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Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance (The Six Ps)

August 13, 2008


When I was a young lad (longer ago than I’d like to admit) a very nice wise old man once told me what he considered the secret to his success.  Why did I consider him wise?  He was a very successful construction supervisor who was responsible for some of the most beautiful – and now historic – buildings in the West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Florida area. 

           Palm Beach Town Hall

OK, you could argue that maybe he wasn’t all that wise, but not that he wasn’t successful.  His secret to success?   “The Six Ps”, something you may have heard of: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. 

Not a new saying, but very applicable to social media?  Everything.  As with many of life’s undertakings, a successful social media initiative requires The Six Ps.  Knowing that social media can help solve your business challenges is a good first step.  Having a social media strategy that meets your business goals and objectives is great.  But defining the plans that will make your social media initiative a success: critical.

So, what plans am I talking about?  The plans that provide a path to social media success with a recommended course of action to take advantage of the opportunities and mitigate any risks associated with your social media initiative.  Although there are many pieces to each, I’ve taken the liberty of consolidating them down to six plans – The Six Ps of Social Media Planning, if you will…  

  • Social Media Plan
    Defines your overall social media goals and objectives, including: member constituencies, rollout plan, proposed options for the community direction, internal social media readiness.
  • Community Programming Schedule (also known as a Content Plan)
    High-level schedule of proposed content to attract and engage community members and drive adoption.  Can include new & existing, internal & external, expert & user-generated content.  May leverage blogs, seeded message boards, webinars, chats, polls, contests, etc.
  • Community Management Plan
    Roles, responsibilities and rules of engagement of those involved in the care, feeding, and nurturing of your community.  Can be yours and/or your vendor’s resources.
  • Moderation Plan
    Moderation ensures that members are following the community rules, assists new members, and to fosters lively discussion.  There are many ways to accomplish these moderation goals.  The Moderation Plan provides interaction rules and guidelines and should be adjusted based on the needs of the community.
  • Community Ecosystem Plan
    Provides a map of your potential social media structures, based on an analysis of stakeholders such as existing and potential customers, employees, partners, and competitors.
  • Social Media Matrix & Site Map Plan
    Outlines the company and member content, the social media tools necessary, and a model for member interaction.


Although not an all-inclusive list, it suggests the depth of thought and definition you should be prepared undertake as you build a roadmap to success for your social media initiative.

[This post orginially appeared at  It has been reposted with slight modification by permission.]

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