A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

California/Nevada Community Action Partnership

Communications Planning Guide

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NOTE: Additional tools are available here:
Strategic Communications Planning
(Virtual CAP Resource Information)


This California/Nevada Community Action Partnership Reference Manual is designed to provide valuable information on how to approach the implementation of a successful communications program.

It is intended to:
  • Improve Communication Techniques
  • Reduce Training Time
  • Improve Productivity
  • Strengthen Operations
This manual contains communications program suggestions, resources, tips and examples. When choosing components for individual programs, it is recommended that organizations design programs that support their own mission and vision and reflect the needs of their local communities. It is also recommended that communications strategies support the focus of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) national goals:
  1. Low-income people become more self-sufficient
  2. Conditions in which low-income people live are improved
  3. Low-income people own a stake in their community
  4. Partnerships among supporters and providers of services to low-income people are achieved
  5. Agencies increase their capacity to achieve results
  6. Low-income people, especially vulnerable populations, achieve their potential by strengthening family and other supportive systems

For the purposes of this document “Communication” has been segmented into three areas: MARKETING, MEDIA AND OUTREACH; each with a specific focus. But, it is important to understand that these areas overlap as communication planning is developed, implemented and measured.

Topic Featured (Table of Contents)

  1. Specifics of Developing a Marketing Strategy
  2. Partnering with the Media
  3. General Overview of Outreach Planning: Audiences, Messages and Methods
  4. How to Get the Job Done
  5. Written Communications
  6. Websites and Social Media
  7. Advertising
  8. Public Speaking
  9. Ongoing Special Events
  10. Community Partnerships
  11. Using Power Point Effectively and Working with PDF Files
  12. Tools of the Trade and How to Use Them
  13. Your Safety Depends on You