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The Communication Plan

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The Communication Plan


Strategic planning can be a tremendous communication and marketing campaign, don't miss the opportunity. Build your communication plan before strategic planning begins, don't wait until the end to do PR. You will benefit tremendously with a good communication plan which:
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Will act as a binding agreement. When you tell people you're going to do something, having a communication plan or commitment in writing will force you to carry through with your efforts and you will have given others the opportunity to provide you with input. Assures that you will take advantage of all opportunities, including on-going implementation. Helps keep communication focused. Helps prevent unwanted surprises.

When developing your communication plan, keep the following tips in mind:
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Set up a tracking system (i.e., journal, scrapbook, video spots, photographs) Have a creative person develop a look for all your strategic-planning documents and printed material. Incorporate two-way communication utilizing your local area network (LAN). Consider all of your audiences as "customers." Build in community involvement. Use the plan to your advantage. Segment the community into separate, manageable parts. Organize a steering committee where membership allows and encourages discussion. Make sure the members understand their responsibility. Possible communication vehicles include: PTA/Home-school meeting programs; community town meetings; media releases. Begin early. Announce the district's participation in strategic planning. Announce public meetings, dates and locations. Request volunteers for action teams. Acknowledge significant milestones through the process (i.e., vision, beliefs, environmental scan surprises). After the draft plan is completed, allow for a 30-day public viewing. (Mark all draft documents with DRAFT during a review.) Incorporate on-going implementation activities. Include detailed information on beliefs, missions, etc in a district newsletter. Allow the completed plan/final document to be used as a marketing tool for group presentations, discussion starters, town meetings, etc.

Tips for Communicating Change


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Ask people for their opinion before you implement change. 2011-09-06

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The Communication Plan


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Be so thoroughly familiar with what you are communicating that you can summarize it in a short sentence. Explain the change in language people understand. Explain the change in terms of how it will affect them rather than what's in it for the school district. Anticipate how people will react, the questions they'll raise and the issues that may result. Design your communication to answer those concerns immediately. Keep your personal key communicators up-to-date regularly. Expect the change to generate a corps of resisters and appreciate them. In addition to encouraging them to participate in the implementation of the change, listen to what they have to say: Solicit ideas that will strengthen what you want to do. Identify the people in your community who you can come to for advice regarding new ideas. Be direct in stating the change and explaining the rationale for the change in relation to the overall goals you wish to achieve. Keep communicating about the change after it has been made. Recognize and celebrate its successful implementation.

The Importance of Internal Communication Make sure your people know what is going on. It's demoralizing to hear about what's happening where you work from someone outside the system. Don't forget your support staff, research indicates that they are the most important communicators/public relations specialists you have in your district. Keeping staff informed can be done through:
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Staff Newsletter Volunteers Strategic planning columns, ongoing updates regarding status Recognition for those involved in the process Focus groups: building/staff/department meetings Soliciting their input on mission, belief statements, vision Build two-way feedback into already scheduled meeting Strategic planning speakers bureau Sharing the vision, mission, and strategic goals Soliciting community members to participate on action items

Outreach Strategies for Involving the Community As indicated above, involving the community can be a key ingredient in your vision. When involving the community:

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The Communication Plan


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Include results and activities from each in-district meeting in a newsletter. Distribute broadly within the community and school system and post at media centers. Ask for comments and suggestions. Have planning team members review and discuss actions with colleagues, neighbors, PTA members, etc. Ask for comments and suggestions. Collect comments and suggestions and produce on overheads for discussion and action as the first item on the next in-district meeting agenda. Present a draft of the strategic plan at a public forum with community and all school district employees invited to discuss and offer comments. Encourage discussion and comments throughout the entire process. The more people who own the plan, the better. Prepare a communication plan.

(These materials are excerpted from the Washington State School Directors' Association's "Passport to Leadership" program materials.)

