Lean Communications: Process Improvement in PR and Corporate Communications Using Lean Six Sigma

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PR and corporate communications programs are critical to the success of your business. However, there is frequently a lack of clarity around the implementation, measurement, and success of many communications programs. Some believe it’s all about having a relationship with a few reporters or sending out the occasional well-written press release, but with the
fragmentation of the media, everyone is now a consumer and producer of “media.”

Is there a way to create innovative, clutter-busting programs with focused and quantifiable business results without wasting time and money?

This paper examines the application of Lean Six Sigma in the development and improvement of communication programs by showing that the processes involved result in data that can be measured and analyzed to deliver more insightful, targeted efforts with more impactful outcomes. Innovative companies can benefit from growth, adaptability and success while enhancing their brands and reputations with the faster and better results that emerge from improved
communications programs.

Lean Communications: Process Improvement in PR and Corporate Communications Using Lean Six Sigma

  1. 1. Lean Communications:Process Improvement in PR and CorporateCommunications Using Lean Six Sigma Reid Walker November 2012 1/23
  2. 2. OverviewPR and corporate communications programs are critical to the success of Some believe it’s all aboutyour business. However, there is frequently a lack of clarity around theimplementation, measurement, and success of many communications having a relationship withprograms. Some believe it’s all about having a relationship with a fewreporters or sending out the occasional well-written press release, but with the a few reporters or sendingfragmentation of the media, everyone is now a consumer and producer of out the occasional well-“media.”Is there a way to create innovative, clutter-busting programs with focused and written press release, butquantifiable business results without wasting time and money?This paper examines the application of Lean Six Sigma in the development and with the fragmentation ofimprovement of communication programs by showing that the processes the media, everyone is nowinvolved result in data that can be measured and analyzed to deliver moreinsightful, targeted efforts with more impactful outcomes. Innovative companies a consumer and producercan benefit from growth, adaptability and success while enhancing their brandsand reputations with the faster and better results that emerge from improved of “media.”communications programs. 2/23
  3. 3. PR, Corporate Communications and the Service Process ChallengeStakeholder communications plays a critical role in business strategy especially By using quantifiablewhen it comes to enhancing brands, as well as building and securing reputationsin a constantly changing business environment. By using quantifiable data to data to improve theimprove the processes involved in communications, businesses can benefit from atargeted approach to achieving reputational goals. processes involved inSocial media is clearly one of the most important factors in building reputations, communications,backed by a global population of more than 1.97 billion Internet users withover 266 million located in North America alone. In 2010, 600 million of these businesses can benefitglobal Internet users were registered on media platforms such as Facebook while175 million were on Twitter. With such a critical mass of attentive focus, no from a targeted approachbusiness can afford to ignore their social media strategy. Unfortunately media to achieving reputationalfragmentation often results in wasted efforts because businesses end up withuncoordinated and ineffective strategies by trying to reach a wider audience goals.through new channels, without knowing whether their efforts are delivering theneeded results or not.Having a corporate Instagram account and posting pictures online is pointless ifa business cannot determine whether it contributes to their desired reputationalgoals or whether their target audience is camped out on LinkedIn instead. 3/23
  4. 4. PR, Corporate Communications and the Service Process ChallengeWith the success recorded by practices such as Lean Six Sigma in process improvement Having a corporateand the high rate of efficiency and quality delivered as a result, it was only a matter oftime before considerations were made concerning the application of Lean Six Sigma Instagram account and(LSS) in fields such as PR and corporate communications for process development andimprovement. However, making this applicable and useable comes with a number of posting pictures online ischallenges. To better understand the core of the “Lean” aspect in LSS, you must pointless if a businessknow its sole focus: to arrive at efficiency by eliminating waste from a process,where waste refers to aspects that limit process speed and efficiency. According to cannot determine whetherTaiichi Ohno of the famous Toyota Production System (TPS), the forerunner toLean, 7 kinds of Muda, or waste, exist: it contributes to their• Overproduction of products not demanded by customers• Inventories awaiting further processing or consumption desired reputational• Unnecessary over-processing goals...• Unnecessary motion of employees• Unnecessary transport and handling of goods• Waiting for people, processes or functionsThese definitions of waste serve the manufacturing world but will not work for serviceprocesses such as communication. 4/23
