Right after coming on board as chief communicator at Honeywell, Stacey Jones was faced with a big job: getting out the message about a realignment of the company's businesses.

"That is a gift to a communicator," she tells Simon. "To come in and be part of that realignment right from the beginning." To get out the word, she says "I found that planning was really an incredible tool that helped us all define our North Star, what we were going to do to get there, and the specific actions that we would take. It was a new way to talk about the company, which was great to define together."

To make that process of working together successful, "one thing that I was really intent upon as I got to know the teams was having time for planning and really carving that out."

Jones says an effective leader must utilize the strengths of all their team members. "If you're planning alone or planning in a very small group over to the side, you're probably not going to land where you need to with all the input."

She also talks about how to handle the different priorities of different business units in a company. For Jones a lot of that comes down to trust. "Gaining trust is an absolutely essential part of getting investment in the plan and commitment to execute it going forward. And obviously, sponsorship from the top, from your CEO, from your C-suite, making sure that the business understands the importance of the planning you're doing."

Getting buy-in from all stakeholders along the way is also essenial, Jones says. "You're looking at it with your colleagues and they are making sure that they can get behind this plan. They're going to empower their business teams to support this plan. And you have the endorsement of that table to go forward and make all this happen."

One of the biggest mistakes she sees with comms plans is when "they're not grounded as deeply as they should be in the business strategy. You absolutely need a comms plan, but the two should have 100 percent connective tissue in getting the business strategy as up and running and as supported as possible."

But it's not a one-way street. Jones says that the comms plan can affect the business strategy as well. "I've said many times in my life that as soon as you write something down in a news release, it becomes abundantly real. The ability that communications has to bring that focus and to be there in kind of the final runway when you're leading up to making a declaration or announcing a big merger, acquisition, being in that last mile delivery is a wonderful experience."

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D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.