The big questions• Is communications valued in the sector?• If it is, why?• If it isn’t, does it matter?• And what can be done about it?
Are you heard? 32% all the time 56% some of the time 12% not at all• Indicators Involvement in strategic decisions Inclusion in senior management meetings Whether or not senior staff are on-message
Feeling valued• 40% said comms is not valued Skills and knowledge given little credit Lack of cooperation between departments Senior managers don’t understand comms We have to work very hard to get senior team buy-in…
Impact on individuals• Feeling powerless• Doubting their abilities• Considering leaving
Sometimes I’ve felt the need to bring itto a head, but I’ve found it very difficultto work around it as I recognise thingsaren’t going to change.I have focused on my exit strategyinstead.
Impact on organisations• Confusion• Inconsistency• Missed opportunities• Reputational risks• Difficult to attract donations
I tried to explain how important it wasto achieve credibility amongstinfluencers and potential funders.However, the organisation isfundamentally prejudiced towards theoutside world which it thinks wouldn’tunderstand its work, and is thereforeunwilling to engage with it.
The big issue• 83% who don’t feel heard say it’s because the CEO doesn’t understand comms• 78% who feel heard attribute it to CEO understanding importance of comms
Comms is recognised as invaluable –even more so in the current situation.We need to maintain our profile interms of campaigning and fundraising,to keep the supporters we have and tobring in new supporters.
What works• Prove value through specific campaign• Push for acknowledgement & respect• Communicate internally and explain• Show interest in other teams• Demonstrate how you support their work
There is an increasing need for us todemonstrate the value of comms,which is as it should be.We must respond with context andexplanation, not excuses.
Sources of support• Informal networks of friends in similar roles• Sharing examples from other charities• Support from sector organisations
The most important thing is networking.Although the sector is definitelyimproving, I don’t think people within itare as used to networking with strategicand measurable outcomes in mind as inthe commercial sector.
Conclusion• Two main barriers: Attitude of the CEO Resources to demonstrate value• Achieving recognition: Work at regular communication Demonstrate relevance Don’t expect instant results Build professional networks