  5. 5. PR, Corporate Communications and the Service Process Challenge“Sigma” in LSS refers to a statistical deviation from perfection which may result We have to examine andfrom variations deviating from standards of quality. The problem is that unlikemanufacturing where quality standards are usually exact measurements, quality in redefine LSS in the contextservice processes is based on individual or collective experiences of people not ameasurement against certain specifications as it is in manufacturing. As such these of communicationschallenges arise: programs and processes.• Services processes are focused on people not machines, so standardization is not the ultimate goal.• The fact that we cannot standardize processes means that quality also cannot be standardized.• Visibility of Work in Process (WIP) is often difficult; however the negative connotations are there all the same.• The flow in such processes is typically of information not products. Information may be written or oral and visibility of such information is limited unlike manufacturing where product flow is visible and can be standardized.Other differences exist between service and manufacturing processes howeverthe important factor is that these differences create a challenge in applyingLean Six Sigma to service processes. These problems notwithstanding,significant opportunities do exist. In examining several solutions that aredesigned for service processes using LSS methodology, the answer lies in redefiningLSS concepts and applications in the context of communications programs andprocesses. 5/23
  6. 6. Lean Communications: Improving Quality and Efficiency in the Communications ProcessRedefining LSS concepts in the service context has been accomplished in finance, 7 Muda (Waste) ofhealthcare and other sectors. Key changes have been recommended which havesome bearing in fields such as corporate communications. In terms of redefining Corporate Communicationsthe concepts, Bicheno and Holweg1 came up with broad-based recommendations 1. Delayfor redefining the original 7 Muda for service-based processes. We have adaptedthese to serve the needs of corporate communications: 2. Duplication• Delay on the part of customers in a communication process where they wait for 3. Unnecessary movement information or a response. The customer’s time may seem free to the provider, but when the quest for information or response is taken elsewhere the pain begins. 4. Unclear communication• Duplication by having to re-enter data, repeat details on forms, copy information 5. Lost opportunity across, or answer the same queries from several sources.• Unnecessary movement with a lack of one-stop solutions to customer 6. Errors in service transaction requirements, creating the need to seek answers from multiple sources.• Unclear communication and the waste of seeking clarification, confusion over product or service use, wasting time finding a location that may result in misuse or duplication.• A lost opportunity to retain or win customers may involve a failure to establish rapport, ignoring customers, unfriendliness, and rudeness.• Errors in the service transaction or product defects in the service.1 Bicheno, J. and Holweg, M. (2009) “The Lean Toolbox: The Essential Guide to Lean Transformation”,. 4th edition, Buckingham: PICSIE Books 6/23
  7. 7. Lean Communications: Improving Quality and Efficiency in the Communications ProcessThis adaptation provides a good entry point for approaching the issue of defining Critical to Quality refers toprocess improvement within a company’s communication programs from theLean Six Sigma perspective. In addition, researchers such as Schleusener have the core elements of thealso proposed that service-oriented businesses should adopt three principles ofstatistical thinking in order to apply Sigma methodology to their efforts: service that are necessary• All work is a process. to meet or exceed• All processes have variability.• All processes create data that explains variability.2 customer expectations.This approach means that if we can determine processes that provide data we canmeasure for variations and deviations from means associated with quality. In termsof defining quality based on customer expectations which are subjective, we can usethe principle of conformance to customer Critical to Quality (CTQ) requirementsto determine the quality of processes. Critical to Quality refers to the core elementsof the service that are necessary to meet or exceed customer expectations. Theseshould be clearly defined and agreed to by all parties. A point based system may beused to collect customer responses and grade them against a scale of expectationsin order to provide some standardization. Customers from the communicationsstrategy perspective refers to analysts, bloggers, media, and regulators asimportant target audiences when it comes to building corporate reputations.Once collective responses have been collated they may be standardized to providedata for comparison of processes against CTQ objectives. Smith, Kennedy. “Six Sigma for the Service Sector.” QualityDigest. Kennedy Smith, May 2012.Web. 31 Oct. 2012.2 <http://www.qualitydigest.com/may03/articles/01_article.shtml> 7/23
