Situation Analysis: Environmental Scan and SOAR analysis

Updated: Jul 25

[This situation analysis description is part of a full communications plan template. If you don't have the template, then start from the beginning here.]

Situation Analysis has multiple sections. First, an environmental scan should be where you list ongoing changes happening surrounding your organization. Next a SOAR analysis will help you list where your organization’s strengths are, and what external opportunities exist for the organization. It will also help you express your organizational aspirations and what results need to be seen before those aspirations are achieved.

The environmental scan will be based on changes happening in areas such as local policy, national policy, the natural environment, the business environment, industry trends, technological discovery, the competition. You should also look at the condition of the organization internally. List the condition of employee turnover and interpersonal relationships, management structure, current communications efforts, the relationship with local media, level of staff cooperation, and any other potentially relevant aspects of the organization.

After the environmental scan is a SOAR analysis. SOAR stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results. A SOAR analysis is a tool to help differentiate what the organization does well and what you would like to highlight. You will also be listing external factors that your organization can turn into an opportunity. The environmental scan will provide a starting point for your SOAR analysis, but feel free to extend beyond what you listed in the scan.

The main benefit of the SOAR analysis is to focus on the strengths of your organization, and how they can be further developed. This is useful because it is often easier and more cost effective to build on strengths then it is to focus on weaknesses.

Threats and weaknesses will be addressed in the next section.


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