In this Module:
Strategic Planning Tools Technology Planning Tools Planning Resources

In the Toolkit:
Toolkit Home Page Planning Community Involvement Prof'l and Ldrship Development Why Change? Policy Facility Planning Why Technology? Curriculum and Assessment Funding

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How to Develop a Communications Plan

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How to Develop a Communications Plan


Home How to Develop a Communications Plan Sample Plan 1 from PRSA Sample Plan 2 from ARA Sample Plan 3 from King County Library System New: Sample Plan 4 from "Any County" School System Crisis Communication Quick Reference

What is a communication plan? When should it be developed? Where does the information in the plan come from? How do you write one, and why should you bother? Overworked and underfunded communicators (Are there any other kind?) have a right to ask whether the work involved in developing a plan is worth it. The answer is yes because a written communication plan will
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give your day-to-day work a focus, help you set priorities, provide you with a sense of order and control, help get the chief staff executive and staff to support your program, protect you against last-minute, seat-of-the-pants demands from staff and members, and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, offering instead peace of mind.

What Is a Communication Plan?


A communication plan is a written document that describes
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what you want to accomplish with your association communications (your objectives), ways in which those objectives can be accomplished (your goals or program of work), to whom your association communications will be addressed (your audiences), how you will accomplish your objectives (the tools and timetable), and how you will measure the results of your program (evaluation).

Communications include all written, spoken, and electronic interaction with association audiences. A communication plan encompasses objectives, goals, and tools for all communications, including but not limited to:
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periodic print publications; online communications; meeting and conference materials; media relations and public relations materials; 2011-09-06

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How to Develop a Communications Plan


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marketing and sales tools; legal and legislative documents; incoming communications, including reception procedures and voice mail content; committee and board communiques; corporate identity materials, including letterhead, logo, and envelopes; surveys; certificates and awards; annual reports; signage; speeches; and invoices.

When to Develop the Plan


The best time to develop your plan is in conjunction with your annual budgeting or organizational planning process.

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Where to Get Information


Grist for the plan generally comes from five sources: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. your association mission statement, a communication audit, membership surveys and focus groups, committee and leadership input, and discussions with other staff and departments.

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How to Develop the Plan


Take the following steps to develop an effective communication plan: Conduct a research-communication audit. Evaluate your current communications. Some associations hire firms to do this, but the price for the objectivity of an outside auditor can be high. To conduct your own audit, find out

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How to Develop a Communications Plan


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what every staff person is doing in the way of communication, what each communication activity is designed to achieve, and how effective each activity is.

To get the answers you need,


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brainstorm with communication staff, talk to other departments, interview the chief staff executive, interview the board, talk to communication committee members, survey the membership, host focus groups, and query nonmembers.

Define objectives. Armed with information from your audit, define your overall communication objectivesthe results you want to achieve. These might include
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excellent service to members, member loyalty, centralization of the communication effort, increased employee teamwork, improved product delivery, visibility for the association and the industry or profession it represents, and influence on government, media, consumers, and other audiences.

Define audiences. List all the audiences that your association might contact, attempt to influence, or serve. Included on your list may be
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members; nonmembers; consumers; related associations; adversarial associations; educators;

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How to Develop a Communications Plan


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federal, regional, and local governments; related industries; and the media.

Define goals. With stated objectives, and considering available human and financial resources, define goals-in other words, a program of work for each objective. Goals include general programs, products, or services that you will use to achieve stated objectives. For example, if the objective is to improve member service, goals might include improved training for the member-service function, special communications directed at first-time members, a reference manual for handling complaints, and ongoing information for members. Identify tools. Decide what tools will be used to accomplish stated goals. These tools can be anything from a simple flyer to a glossy magazine. Don't overlook less obvious tools such as posters, report covers, Rolodex cards, and Web sites. Brainstorm ideas with your staff. Establish a timetable. Once objectives, goals, audiences, and tools have been identified, quantify the results in a calendar grid that outlines roughly what projects will be accomplished and when. Separate objectives into logical time periods (monthly, weekly, etc.). Evaluate the result. Build into your plan a method for measuring results. Your evaluation might take the form of
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a monthly report on work in progress, formalized department reports for presentation at staff meetings, periodic briefings of the chief staff executive and the department heads, and a year-end summary for the annual report.

