Promoting Your Project
Careful promotion of the discount fitness club network (DFCN) will help employees become aware of the project and its benefits, as well as minimize the number of repetitive questions received from employees. A communication plan is critical for providing the most current information about your plans to promote your DFCN.
Developing a communication plan and timeline are advisable for smooth implementation. The communication plan can be developed in parallel to the previous steps in this toolkit, so that it is ready for use when the planning phase is complete.
Communication plans should include who and how pre-launch and ongoing communication will be maintained with the DFCN. Communication plans often include the following information:
- Project name
- Sponsoring departments
- Contact person
- Issue to be addressed
- Project goals and objectives
- Target audience
- Pre-launch communication strategies
- Ongoing communication strategies
- Timeline for implementation
- Evaluation plan
See the example template [PDF-75k] for guidance while developing your communication plan. The information in this section and the following sections should help you complete the form for your specific situation.
Below are some sample questions to ask that will help you develop your communication plan:
- Who should serve as liaison with the DFCN for the duration of the agreement?
- Which mode(s) of communication is most suitable to your employee population for this project?
- Based on the mode(s) of communication selected, what materials are needed to promote the project? Who is responsible for the providing the materials? Will the DFCN provide posters and brochures? Who will distribute the materials?
- When should key tasks be completed? Establish a timeline for the communication components and assign them to the appropriate staff person.
- Who will be responsible for tracking and responding to employee questions and comments?
- Who will evaluate the project? What data should be kept?
Consider distributing promotional materials and information through various channels. In small, private companies or offices you might want to consider using a staff meeting to announce the program. In larger organizations such as federal agencies or private companies where that might not be feasible, consider using inter-office mail, agency-wide e-mail announcements, and articles posted on the agency or company Intranet to inform employees of the program. Other ideas include posters, flyers, and links to the DFCN Web site from appropriate Intranet sites.
All promotional messages, regardless of communication channel, should include contact information so that employees can easily submit requests for more information, and for government agencies, be consistent with all ethical laws, rules, and regulations.
When you promote the program may be as important as how. Try to pick a time when it is likely you will get the most employees’ attention. For instance, around the holidays there may be fewer employees at work or there might be many communications and other activities competing for your employees’ attention and time. Perhaps it would be worth waiting until the first of the year when people tend to think about being healthier. If you work in a business that is particularly seasonal, you might want to consider a less-busy time of year to implement the program.
In addition to promoting the program, you might also consider providing your employees with supplemental materials that include guidelines for selecting a fitness club that is right for them. For example, The American College of Sports Medicine offers a brochure called "Selecting and Effectively Using a Health/Fitness Facility" that may help your employees find a good fit for their needs.
After you have completed the communication plan, your next step is to implement your DFCN and prepare for its ongoing operation and evaluation.
DFCN Example Tools
- CDC's DFCN Example
- Example Communication Plan [PDF-61k]
- CDC's DFCN Example Planning Checklist [PDF-61k]