  8. 8. Applying DMAIC to Corporate CommunicationsWe agree with Bicheno and Holweg as well as Schleusener that waste can be To better align core LSSredefined for service processes and all work consists of processes which createdata that explains variability. To better align core LSS principles to improve a principles to improve acompany’s communications programs we recommend adopting a specificLean Six Sigma approach called DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, company’s communicationsand Control) where the focus is on streamlining programs and obtaining programs we recommenddata in order to analyze, develop, refine, and improve processes for better resultsthat create faster and more focused reputational impact. adopting a specific LeanApplying DMAIC to Corporate Communications1. Define Six Sigma approach calledReputation is a critical factor to a company’s success; most efforts of the DMAIC...communications process are aimed at building a reputation for a companyand its products while deriving attendant benefits such as increased sales andimproved financial performance.However, corporate communications is not a single monolithic process; it consistsof several other processes and sub processes. Public relations is an aspect ofcommunications and has its own sub processes which need to be targeted forimprovement. Following the Pareto principle, if we can target 20% of the constituentprocesses that provide the opportunity for improvement, the remaining 80% maybenefit from positive results and the entire communications effort improves interms of quality and effectiveness. Some companies have defined communicationstrategies that require process improvement; other companies don’t have suchrequirements in place and need to develop processes as part of a new effectivestrategy. All these needs are addressed in the Define phase. 8/23
  9. 9. Applying DMAIC to Corporate CommunicationsThe relevant processes to be developed or improved should be determined in Reputational CTQs arethis first phase by defining the necessary reputational CTQs. These reputationalCTQs are key factors that need to be met or improved based on the stated aspects that need to berequirements of targeted stakeholders. Requirements can be derived by examiningboth the internal and external facets of the company’s strategy, practices, and met or improved based onmarket. Internal developments are responsible for external consequences and a the stated requirements ofsynergy between both efforts is required for an effective strategy.Focus on the target audiences of the communication sub process involved and targeted stakeholders.eliciting information from them should help determine the Voice of theCustomer in LSS parlance, which means what the target audiences expect orvalues and their requirements for satisfaction. Requirements can be determinedthrough surveys, interviews, or the use of tools such as a SWOT Matrix whichcan help provide some parameters for reputational CTQs and processes that needimprovement (see Table 1). SWOT FACTOR CLASSIFICATION DESCRIPTION Strengths Internal Aspects of the business and its strategy that count towards an improved reputation. Weaknesses Internal Aspects of the business and its strategy that place its reputation at a disadvantage when compared to others. Opportunities External Areas of growth through which a company can enhance its reputation in its niche and marketplace. Threats External Factors which are a threat to reputation and will have to be dealt with.Table 1: Example SWOT Matrix framework for communications. 9/23
  10. 10. Applying DMAIC to Corporate CommunicationsThrough SWOT Analysis, a company may discover that one of its reputational ...the process...may have toCTQs is “Great Customer Support.” Following this discovery, the process ofcustomer support may have to be broken down in order to determine its quality be broken down in orderdrivers and performance requirements from the customer perspective using toolssuch as CTQ Trees (see Diagram 1): to determine its quality drivers and performanceNeed Quality Driver Performance Requirement requirements... 96% customers satisfied Waiting Time Calls responded to within 20 secondsGreat CustomerSupport 90% say support response is friendly Friendliness Maintain responses typical of friendly engagement Follow up email/call in 24 hours Follow Up Ask to be of further helpDiagram1: CTQ Tree for “Great Customer Support.” 10/23