Developing a written communication plan will take effort. Plan on three or four days the first time you do it. Once in place, the written plan will smooth your job all year long, earn you respect from the CEO and other staff, help set work priorities, protect you from last-minute demands, and bring a semblance of order to your chaotic job. Back to top
Questions or comments? Email Robin Mayhall

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How To Write A Good Communications Plan Part 1 An Overview | davefleet.com

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How To Write A Good Communications Plan Part 1 An Overview


08.05.03 Update: I have now completed this communications planning series and have republished all of the posts as a free strategic communications Planning eBook. Is there such a thing as an ideal communications plan template? What would it look like?
Blank page, before the writing begins

Ive spent most of the last few years surrounded by communications and marketing plans (comm plans, for short).

I studied them at university, proposing (what I thought were) reasoned solutions to other peoples problems. I then joined government and spent a lot of time reading other peoples quality assessments and edits on plans and learning from them what worked, what didnt work, where the common gaps were and what the essential information was. Eventually I found myself in a position where I had the opportunity to provide input on comm plans myself. I even helped to develop training on communications planning. Nowadays Im on the assembly line, writing plans and executing them. This variety of positions has given me an interesting perspective on what a communications plan should look like. Its very much clouded by my government experience though, so Id love to hear from folks on the agency or corporate side (government folks please feel free to chime in too!). This is the first in what will be a series of posts over time. This one focuses on the top-level overall content of a communications plan.

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Together, over the coming weeks well take a more detailed look at each of these sections in turn. At each step of the way Ill give my perspective and ask what you think what you agree with what Im missing where Im way off the mark. Hopefully well all learn from each other.

Content of a Communications Plan


Lets start by looking at the general sections of a comm plan. Heres what Ive used when planning a communications initiative, in roughly the order I approach them. Not all of them are always necessary this is the broad list: Context whats happened before? Whats the history? Environmental Scan what are the key factors that will affect your success?W hat is the media saying? Stakeholders your stakeholders and their expected reactions. How you will manage them? Objectives what do you want to achieve? (should be clear, relevant, measurable use the SMART approach if you like) Strategy where are you going, and why? Audiences who are the key audiences? Announcement given the strategy, are you making an announcement? What are you announcing? Messages what are you saying about the announcement? Tactics how will you implement your strategy, both before, during and after the main announcement (assuming you have one)? Issues what problems may you have to overcome? Budget what will it cost? Evaluation how will you know if youve been successful?

So, what do you think? Have I missed areas? Are some irrelevant? In the right order? What do you look at when you write a communications plan? (photo credit: tomswift46) You may also like -

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How To Write A Good 13 Tips From My First How To Write A Good Communications Plan Year Of Blogging Communications Plan - Part 2 - Context - Part 8 Announcement

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Posted in: 101, communications planning http://www.michaelallison.ca Michael Allison I think this will be a great series. How long does it take, starting from scratch, to produce a comms plan so that its ready to execute? http://www.prworks.ca David Jones Michael: sometimes you have months, sometimes you have days. It all depends on the task at hand. The worst is when youre asked for a plan today for something that ends up not happening for months. Grrr. http://lizazzolino.blogspot.com Lizzie Azzolino You provided a very thorough list. I just completed a PR action planfor a final project at the University of Georgias Grady College. I was taught to always include a theme. An overall theme helps to set the tone for all messages and communications materials. Whenever possible, I included the theme in my news releases, pitch letters, the newsletter, brochure, etc. I look forward to reading the series. Ill be on the lookout! http://www.AfterTheLaunch.com/blog Shama Hyder Hi Dave, I try to really go after measurement and milestones in communication plans. Great post!

