAR on Story

3) Morning Edition on KUAC-Fairbanks -pitch story (Dan Bross, Sarah Neal)


1) Pitch story/press conference to Channel 11 (Mike Beck, Billie Sundgrin)

2) Pitch story/press conference to Channel 13/7 (Sharice Walker or Jaime Scwartzwald)



Pitch story/press conference to Juneau Empire- (Tim Inklebarger)

Meet with Juneau Empire Editorial Board to chat about issue

(See Fairbanks Newspapers for OP-ED’s to go Statewide)



Pitch Story to Pete Carran in radio newsroom

Try to get a spot on Pete’s weekend talk show

Pitch the story/press conference to KTOO-FM (Matt Miller, Ann Sutton, Rose Marie Alexander)



Convince Bill MacAllister of value of having the project be a topic of “Capitol Focus” weekly public affairs talking heads show.

Pitch the story/press conference to KJUD (Jason ??)



1) Pitch story and press conference to Anch. Daily News (Steve Rhinehart or Joel Gay)

2) Meet w/ Daily News Ed Board to chat about Issue

3) See Fairbanks Newspapers about Local and Statewide OP-ED’s



Get a guest appearance on Morning Magazine

Get a guest appearance on the Afternoon Drive program

Pitch story/press conference to newsroom


Get a guest appearance on morning show with Herb Shaindlin

Get a guest appearance on afternoon show with Dan Fagan

Pitch story and press conference to newsroom


1) pith story and press conference to APRN Newsroom (Steve Hiemel, David Totten)

2)Get a guest appearance on APRN’s weekly call-in show, talk of Alaska


Channel 2

Pitch story/press conference to Newsroom-Offer to show a tank and how to make it safer (Leigh Bell, Lynn Melling)

Channel 13

Pitch story/press conference to Newsroom- Offer to show a tank and how to make it safer (Ty Hardt or Rebecca Palsha)

Channel 11

Pitch story to Newsroom-Offer to show a tank and how to make it safer (Staci Childers or Lauren Maxwell)