  11. 11. Applying DMAIC to Corporate CommunicationsIf the process was a weakness, process maps would also have to be developed A new company may havein order to provide visualization and determine areas where problems are located,how they affect performance requirements, and how to reduce or eliminate such customer support as partproblems. In some cases processes may not even exist and will have to be developedto meet stakeholder expectations. A new company may have customer support of its service offering evenas part of its service offering even though it may exist without being part of though it may exista defined communications strategy. The same company might lack a means ofdistributing communication to stakeholders about new products and services, without being part of ameaning that this process will have to be developed from scratch and acorresponding communications strategy structured to identify other areas where defined communicationsthey may be lacking completely or require improvement. strategy.2. MeasureHaving established process maps and CTQs in the Define phase, at this stageit is time to measure the attributes of target audiences. The extent to whichestablished processes effectively support the reputation of the company and itsbrand among audiences needs to be ascertained.Stakeholders or target audiences are typically classified into 2 categories:a. Primary Stakeholders: People who are the direct targets of the communication programs of a company. This depends on what the company in question is offering but this audience may consist of groups such as: customers, C-level executives, consultants, decision makers, members of the government, industry analysts, bloggers etc. 11/23
  12. 12. Applying DMAIC to Corporate Communicationsb. Secondary Stakeholders: Influence in communication Intermediaries who are indirectly targeted in communication efforts such as: partners, social sites, developers, and members of the media among others. means anyone that has aIt should be noted that in regular stakeholder analysis, a third category knownas Key Stakeholders or Influencers exist. These are either primary or secondary say in how people perceivestakeholders with an influence over others in their organizations or groups. a service or product andHowever in communications, members of primary and secondary stakeholdergroups are all considered key stakeholders because reputations are based on opinions their responses toformed by a collective group of individuals who are either direct or indirecttargets of your communications strategy. Everyone in either category 1 or 2 is communication efforts haveconsidered an influencer with varying degrees of importance. to be measured.Consider a company that offers payment processing and had flaws in its gatewaymade public by a tech blogger having no direct communication channel toinform the company of its problems. Either their communications strategy hadno stakeholder analysis that identified the need to target such users or a strat-egy did not exist in the first place. The story could easily damage that business.Influence in communication means anyone that has a say in how people perceivea service or product and their responses to communication efforts have to bemeasured.New companies need this analysis in order to know how to plan and direct theircommunications programs. Writing innovative press releases without knowing whothese releases are supposed to target in the first place is a wasteful exercise.Through the Measure phase, a business can appropriately classify stakeholdersso targeted communications can lead to a higher reputational impact. 12/23
  13. 13. Applying DMAIC to Corporate Communications Using tools such as Mendelow’s Matrix stakeholders can be mapped and classified to determine the appropriate communication efforts required to target specific audiences based on the Power/Interest approach as elaborated by Mitchell and C POWER Agle3. SECTION A POWER/INTEREST WEIGHT Low Interest + Low Power DESCRIPTION Require minimal effort in communication programs but should be monitored INTEREST D B Low Power Should be kept informed INTEREST + High Interest A C High Power Ensure enough information is B + Low Interest provided in order to keep them sufficiently satisfied about the company’s brand and reputation. POWER D High Power These are key players who should be + High Interest encouraged and influenced regularly as part of communication strategy.3 Mitchell, R. K., B. R. Agle, and D.J. Wood. (1997). “Toward a Theory of Stakeholder Identification and Salience: Defining the Principle of Who and What really Counts.” in: Academy of Management Review 22(4): 853 - 888. 13/23
  14. 14. Applying DMAIC to Corporate CommunicationsFor each group of target audiences, a strategy to compare the company’s For each group of targetreputational objectives against the actual situation which currently exists mustbe developed. Teams working on the strategy use metrics to determine when audiences, a strategy toimprovement has occurred after refining a process. Using the same example of“Great Customer Service” in the Define phase above, the process could said compare the company’sto have failed or be inefficient if calls are not answered within 20 seconds or a reputational objectivespercentage of surveyed customers, e.g. up to 20%, consider support staffunfriendly. Improvement occurs when standards have been attained. When a new against the actual situationcompany has no such process in the first place, it has to be implemented bycomparing standards that apply in the most efficient businesses in its sector, which currently exists mustmaintaining and improving on such standards. be developed.Using an alternate