The Planners’ Communications Guide 2.0 is an online, interactive guide designed to help members develop and deliver positive values-based messages about planning and APA to targeted audiences.

The guide is divided into individual sections, with each focusing on a specific communication skill. Whether you are new to speaking to the media, interested in building greater alliances, or just wanting to polish your skills, there is something in the guide for everyone.

SECTION 1: MESSAGES
Messages are fundamental to any communications effort.

In this section you will learn to:
  • Create and use key messages when speaking to the media and the public and with stakeholders;
  • Provide compelling and memorable support for your key messages; and
  • Use APA's key messages in your communications work.
  • NEW Explain your work to someone unfamiliar with the planning profession
SECTION 2: MEDIA 101
One of the most effective ways to reach members of your community is to make use of the media.

In this section you will learn to:
  • Respond when a reporter calls you;
  • Work with the media — responding to interview requests and preparing for media interviews; and
  • Deliver your message through traditional and nontraditional media channels.
SECTION 3: SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media has become a necessary tool for doing business via tweets, posts, and shares.

In this section you will learn to:
  • Use various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr to promote planning and advance your planning messages;
  • Remain in compliance with open meeting laws and establish social media guidelines; and
  • Leverage the experience of APA, other planning departments, organizations, and cities that are using social media.
SECTION 4: ALLIES AND PARTNERS
You need allies and partners to help support the work of the planning department.

In this section you will learn to:
  • Identify and garner support for planning from allies within your community;
  • Leverage partnerships to help advance good planning; and
  • Deliver your planning message to, and engage your elected and appointed officials.
SECTION 5: CONTENTIOUS ISSUES
As a planner, you occasionally stumble on difficult issues.

In this section you will learn to:
  • Respond to critics or those opposed to planning initiatives; and
  • Engage opponents and work toward a common goal.
TRAINING
Access on-demand training modules to use in conjunction with this guide
  • Overview of the Planners' Communications Guide


The 2.0 Planners' Communication Guide is an online, interactive guide, available only to APA members.