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How To Write A Good Communications Plan Part 1 An Overview | davefleet.com -Shama Peter Soeth

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Under evaluation I think that you need to have more than being successful. There needs to be a way built into your plan to change path and tactics if things you dont anticipate show up. It is the unknown that will get you. I think this is a great series and I am looking forward to it. http://www.davefleet.com Dave Fleet Michael: Depends on how much time you have! As David says, sometimes youll be asked to crank one out pretty much on the spot. Other times youll have a while. In an ideal world, the research can take much longer than the writing. David: Agreed! Lizzie: Thats an interesting idea. I normally include that as part of the announcement piece do you have it separately? Shama: I completely agree milestones can be great focal points in an ongoing rollout. Peter: Neat! I look forward to your input we get to that section. For now do you include that all in the evaluation section, or are the tactics for it included elsewhere too? http://www.indiaprblog.com Palin Ningthoujam Nice article post. Just for my clarification, are you including a competitive mapping as part of your environmental scan. If not, I would like to include that. I would also like to know the target audience before forming my strategy. Cindy Stephenson Hi Dave, Great topic. Id be really interested in the difference between a communications plan and a marketing plan, and when one approach is one more appropriate than the other. Just as you outlined for the communication plan, what are the key elements of a marketing plan? http://lizazzolino.blogspot.com Lizzie Azzolino http://davefleet.com/2008/05/how-to-write-a-good-communications-plan-part-1-an-overview/ 2011-09-06

How To Write A Good Communications Plan Part 1 An Overview | davefleet.com Hi Dave,

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What I call a themeis probably very similar to your announcement a catch phrase that embodies the campaigns message clear, direct and creative. http://www.juliemelan.blogspot.com Julie Hi Dave, Can you share any examples of a good Communications Plan? Peter Soeth Dave, I typically build it into the review and ask myself are things going well and should we be doing something differently? During a crisis or crazy situation, it is something that I do at least on a daily basis, but on something more long-term, it is a little longer term review. http://www.davefleet.com Dave Fleet Julie: Unfortunately I cant personally all our plans are confidential. I hope to share (and draw out) some best practices as we move through this series, though. Jaz I have to do an assignment where the target audience is the government. The question is: The managing director of BAA airports has asked you to provide a draft communications plan based upon a budget of 4 million pounds that will provide a campaign to convince the government that while airports and airline flights produce environmental pollution the needs of business, the economy and overseas holidays outweighs the costs. You should utilise ethical arguments as well as economic ones in your communication points. The plan should have clear targeting, media choice, communication points etc. It should be mainly practical but you should introduce the plan with one early chapter discussion based upon marketing communications theory. In this case how should the comm plan be set out. Thank you

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How To Write A Good Communications Plan Part 1 An Overview | davefleet.com Kind Regards Jaz Tasneem

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Hi sounds damn neat i was wishing to write a corporate communication plan for 6 months with a specific budget would you be able to guide on what all should be included in it. http://www.davefleet.com Dave Fleet Hi Tasneem thats the aim of this series. Hopefully the first few posts have helped with the initial thinking. By the end you should be able to work through all of them and come out with a good comm plan at the end of it. http://www.auburnmedia.com/wordpress/2008/06/17/overviews-series-on-communication-plans-from-dave-fleet/ Overviews Series on Communication Plans from Dave Fleet | infOpinions? [...] Overview Introduction [...] http://www.auburnmedia.com/ Robert French You know, Dave, Karen Russells suggestion that you make this a PDF ebook, available for download, is a good one. Hope youll consider, at the very least, just pouring the posts into PDF pages and connecting them all together. Wed love to make it required reading by students. Also, I searched and do not see your name in PROpenMic.org, the new social network for PR students, faculty & practitioners. We have 1270+ members, in less than 3 months. Hope youll consider joining us. Share these posts one at a time by cross-posting them in your blog there. You get one free when you sign up. http://www.propenmic.org/ Ron Frazier Dave I am smack in the middle of writing a Comm Plan for a government project my team is working on. I wished there were an ideal Comm Plan template too along with some examples as Julie asked. The areas I am focusing on in my plan (and a couple may have already been mentioned in this blog) are Goals & Objectives, Stakeholder Identification and Analysis, Feedback & Validation, Facilitation Framework and then I go into the Channels of commmunications which could lead to marketing stratagies. This is where it gets fuzzy to me as Cindy pointed out in her comments and as Jaz explained I would like to incorporate marketing strategies as well. Great series and look forward to everyones suggestions and guidnce. Thank you!