example, online marketing as a communications process couldbe said to be ineffective if the process does not correspond to “X” amount ofsales, does not lead to a percentage increase in inquiries about a particularproduct, or the value of the number of purchases on the company’s website isdifferent from the average recorded in a year. Metrics ultimately helpascertain process improvement. Tools such as CTQ Trees can help determineperformance requirements for which successive efforts at process development orimprovement can be measured. Performance capability gap analysis can helpdetermine the difference between the process status quo, those of competitors,the best in the industry, and other metrics that should help determine whatlevel the process or overall communications strategy ought to be at. 14/23
  15. 15. Applying DMAIC to Corporate Communications3. Analyze 5 Whys ExampleThe team should now understand their current position and the differencebetween what they desire and the reality of their position in the market. The 1. Why is this message not working?challenges impacting the attainment of the performance level they need to a. Because we can’t be sure we are reach can be analyzed for root causes. Value-stream maps can be used to target reaching our target audience.areas of improvement such as the appropriate reputational messages tocommunicate to target key audiences or the lack of relevant data to perform certain 2. Why can’t we be sure of this?internal tasks that help with effective communications. Value stream mapping a. Because our distribution system is is a technique used to analyze the flow of systems and information in order to hard to track and measure.better understand it. 3. Why is that?Other tools and methods of analysis such as the 5 Whys can also be used in this a. Because our target audience is so stage of analysis. For example if reputational messages are being developed, the large.5 Whys application could be used to determine possible reasons why a messagedoes not have the desired effect on target audiences. It can also be used in 4. Why does it need to be so large?developing entirely new messages as part of its strategy, where questions are a. Because we have a great product asked about reasons the message strategy may not have the desired effect upon that could appeal to a lot ofimplementation. The 5 Whys help unlock core issues or problem, for example: different audiences and we are1. Why is this message not working? not sure who we will reach. a. Because we can’t be sure we are reaching our target audience. 5. Why can it not be segmented and 2. Why can’t we be sure of this? measured? a. Because our distribution system is hard to track and measure. 15/23
  16. 16. Applying DMAIC to Corporate Communications3. Why is that? Care must be taken to en- a. Because our target audience is so large.4. Why does it need to be so large? sure that the interviews a. Because we have a great product that could appeal to a lot of different audiences and we are not sure who we will reach. result in honest responses5. Why can it not be segmented and measured? not responses that are giv-The analysis stage involves collaboration by the cross functional teams involved.In the case of reputation, new messages may need to be developed which en in order to benefit fromincorporate the priorities that the team decides the company needs to address perceived rewards.as part of its communication strategy, and testing may need to be used ontarget audiences. For proposed efforts to remain within budgeting requirementscost accounting tools may also be required.Interviews and other means of opinion measurement which take stakeholderresponses into account can be compared against desired goals of the reputationalmessages they might have been subject to. Care must be taken to ensure thatthe interviews result in honest responses not responses that are given in order tobenefit from perceived rewards. Impact can also be determined by finding outfocus group opinions through independent research and examining sources ofpublic user opinion, e.g., forums, blogs, social network comments, and othermedia sources. 16/23
  17. 17. Applying DMAIC to Corporate Communications4. Improve Process maps resultingAt this stage data and information should have emerged from previous phaseswhich will highlight areas of communication tactics and messages which need new from team analysis can helpprocesses or which can be improved, such as the reputational message exampledescribed above. Some of the information which may have emerged from earlier in making comparisonsphases can include:• List of reputational CTQs ordered by rank. between old processes and• Process maps showing deficient or non-existent communication processes, areas new processes based on that fail, and why they fail.• Measures that identify what elements of independent communication processes recommendations in the need improvement to satisfy reputational CTQ requirements. Measures also identify processes that need to be developed to achieve objectives. “Analyze” phase.• Strategies that address new requirements through varied methods.Process maps resulting from team analysis can help in making comparisons betweenold processes and new processes based on recommendations in the “Analyze”phase. Showing clear causes of defects or failures in the old way of doing thingsis critical as well as how the new processes aim to solve the underlying problems.In the case where entirely new processes are being developed with no baselineto compare them to, analysis with the existing processes of a competitor may berequired before development. 17/23
