Thursday, May 19, 2011

Getting the Communications Function on Track

You may be interested in a backgrounder I recently developed that may be helpful to you or someone you know. While the document is titled “Getting the Communications Function on Track,” it is anything but an indictment of the people who comprise the function. Rather, it is centered on how to systematically assess communications to take a snapshot of the current operating environment and challenges faced by the communications function, and using the process to provide a basis for future planning and activities.

The assessment evolved out of communications audits I’ve done for clients over the years. Only, rather than use the old “audit” process simply to identify problems as most audits do, the assessment is designed to identify what’s working, where there may be inconsistencies that need to be addressed, and how the process can be leveraged for future communications success. Senior management tends to find such assessments helpful in staying on top of one of the most important leadership functions within the organization – communications. And communicators may find this approach useful in helping them manage expectations and support their own cases for a renewed commitment to communications.

Here are some questions that managers may want to ask themselves if considering a closer look at the communications function:

1. Are you concerned that recent changes could have an impact on communications, and ultimately the organization’s marketing, recruitment and retention, or any other important function?
2. Has your organization been forced to make cuts in the communications function?
3. Have these cuts affected the staffing levels or responsibilities within the communications function?
4. Have people in the organization begun to go “rogue,” preparing their own communications materials leading to inconsistencies and reduced quality?
5. Do you have excessive amounts of old collateral materials mixed in with newer designs?
6. Are you concerned by how important stakeholders now perceive your organization?

It’s obvious that the more questions you say “yes” to, the more likely you’d have an interest in the backgrounder. The development of these backgrounders is in response to common questions or issues I currently tend to address in my own work. If you’d like a copy of the backgrounder, just get in touch with me using the contact information on this page, and I will follow up. Thanks.

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