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Getting the word out


Deck on the value of organizational communications, hallmarks of good and bad communications and outline of a basic communications plan

Deck on the value of organizational communications, hallmarks of good and bad communications and outline of a basic communications plan

Published in Business , Technology
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  • Ask question then pause for Christie to interject
  • List an example or two from non-profit world
  • Give an example – talk about a smart goal for biz and comms


  • 1. Getting the Word Out:Communications Planning for CLC’s Jackson Wightman Proper Propaganda Twitter: @jacksonwightman 514 227 3505
  • 2. Bio• 13 years in Communications Biz – Non-profits/for profits and government – 3 continents – 2 election War Rooms/1 Prime Minister – Countless mistakes• Contributing Editor at PR Daily –• Blogger –
  • 3. Communication???com·mu·ni·ca·tion [kuh-myoo-ni-key-shuhn]1. The act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated2. The imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs3. Something imparted, interchanged, or transmitted4. a document or message imparting news, views, information, etc.
  • 4. Desired Outcomes of This Session1. Outline the value of organizational communication2. Delineate the hallmarks of good and bad communication3. Explain why, now, more than ever, planning communications is CRITICAL4. List/explain the elements in a communications plan5. Walk thru each element
  • 5. Outline• Communication and storytelling• Why do organizations communicate?• What is ‘good’ communication?• What is ‘bad’ communication?• Why ‘plan’ organizational communication?• Things to consider when planning
  • 6. Communication and Storytelling
  • 7. Communication and Storytelling• We ALL do this, ALL the time• You have done this since you could talk (and listen)• Keys to storytelling: 1) Knowing your audience 2) Having your ‘story straight’ 3) Your passion for the story – Knowing how to mix the keys is key!
  • 8. Why Do Organizations Communicate?
  • 9. Why Do Organizations Communicate?• Inform others about how their products/services can help• Disseminate news• Share content that others might find useful• Humanize the organization• Share best practices internally• Engage internal/external stakeholders• Promote triumphs• Outline their needs/areas where help is required• RAISE ARMIES TO HELP AMPLIFY A MESSAGE
  • 10. Why Should Your CLC Communicate?• Communication is the primary method to achieve goals• Communication allows us to bring people together and do more than we could alone• ‘Strategic’ communication = communication that leads to goal outcomes.
  • 11. What is ‘Good’ Communication?Good communication is:• Understood by the recipient and (usually) not open to too much interpretation• Accomplishes want the communicator wants it to• Inoffensive• Generally, easy to remember• Well timed• In business, often something the receiver is interested in receiving• Drives action
  • 12. Some Examples of ‘Good’ Communication?
  • 13. What is ‘Bad’ CommunicationBad communication is:• Unclear and open to interpretation• Confusing• Often uniform and/or untailored• Irrelevant of uninteresting to the recipient• Offensive• Ill-timed• Costs time/money/resources• Does not drive action
  • 14. The Importance of the Sender
  • 15. The Importance of the Sender• In any Communications dynamic the onus is on the sender!• If they ‘don’t get it’ YOU are the problem, not them!• Critical to think about how and when the receiver likes to receive your communications
  • 16. The Challenge of Noise
  • 17. Noise (lots of it)It is a noisy world: Media has exploded and so it is harder to get messages across• We are exposed to between 500-3000 advertising messages a day (AAA)• 294 billion emails are sent each day (more than 2.8 million per second)• More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years (• Canadians send over 186 million text messages/day (CWTA)
  • 18. So how do you cut through the noise??
  • 19. What’s in a Communications Plan?Thankfully, pretty basic stuff:1. Project description2. Desired outcomes (SMART goals) – both biz and communications3. Measures for those goals4. Context (Explore)5. Audiences/Stakeholders6. Strategy7. Tactics w/ timeline and owner8. Messages9. Issues10. BudgetIMPORTANT: Section lengths will vary based upon time, place and the project.
  • 20. Project Description• What are you doing?• Needs to be short (half page to a page)• Brief overview of why you have chosen to pursue the project (its value to you and other stakeholders)
  • 21. Desired Outcomes• 2 types of goals in a Communications plan – Communications – Organizational
  • 22. SMART Goals• S – specific• M – measurable• A - attainable• R – realistic• T – time bound‘If a goal is not SMART, it might just be dumb’
  • 23. Measures for Goals‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’• Measurement sections need to be precise and tied to specific goals• Examples of measures for Communications goals: – Number of media hits – Amount of times your spokespeople were quoted in articles – Number of visits to a website – Change in number of Facebook fans – Number of times your video was watched on Youtube – Number of email opens• Examples of measures for business goals: – How many people showed at your event – How much money did you make/raise
  • 24. Context (Explore)This section talks about what’s going on in a wider context• What factors about your location (income, demographic or other) support your initiative• Have similar projects taken place? – Who ran them – How did they do – What sorts of people attended• What has the media said about similar initiatives – Who writes on this topic – What have they said (be brief)• Are there other events or initiatives that are scheduled at the same time as yours? How will you work around this?
  • 25. Audiences/Stakeholders• Who has a stake in your initiative? – List all• Who are your biggest supporters? (10%)• How do you expect each stakeholder to react to what youre doing? – Who do you need to help you achieve your goals – Who might react negatively• How do they like to receive communications (via what medium)?• Is there a specific time they like to receive communications?• What will the tone of communication be (formal/informal)?• How can you mitigate the concerns of those you expect to react negatively?
  • 26. Strategy• Lots of confusion over this word• Really VERY simple• ALWAYS tied to objectives• Has clear links to your context/enviro scan• Your Communications strategy is either: – High or low profile – Proactive or reactive – Involve outreach to MANY stakeholders or only a few selected ones
  • 27. Tactics• Tactics are the ways you communicate with specific audiences and stakeholders• Tactics = what you ‘do’ to get the word out• Examples of tactics: – Face to face conversations – Sending a press release to the media – Posting a tweet – Calling a potential partner on the phone – Recording a podcast that you post to iTunes – Sending a letter by mail – Posting on Facebook – Offering a ‘free class’ or ‘consultation’ – Hosting a cocktail party for stakeholders
  • 28. Tactics• Tactical communications to a stakeholder MUST account for a stakeholder’s preferences – What is preferred language? – Preferred medium of communication? – Preferred tone? – Preferred timing? If tactics fail, you have probably gotten this wrong
  • 29. Messages• What you communicate• Key messages: may change with time and cycle but generally stay the same across most stakeholders• Secondary messages: will likely change based on the receiver• List messages by stakeholder with medium employed
  • 30. Issues• For our purposes “issues” are problems that need management• An issue is something negative that might happen• Best managed by being proactive and anticipating a problem• In a plan usually written as a sample Q&A from media or stakeholders
  • 31. Budget• Communications is not without costs• Media materials, consultants, marketing collateral, invitations all cost money• Err on the side of too much detail• Costs should always be in the back of your head when planning Communications• Standalone section of the plan
  • 32. Summary• Communicating allows organizations to raise an army• Good communication is: – clear – easily understood – interesting to the recipient – well timed – Inoffensive – DRIVES ACTION• Why plan communcation? It is a noisy world
  • 33. Summary (cont’d)• Set SMART goals for biz and communications• Strategy flows from there• Tactics and messages flow from stakeholder preferences and strategy• Comms plan length will vary based on project undertaken