How to write a communication plan and 12 remixable templates

A strong communications plan dictates the flow of information and ideas between project collaborators and stakeholders, helping everyone involved know when and how to expect communication to happen to accomplish a goal. This guide is a concise walk-through on what a communications plan is and how to create begin your own — along with communication plan templates to design and share with your project’s team.



What is a communication plan and why create one

Effective communication is key to leading a successful project, and it all starts with a well thought out communication plan. The processes that comprise communications management ensure that the right information is communicated to the right people at every stage of project execution. Whether you’re collaborating on a class curriculum, website redesign, or an interior design project, the clear expectations and well-structured communication help ensure your project runs smoothly for everyone involved.

What is a project communication plan?

A communication plan is a document or presentation that sets out how ideas, information, and concerns flow between all project collaborators and stakeholders. An essential part of project communications management, it creates a standard operating procedure for everyone to follow, the level of detail and complexity varying between different scales of communication plan project. Communication plans should always inform your team how to communicate, with what frequency, and who to loop in when and with what information and updates.

Why create a communication plan?

Better collaboration and higher-quality results are more likely if everyone involved knows what to expect throughout a project timeline. To make this happen, a communication plan is one of the first things to take on when beginning a project, especially when you've reached the point of a planning phase that involves new collaborators and stakeholders. A solid communication plan helps avoid the mistakes and delays that come with miscommunication, making confusion, unnecessary meetings, and project delays much less likely.

The components of a communication plan

The basic components of any good communication plan are made up of the things you can anticipate and plan around for the entirety of the project’s duration, setting clear expectations for checking in and collaborating at different stages and phases of the project plan.


This refers to frequency. How often should stakeholders anticipate an update? Think about what is reasonable to provide enough information but not overwhelm the recipient of the message.


Who needs to receive updates? Is the audience different for various steps or milestones of the project? Think about which stakeholders to include in a chat versus a regular email update.


What is the point of the communication? Whether to provide a regular update or give the specifics of a change, you should provide a clear reason for the communication. It should be as concise and comprehensible as possible.


This is where you will map out how to share communications. With so many technologies available, it is important to think about when it is most appropriate to use a phone call, email, or chat feature, and which avenue is best for supporting a specific message type.


Projects change over time, and your communication plan will need to reflect those shifts. Make sure to review and update the plan when needed, and inform everyone when a change to the plan is necessary.

Crafting your communication plan

When you sit down to write the communication plan, make sure to consider what format you select. Adobe Express offers free, remixable templates that fit a wide variety of projects and teams. Pick one that will aid your stakeholders in easily understanding expectations and provide necessary feedback or ask questions. Once you’ve considered an approach to format and selected a communications plan template, start taking these next steps to chart out your own.

Determine project communication goals

A communication plan will state what you want your communications between collaborators and stakeholders to achieve, how you want things to ideally go along the way, and what working together will successfully look like. It may be as simple as providing necessary updates, or as complex as how to evaluate and articulate changes to or contingencies of a plan. When identifying goals, consider every step of the project — all the tasks, needed resources, and potential pitfalls. Getting initial feedback from your team here is a good idea.

Identify who is involved

A project will have stakeholders on your internal team and outside your team. Each stakeholder might need a different level of communication. In this section, list everyone. You should include each team member with a role in the project, other teams that might contribute, the CEO, the client, and anyone else with a stake in the project.

Establish the purpose and content of the communication

Everyone is busy, and you do not want to waste their time with unnecessary meetings or confusing communications. Your communication plan is the perfect place to outline expectations for why and how each stakeholder communicates. Make sure to outline what to include in that communication. At a minimum, every communication should inform, educate, or ask for feedback.

Determine communication methods and preferences

When deciding how to communicate, keep in mind how to balance effective communication without slowing down productivity. In some instances, it is also helpful to think about how a stakeholder prefers to communicate. You should also consider how best to relay information in certain circumstances. Meetings are sometimes useful for gathering feedback at once, rather than exchanging multiple days’ worth of emails. However, communicating about a change request with a client may be best over email or phone. You may also find it easiest to keep team members up to date on projects using a project management dashboard.

Set a communication schedule

State how often stakeholders should send certain communications. In some situations, this may mean a regular email on project updates and progress. Communication between team members will typically be more frequent than contact with the CEO or the client.

Make sure stakeholders know who is responsible for each communication to avoid confusion and overlapping contacts. If the communication is supposed to happen regularly — for example, a weekly email update from the project manager to the CEO — schedule that onto a calendar or task manager. Once you have your plan, each team member will know when, how, and why to communicate with other stakeholders on the project.

Free remixable communication plan templates from Adobe Express

Need some inspiration to kick off your communication plan? Here's a taste of the thousands of free, entirely customizable templates, with dozens of licensed Adobe Fonts, royalty-free Adobe Stock images, and countless graphic design elements at your disposal to bring to life your own communication plan project. You can also easily upload photos, logos, or fonts right from your own device directly to your communication plan template.

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