  18. 18. Applying DMAIC to Corporate CommunicationsImplementation should be in pilot phases to compare the performances Areas of future improvementof the newly implemented processes and determine if indeed a solution has beenfound that improves on the existing process. Pilot phases should be compared need to be determined andto determine which provides the most significant degree of effectiveness,determined by the number of reputational CTQs they help improve with worked on as part of athe least amount of risk. Benchmarking tools are essential in this stageto determine the actual rate of process improvement versus the status quo. continuous process knownLaunch timelines for new process implementation are also a critical aspect as Communicationsof this phase and should result in a detailed plan which can be tested in realworld situations. Internal and external aspects of the strategy will also need to be Process Improvementtweaked to improve the communications program.5. Control (CPI).Benefits gained should be documented and maintained in order to not loseground on areas of improvements. Areas for future improvement need to bedetermined and continuously incorporated as part of Communications ProcessImprovement (CPI). One key is reputational behavior observed and feedbackgained from external sources measured through means such as surveys, opiniongathering, social media monitoring, and other analytical methods.In areas where positive benefits have been gained from new or improvedprocesses, teams must assess such processes and determine a reputational plan ofaction should circumstances change. 18/23
  19. 19. Applying DMAIC to Corporate CommunicationsThis means if the old process was a Plan A and the new process a Plan B, a Continuous improvementcontingency Plan C or even an additional Plan D should be in place to deal withpotential new problems that may arise impacting the effectiveness of the new means assessingprocess.Continuous improvement means assessing reputational CTQs to determine if reputational CTQs forthere is any change in requirements. The “Great Customer Support” trend may desired audiences tohave shifted in a specific sector and using old performance requirements alonemay be ineffective. In an age where social media is growing exponentially, determine if there is aMashable noted that 62% of customers have already used social media for cus-tomer service issues while 56% of the major brands don’t respond to complaint change in requirements.comments on their Facebook page and 71% ignore customer complaints onTwitter4. But that statistic will continue to evolve quickly. Already a largenumber of companies are shifting towards social media for customer servicein addition to regular channels. If this becomes a performance requirementfor your sector from the stakeholder perspective, getting in late will be adisadvantage. People want their problems attended to faster and whencompetitors are doing so via social media, focusing on email and telephonechannels alone may be a company’s path to extinction. After all, more peoplethese days spend their time on social networks, with 66% of online adults usingsocial networking websites5. Scenarios such as this make continuous improvementan integral requirement of communications programs.4 Rollason, Harry. “While Social Media Makes Better Customer Service.” Mashable. Mashable, 09 Sept. 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <http://mashable.com/2012/09/29/social-media-better-customer-service/>.5 Brenner, Joanna. “Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.” Pew Internet: Social Networking (full Detail). Pew Internet, 17 Sept. 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2012/March/Pew-Internet- Social-Networking-full-detail.aspx>. 19/23
  20. 20. Applying DMAIC to Corporate CommunicationsThere should be frequent assessment of existing processes which may work Excellence andoptimally in their current configuration but may require improvement if audi-ence requirements and opinions change. Measuring changes and determining effectiveness inhow to sustain gains and improve the communications strategy may involve thefollowing: communications can be• Regular assessment of the voice of the target audiences and stakeholders (Voice of the Customer) to determine if reputational CTQs have changed. improved substantially• Brainstorming sessions to determine if the reputational messages developed through data-oriented and the manner of message dissemination comply with current needs and future requirements. methods which complement• Ensuring new requirements are embedded into planned processes.Concerns may exist about the involvement of metrics in what communications the creativity ofteam members believe should be strictly a creative process, but it is important that communication efforts andthey understand and accept this aspect of process development and improvementfor future situations. Excellence and effectiveness in communications can be innovative strategies.improved substantially through data-oriented methods which complement thecreativity of communication efforts and innovative strategies. This approachcan help ensure that a firm outperforms the competition and builds a positivereputation in the eyes of stakeholders concerned. 20/23
