The problem statement will be a concise description of the situation. It should be no longer than a sentence or short paragraph.
- Describe your client and how it sustains itself. Is your client local, regional, national and/or international? Is your client in the business to sell something? If so, what, where and to whom? Is your client a public or privately held company? Is your client a non-profit? If so, for whom or for what does it advocate? Does it rely on volunteers? Donors? Add any other information you think would be helpful in understanding your client.
- Provide an historical timeline of your client. (This can be in bullet point if there is sufficient history.) Describe key points in time, from the founding to the present, that have affected – for better or for worse – your client’s situation and/or that of its key publics.
- Describe the current organizational culture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizational_culture
- Describe the communication tools and messages your client currently uses and note any past initiatives – successful or not – that might be important in developing your plan.
- Identify and discuss past, present or potential - Key publics and stakeholders (internal and external); Competitors (or competing interests)
- Discuss the environment in which your client operates. That is, for your client to continue to operate successfully, what economic, political, social, international, regulatory issues and/or public policies does your client have to pay attention to? Are there any?
- Review the history of the problem situation outside the organization
- Identify who is involved and who is affected in the situation. Consider what the stakeholders know about the situation, how they feel about it, and what they do that is related to the situation.
- Based on your findings in steps 1-8, conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis for your client. Remember, strengths and weaknesses are internal to the client. Opportunities and threats are external.