make your own communication plan

The Roadmap Game

During the process of our project, we came up with an exercise. It can be played either by individuals or in groups.
The aim of the exercise is to consider and to try responding to  the following questions:

  • In the process of creating a dance work, WHEN do we communicate with others?
  • WHO do we communicate with at each stage?
  • HOW do we communicate?
  • WHAT are we communicating or sharing with them?

Why it makes sense to play the Roadmap Game?

Whether you are a dance maker, a dance collective or a dance institution (perhaps even an artist or a cultural institution from another artistic discipline) the Roadmap game can help you (in a playful way) to develop your communication plan closely intertwined with your artistic process showing that both entities are connected and that you are indeed communicating your work continously. Furthermore it can easily be developed into a timeline, helping you plan and time your activities throughout your artistic and communication process.

How to play

Before you embark on this exercise we propose you define your starting position.

Are you an independent artist?
Or working with an institition?
Is your project small, medium or large scale?

This will help you define what is important to you from the myriad of options/possibilities (and there are even more than we were able to list! Please be free to expand the list of roles as per your own practice and experience).

In doing so, this exercise will help you to better understand how the communication plan you are formulating will contextualise and serve your project and your road to success.

We are suggesting you use a piece of paper, but really you can also decide to use any frame to carry through this exercise! Be innovative and imaginative. Rembember these are suggestions only, be innovative, creative and think outside of the box!

So let's start with a practical example. Some possible tools:


1. Take the paper and on top of it, write down the general stages of your production timeline.

For example, pre-production, production and post-production, or "January-February..." etc.

2. Choose a colour, and articulate specific sub-phases of your process.

Click here to view some suggestions

  • Concept development
  • Team assembly (finding dancers and other collaborators to work with)
  • Funding
  • Rehearsal
  • Residency
  • Promotion
  • Premiere
  • Evaluation
  • Tour / Dissemination
  • + feel free to add whatever else you think of

Place these terms (key words) onto the paper roughly, where you think they should take place within the general production timeline. Some of these may overlap. You don’t have to use all of these terms, and you can use some more than once if you like. You can also add your own. The illustration is just an example of how you can use the paper. If you prefer to arrange the key words differently pleae feel free to do so.

3. Choose another colour, and try to answer this question, for each of the sub-phases:

Who am I communicating with at this stage?

Click here to view some suggestions

  • Dance institutions
  • Curators
  • Programmers
  • Funding sources / sponsors
  • Producers / Co-producers
  • Artistic collaborators (dancers, dramaturge, composer, set/costume designer…)
  • Tech staff (lighting design, multimedia…)
  • Marketing/communications manager
  • Photographer
  • Video artist
  • Graphic designer
  • Web designer
  • Audience
  • Potential audiences (insiders / outsiders/different target groups)
  • Press: specialised magazines / websites / tv or radio shows
  • Press: wide audience press / news portals / TV or radio shows
  • Festival organisers
  • Performance venues
  • + feel free to add whatever else you think of

4. Choose a third colour and try to answer this question, for each of the persons you are communicating with:

In what form does this communication take place?

Click here to view some suggestions

  • Meetings
  • Audition
  • 1-on-1 communication (email/phone/skype…)
  • Social media
  • Own website updates
  • Press announcement
  • Workshop
  • Open studio
  • Work in progress display
  • Performance
  • + feel free to add whatever else you think of

5. Choose a fourth colour and try to answer this question:

In each of these communication stages, what kind of materials am I sharing (if any?)

Click here to view some suggestions

  • Production plan
  • Written text about the performance
  • Your biography and references
  • Photographs of work in progress
  • Photographs of live performance
  • Staged/studio promotional photographs
  • Video of work in progress
  • Technical rider
  • Promotional video / trailer
  • Posters
  • Printed material: booklet / leaflet etc
  • Final press kit
  • + feel free to add whatever else you think of

And here is your communications roadmap!

You can use this game to:

  • get a better overview of your communications plan
  • consider ways in which you can improve your public and internal communication
  • brainstorm possibilities in a group
  • exercise different scenarios of dance production

If you feel overwhelmed by all the options and channels for communcating your artistic work, please don't forget that this plan simply aims to help you to develop an overview of all the possibilities you can use. It is also likely that you might not have the necessary capacities (time, team members, funds …) to activate all. That's why it is important to choose your priorities - and instead of trying to do everything – it is best to follow your priorities!