  21. 21. Incite and the Lean Communications AdvantageIncite and the Lean Communications Advantage Lean Communications usesLean Communications goes beyond the simple application of Lean Six Sigmaprinciples to the field of communications. It also goes beyond removing waste Lean Six Sigma to unlockfrom communication processes or developing new processes without waste; it’sabout developing, streamlining and fine-tuning communication programs for the potential of businessesfaster and better results. Lean Communications uses Lean Six Sigma to unlock through an innovativethe potential of businesses through an innovative approach to communicationsstrategy. The mode of application of LSS in service sectors differs from one service approach toto the other. In the field of public relations and corporate communications,process development, improvement, and streamlining requires specific and prov- communications strategy.en applications of the LSS methodology. Using its own personnel skilled at apply-ing LSS to corporate communications, Incite helps new and innovative firms de-velop effective public relations and corporate communication programs with thefollowing benefits:• Improved value of internal processes• Increased productivity without increasing resources• Strengthening of brands• Improved reputations• Reduced time-to-market• Reduced costs• Increased management control efficiency 21/23
  22. 22. Incite and the Lean Communications AdvantageAll these benefits are achieved synchronously and without improvements resulting Effective communicationsfrom one affecting the success of another. The positive effects on business growthare especially important for new and growing businesses competing for is a key contributor topublic attention while coping with the challenge of media fragmentation.The need to effectively reach out to target audiences such as social media groups, business growth byopinion leaders, bloggers, and industry analysts as part of reputation building enhancing the public image,measures is important to a successful enterprise.Conclusion reputation and brandEffective communications is a key contributor to business growth by enhancingthe public image, reputation and brand power of businesses. power of businesses.The multitude of media channels today means that reputations can be made,broken, and repaired faster than was previously possible when traditional mediawas the sole focus of your customers and stakeholders. By understanding that allprocesses result in data which can be assessed, Lean Six Sigma provides anopportunity to develop processes, measure, analyze, and improve the qualityand efficiency of a company’s communications strategy while recognizing thedynamic nature of the current media landscape. LSS helps by fine-tuningstrategies that ensure sustainability and growth, and helping companies identifyand engage effectively with stakeholders.Communications Process Improvement (CPI) accelerates from a strongfoundation by applying the same elements of LSS to secure gains and plan forfuture improvements in a way relevant to target audiences. 22/23
  23. 23. About Incite and the AuthorAbout InciteIncite helps new, growing, and innovative companies develop and implementproven communication methods which are scalable, affordable, and deliversignificant advantages for businesses seeking to benefit from the applicationof Lean Six Sigma. Incite brings together the entrepreneurial energy of astart-up with the experience and tools of a Fortune 500 business, mergingprocess development and improvement together with creativity and innovationto offer clients communication solutions to help drive their corporate strategies.About the AuthorReid Walker is a Co-Founder and Principal at Incite, a communication consultancy.He has led the communication function for Fortune 500 companies, includingGE, Honeywell and Lenovo. He most recently led communications for DeutscheTelekom’s T-Mobile business. Reid began his career at NASDAQ leading mediarelations during a time of crisis and extreme growth. With more than20 years of experience in multiple sectors, he has led domestic andinternational corporate communications programs, including strategic planningand issues management, media relations, social media programs, internalcommunications, crisis, financial, non-profit and community affairs programs.Reid has experience in a range of sectors including software, hardware, telecom,chemicals, energy and finance. He received his initial Lean Six Sigma trainingat GE and continued to study and implement programs at Honeywell where hereceived a black belt in Lean Six Sigma for a global web strategy. 23/23
  24. 24. Contact: Incite 220 2nd Ave South Seattle, WA 98104 Phone: 206.641.9750 Email: contact@incitecommunication.com Web: incitecommunication.com Twitter: @InciteComms24/23

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