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Use Three Communication Types in Your Communication Plan

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This content is from the Method123 weekly email dated 2017.09.06

Use Three Communication Types in Your Communication Plan

There are three types of communication that can be included in a Communication Plan. We find these three categories to be helpful when creating a well rounded Communication Plan. The three types are mandatory, informational and marketing.


This includes any communication that is required by your organization. There is no reason to worry about these or debate their value. If they are required just create them. Examples include:

  • Project Status Reports and status meetings
  • Meetings with steering committee
  • Required reports to shareholders or your Board of Directors
  • Government required reports, safety reports, audit reports, etc.
This information is “pushed” (sent directly to) to recipients.


This is information that you make available to people, but they need to take the initiative to access it. You put this information in a place that people can access and you tell them that it is there. However, it is up to them to seek out and review the information. Examples include:  

  • Awareness building sessions that people are invited to attend (these are not meant as training – just to build awareness of the project)
  • Project deliverables placed in a common repository, directory, website or library that people can access
  • Frequently-asked questions (FAQ)
This is referred to as "pull" communication since it requires the reader to take the initiative to review the information.


These communication events are designed to build buy-in and enthusiasm for the project and the solution you are delivering. This communication is especially important if your project is going to change how people do their jobs. These types of projects are culture change initiatives. Examples include:

  • Project newsletters with positive marketing spin
  • Traveling road shows to various locations to explain the project and benefits
  • Testimonials that describe how the project deliverables provided value
  • Contests with prizes to build excitement            
  • A count down until live date
  • Project memorabilia with project name or image portrayed, such as pins, pencils, cups, T-shirts, etc.
This type of communication is “pushed” to the readers.


The examples above show that project communication can take many shapes and forms. For large projects especially, the project team should be creative in determining how, what, to whom, where and how frequently the communication takes place. If the project is controversial, requires culture change or is political, the positive aspects of marketing communication become more and more critical. 
TenStep-logo-pngAt TenStep we are dedicated to helping organizations achieve their goals and strategies through the successful execution of critical business projects. We provide training, consulting and products for organizations to help them set up an environment where projects are successful. This includes help with strategic planning, portfolio management, program / project management, Project Management Offices (PMOs) and project lifecycles. For more information, visit or contact us at
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