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How To Write A Good Communications Plan Part 1 An Overview | davefleet.com srinivasa rao. Y Hi Dave, Can you share any examples of a good Communications Plan? Harshamali Plz, can you give me format of communication plane http://www.davefleet.com Dave Fleet Harshamali Ive published an eBook on this full series, complete with a simple template. You can find it here: http://davefleet.com/2008/08/strategic-communications-planning-a-free-ebook/ http://twitter.com/joycedalgleish/statuses/1366511196 joycedalgleish (joyce dalgleish) Twitter Comment How To Write A Good Communications Plan [link to post] Posted using Chat Catcher http://www.facebook.com/people/Mwaura-Alex/1025327510 <fb:name linked="false" useyou="false" uid="1025327510">Mwaura Alex</fb:name>

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Good piece of work, am a recent graduate working in a PR agency but finding it challenging to come up with PR proposals for various clients, any one with suggestions on sites with relevant information will be highly appreciated. http://www.tshwane.gov.za William I work for the City of Tshwane Metopolitan municipality. My key performance area is stakeholder liaison/engagementin the Customer Relations Division. I have just completed a stakeholder liaison strategy (from a customer relations) perspective. Now I am expected to compile a communication plan of the strategy. How do I start or begin. I just get confused every time I have to start.

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How To Write A Good Communications Plan Part 1 An Overview | davefleet.com Regards, William http://www.davefleet.com Dave Fleet Hi William,

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Id suggest grabbing the full e-book of this series of posts it walks through the process of developing a communications plan, step-by-step. http://davefleet.com/2008/08/strategic-communications-planning-a-free-ebook/ Cheers, Dave http://www.aktiv.com.au Philip Brookes Dave, Thanks for sharing this well structured and practical, real-world series with us in a world of fluffy blog posts long on rhetoric and short on applicability, this is a breath of fresh air. I frequently deal with so many clients who have historically tackled their marketing communications in a completely haphazard manner, and its great that people Googling for advice and direction on how to improve their marketing communications are likely to find this at the top of the list! Keep up the great work! A http://davefleet.com davefleet Hi John, Absolutely. The aim of this section is to ensure you take into account all of the additional considerations that your stakeholders bring to the table. The more information (up to a point), the better. Cheers,

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How To Write A Good Communications Plan Part 1 An Overview | davefleet.com Dave pinky sayson Oh! now i have a clear idea how to develop my communication plan. Your list is a great help. Thanks!

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How To Write A Good Communications Plan Part 2 Context


08.05.06 This is the second in a series of posts exploring how to create a good communications plan.
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Over the next few weeks well take detailed look at each of the sections in a communications plan. Each time Ill give my perspective and ask what you think. My aim is for us to work together to fill the gaps in what we know. Hopefully well all learn from each other. Last time around we looked at the overall plan and its content. This time were getting down into the details.

Context
The first section of a communications plan I work on is the context. Why? Because it forces you to do two things: Boil whats going on down to a succinct summary Focus on the topic on which youre about to write a plan. The contextsection of your plan focuses on setting the scene. This isnt about details of an announcement heck, you havent reached the part where you decide what your communications objectives or strategy will be yet. This is about the background to your initiative.

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This should be a relatively easy part of your plan to write. If you know the subject this can pretty much write itself. If you dont, you need to bring yourself up to speed. To write the context section, you need to know exactly whats going on. A side effect of doing this first is that you cant launch into the other aspects of the plan without doing your background research. Here are a few things to think about when you think about the context for your initiative. Note that they have an internal focus: What is the initiative about? What related announcements have you made? What are the timelines? Is there an upcoming product launch/conference/deadline, etc? Are there any notable milestones? Who is involved? Who within your organization has a stake in this? What other organizations are a part of this? Do you have partners in the initiative? Note: This isnt a stakeholder list that comes later.

