Welcome to the Marketing & Communications Plan Guide.

This Guide is designed to help you…

  • Strategically plan events and communications for your location for the year.
  • Make sure you are regularly communicating your key messages to your key audiences.
  • Make sure you don’t have any overly-programmed spots in your year.
  • Focus all your programming on the same theme, saying the same thing, at the same time. Speaking as one brand with one voice.
  • Ensure you’re not overwhelming with too many messages.


We love this photo. It is from the 1960’s, and shows Johnny Carson planning The Tonight Show. He uses index cards to fill in the open spaces in his schedule. You can see he has planned all, but the last week of the month.

The schedule wall pictured is what your Marketing & Communications plan is like. We need to make sure the spaces in our calendar are being filled. And make sure we’re not over or under scheduling communication or messaging any part of the year.

A Marketing & Communications Plan helps us refine the timing of our programs, launches, and communications. We can see in one spot how much activity already exists, and where we may need more or less activity.

Before we jump into How To Complete Your Calendar, we’re going to spend a minute familiarizing you with the format.

We’ve created a template you may use in Excel. However, if you want to use a whiteboard, index cards on a bulletin board (like Johnny), sticky notes on poster board, that’ll work too. The layout is the same.

For our example, we’re using a calendar featuring our faux brand Prima Vera’s Pizzeria.

Download the Annual Planning Calendar Excel template and modify to your needs.

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