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Plan and deliver a communications and involvement strategy

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Investing time in preparing and planning the communication of your strategy will set the foundations for alignment.

Communicating strategy is often also about communicating change. People need an understanding of ‘why’, they need to know they can cope and they need support as they move through the change. People also move at different paces and process data in different ways. Transition management and leadership means developing a sense of people’s needs and nurturing them through the process.

Helping others to understand change might include the following:

  • “We need to change because…
  • These are the benefits…
  • What might happen is…. and when….
  • This is what your role is (or might be)…”

Planning steps for communicating strategy

  1. Analyse your environment and your stakeholders (and their needs and expectations)
  2. Set communication objectives (remember AIDA)
  3. Select the right approach
  4. Develop key messages and themes (including the Strategy Statement)
  5. Match media to your approach
  6. Measure the impact and learn

Effective and ineffective communication

Think about the medium as well the message. What is the most appropriate way of sharing this message? Think about whether the communication contains complex information or routine. Then consider whether to go for face-to-face communications (one-to-one or team meetings), general bulletins (emails, letters, newsletters etc) or something in-between. Effective communications involves matching media with the message; take a look at this media and message chart to help you decide.

Media and message chart

Description of the chart

The pink shaded section indicates effective communication and suggests the best media for different types of change communication.  So reading across the chart, starting top left, it shows:

  • Face to face conversation when the communication is routine may not be the best option (or good use of time!)
  • Face to face is an imperative when complex things need to be communicated - giving every chance for the communication to be 2-way
  • A written note, email or bulletin are fine for things that are routine, but less fine for messages that are complex and warrant discussion, and where for example body language plays an important part in giving and receiving understanding
  • People will get used to your communication 'habits' - so when you use different media they will recognise the nature of the change "Oh, she wants a meeting, it must be important"
Page last edited Jun 23, 2017
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