Over To You
You now have my thoughts on what to include in the first section of a communications plan. But what do you think about this? Whats above is based on my experience, which is primarily in the public sector. What about the private sector? What about the agency side? Would you approach this differently? Let me know in the comments.

The Communications Plan Series


This is the second in a series of posts on communications planning. To read more of the series, check out a summary of the posts so far or pick from the previous posts: Part 1 An Overview (photo credit: bookgrl)

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How To Write A Good How To Write A Good Communications Plan Communications Plan - Part 8 - Part 11 - Issues Announcement

How To Write A Good Communications Plan - Part 3 Environmental Scan

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James Ip 3 years ago


I think an important part of the context is answering the question, "why"? Why is the initiative important? Why now as opposed to later?... which kinda gets into the environmental scan a bit. Why do people need to know about it? Boy, I'm flashing back to good ol' COPO Dave! :-)
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Dave Fleet 3 years ago


James - I totally agree. You make another good point - the overlap between the context and your environmental scan can be hard to avoid. How important do you think it is to avoid blurring the line, or does it not matter? Thanks for the input, and congratulations on your move to Veritas!
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James Ip 3 years ago


Thanks, Dave! You're a celebrity around here. :-) You're right - it is a subtle difference. In my experience, the context is part of the need to announce/launch the initiative. The scan, I think, is to make sure you take into consideration the environment in which you are working. Let's take the example of United Way's homelessness report a few years back. The context in which it was launched/announced showed that no other group or level of government was looking at it from a broader perspective. And anecdotally, the problem seemed to be getting worse and worse - something that Torontonians seemed to recognize. So that was the need and the context. The environmental scan would show that there was growing concerns about it from residents and government; that there needed to be more education about the issues that led to homelessness; and there was an appetite and opportunity for a leader to emerge on the issue.

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Hope that illustrates the fine line. This is a great idea, Dave. Keep it up!
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2011-09-06

Tactical approaches to change communication | simply communicate

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Tactical approaches to change communication


11 January, 2011 - 13:56 With a new year comes lots of changes for companies. Kevin Ruck maps out the best ways for organizations to approach change and how to get employees on their side. By Kevin Ruck In my last piece for simplycommunicate, I talked about the fear of losing control when it comes to using social media in internal comms. The same fear can be applied to change communication and the type of organisation you work for - whether it is closed or open - will have a huge bearing on how it deals with change. In this article, Im going to look briefly at why organisations need to change, types of change and how to best approach change comms to get employee buy-in for what you are trying to achieve. So why do organisations need to change? A number of factors can of course drive change such as competition; dealing with failure; the wider economy; any sort of stakeholder dissatisfaction, which in turn might lead to activism; new technology; failure to meet objectives and regulation. One thing that is certain to be a catalyst for change however is a crisis of some sort. And the higher the reputational risk or damage the more critical it is to ensure that any change is handled well that the appropriate actions are taken and that they are communicated in the right way. This is perhaps the only route to reputational redemption. Dispelling myths Many organisations believe that some glorious programme of change holds the possibility of making things better very quickly as urgent action is often required. This is certainly the case when there is a crisis. While there is nothing wrong with having some sense of urgency, it is important to realise that most change comes
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2011-09-06

Tactical approaches to change communication | simply communicate


about through a step by step approach over longer periods of time. Reacting to change Open and closed organisations are likely to deal with change differently. The more open the organisation the more open and responsive it is likely to be to change. Conversely, the more closed the more likely it is to resist change and defend the current regime and systems. Debatably, the more closed to change an organisation is the less likely it is to survive the current age. Approaching change a third way An organisation can approach change more than one way but, for arguments sake, these can be polarised into: Top down sees change coming from the most senior managers down Bottom up involves all levels of staff in the change process While bottom up is linked to that ever-so trendy buzz word co-creation and is employee-friendly and inclusive, it can have the disadvantage of being slower. It can also, unless carefully monitored, lead to people feeling resentful about the lack of leadership. Depending on the type of change taking place within an organisation, people like to see staff in positions of seniority taking responsibility. Top down on the other hand could smack of being told what to do and of people driving through change and at what price and for whose gain? Alternatively, staff might just feel they are being sold a vision, naturally leading to a sense of disillusionment at best and cynicism at worst. A combination of the two approaches is, I would suggest, in most cases the best way forward. This is one situation when taking a purely business approach, which might seem logical, isnt the right choice. Dont forget feelings. You need to win hearts and minds to successfully bring about change. Getting tactical One very effective way of winning hearts and minds is through change agents: charismatic staff members who are prepared to be advocates and drivers of positive change and to facilitate informal networks i.e. on or offline forums for open discussion. Ideally these people should not hold senior positions, as they need to be Who wants to be an Internal Communicator?
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http://www.simply-communicate.com/news/top-tips/tactical-approaches-change-communication

2011-09-06

Tactical approaches to change communication | simply communicate


able to fully integrate and connect with colleagues. Your role as internal communicator is to support the change agent network with timely updates on critical information and provide the informal collaborative communication tools a wiki for example. It is essential that you dont over manage communications and allow the change agents to do their job; otherwise they could end up appearing to be a management mouthpiece, thereby defeating the objective. In todays social media and networked world, it is virtually impossible to sit on information or restrict its discussion. People will talk about things regardless and information or news of its absence will spread like wildfire. Its therefore better to take an active rather than reactive position. Provide people with the information and tools so that they can hold informed discussions and correct misinformation as it crops up for inevitably it will. You should also ensure that managers are provided with the right training and support so that they be a leader and supporter to their staff as necessary and they can easily identify which hat to wear when. Senior staff need to justify organisational changes in an effort to win support and enthusiasm from other staff members to see the change programme through to its completion. Managers need to remain optimistic, yet cautious, so as not to cause unnecessary feelings of insecurity or uncertainty. Leading that change Research suggests that organisations often struggle to communicate effectively at a leadership level in times of change. Its critical that leaders help others to understand the reason for the change and strategy for its implementation. Just as organisations need to continually invest in their reputations, banking goodwill that can be drawn on in times of a crisis, business leaders must always lead from the front. If they are constant in this, when changes need to be implemented staff are instilled with the confidence that they will be managed effectively. Business leaders shouldnt leave talking about the business strategy with staff until it needs changing. They should be communicating with staff openly and regularly. When change then needs to be made it is less likely to come as a shock. Like crisis planning, you cant take account of every eventuality but the preparation process should pave the way for making those changes easier. Evaluating success It is worth noting and this isnt meant to sound defeatist that change efforts are often unsuccessful. Thats because change isnt easy even when all evidence suggests it is a change for the better. People are naturally creatures of habit and will hold onto the devil they know in favour of the one they dont. That is why change communications is such a hearts and minds project. There is no magic bullet. What you will need to do is to make use of the full range of tools in your toolkit. You are going to need to research, plan, evaluate constantly and make amendments

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2011-09-06

Tactical approaches to change communication | simply communicate


throughout. In short, youre going to need to adapt as the success of the programme will rest on whether or not employee support and commitment is won. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About Kevin Ruck Kevin Ruck is Co-founder of the PR Academy (www.pracademy.co.uk (http://www.pracademy.co.uk/) ) and a PhD student researching internal communication measurement at the University of Central Lancashire. He is also editor and co-author of the text book, Exploring Internal Communication, available at www.exploringinternalcommunication.com (http://www.exploringinternalcommunication.com/) .

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http://www.simply-communicate.com/news/top-tips/tactical-approaches-change-communication

2011-09-06

Communication in Change Management

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Human Resources
Communication in Change Management
Communication Is Key in Change Management
By Susan M. Heathfield, About.com Guide Free Human Resources Newsletter! Enter email address Discuss in my forum

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You cannot over-communicate when you are asking your organization to change. Every successful executive, who has led a change management effort, in my experience, makes this statement. I have never worked with a client organization in which employees were completely happy with communication. Communication is one of the toughest issues in organizations. Effective communication requires four components interworking perfectly for shared meaning, my favorite definition of communication. The individual sending the message must present the message clearly and in detail, and radiate integrity and authenticity.
Communication Is Key in Successful Change Management Copyright Digital Vision / Getty Images

The person receiving the message must decide to listen, ask questions for clarity, and trust the sender of the message.

The delivery method chosen must suit the circumstances and the needs of both the sender and the receiver.

The content of the message has to resonate and connect, on some level, with the already-held beliefs of the receiver.

http://humanresources.about.com/od/changemanagement/a/change_lessons2.htm

2011-09-06

Communication in Change Management


With all of this going on in a communication, I think its a wonder that organizations ever do it well. Change management practitioners have provided a broad range of suggestions about how to communicate well during any organizational changes. Recommendations About Communication for Effective Change Management Develop a written communication plan to ensure that all of the following occur within your change management process. Communicate consistently, frequently, and through multiple channels, including speaking, writing, video, training, focus groups, bulletin boards, Intranets, and more about the change.

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Communicate all that is known about the changes, as quickly as the information is available. (Make clear that your bias is toward instant communication, so some of the details may change at a later date. Tell people that your other choice is to hold all communication until you are positive about the decisions. This is disastrous in effective change management.

Provide significant amounts of time for people to ask questions, request clarification, and provide input. If you have been part of a scenario in which a leader presented changes, on overhead transparencies, to a large group, and then fled, you know what bad news this is for change integration.

Clearly communicate the vision, the mission, and the objectives of the change management effort. Help people to understand how these changes will affect them personally. (If you dont help with this process, people will make up their own stories, usually more negative than the truth.)

Recognize that true communication is a conversation. It is two-way and real discussion must result. It cannot be just a presentation.

The change leaders or sponsors need to spend time conversing one-on-one or in small groups with the people who are expected to make the changes.

Communicate the reasons for the changes in such a way that people understand the context, the purpose, and the need. Practitioners have called this: building a memorable, conceptual framework, and creating a theoretical framework to underpin the change.

http://humanresources.about.com/od/changemanagement/a/change_lessons2.htm

2011-09-06

Communication in Change Management


Provide answers to questions only if you know the answer. Leaders destroy their credibility when they provide incorrect information or appear to stumble or back-peddle, when providing an answer. It is much better to say you dont know, and that you will try to find out.

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Leaders need to listen. Avoid defensiveness, excuse-making, and answers that are given too quickly. Act with thoughtfulness.

Make leaders and change sponsors available, daily when possible, to mingle with others in the workplace. Hold interactive workshops and forums in which all employees can explore the changes together, while learning more. Use training as a form of interactive communication and as an opportunity for people to safely explore new behaviors and ideas about change and change management. All levels of the organization must participate in the same sessions.

Communication should be proactive. If the rumor mill is already in action, the organization has waited too long to communicate.

Provide opportunities for people to network with each other, both formally and informally, to share ideas about change and change management.

Publicly review the measurements that are in place to chart progress in the change management and change efforts.

Publicize rewards and recognition for positive approaches and accomplishments in the changes and change management. Celebrate each small win publicly. More Information About Change Management Change, Change, Change: Change Management Lessons From the Field Executive Support and Leadership in Change Management Planning and Analysis in Change Management Communication in Change Management Change Management Lessons About Employee Involvement Build Support for Effective Change Management Change Management Tips Change Management Wisdom

http://humanresources.about.com/od/changemanagement/a/change_lessons2.htm

2011-09-06

Communication in Change Management


Related Searches Change Management Process Organizational Changes Management Practitioners Receiving The Message Management Effort Client Organization

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2011-09-06