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Checklist Communication Strategy Development

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This presentation was given during a workshop on strategic communication for the Water and Sanitation Forum in Ethiopia (hosted under CRDA) and is based on a checklist of strategic questions developed by IRC Water and Sanitation Centre (www.irc.nl) to help develop a communication strategy. The workshop was facilited by me and Livia Iotti for the RiPPLE project and by Simret Yasabu for WaterAid Ethiopia.

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Checklist Communication Strategy Development

  1. 1. Communication Strategy Development Questioning our needs and assumptions
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Four blocks of communication questions relating to four essential actions , i.e.: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Four communication question blocks
  4. 4. Four communication question blocks <ul><li>These questions are: </li></ul><ul><li>Indicative </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Iterative </li></ul><ul><li>Integrative </li></ul><ul><li>Anything starting with I and ending with ive ? </li></ul>
  5. 5. THINK! Photo credits: Gutter
  6. 6. Block 1: THINK
  7. 7. THINK: Node <ul><li>The node is YOU / your organisation </li></ul><ul><li>What is your vision? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your mission? </li></ul><ul><li>What are you doing? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of institution are you / What is your scale? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisation? Programme? Network? Project? Event? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. THINK: Network <ul><li>The network represents the institutions around you </li></ul><ul><li>Who are your target audiences? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary / secondary? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who should know about your work? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do you need to engage with to address your issues / objectives? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are you trying to affect / influence? </li></ul>
  9. 9. THINK: Networking <ul><li>The networking vision is your overall plan re: your audiences </li></ul><ul><li>How can communication activities help you achieve your objective? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you want to push information, pull information, share-learn-engage? </li></ul><ul><li>What should your audiences do with your work? </li></ul>
  10. 10. THINK: Networking ( 2 ) <ul><li>The networking vision is your overall plan re: your audiences </li></ul><ul><li>What are you trying to achieve with each audience? </li></ul><ul><li>What would be your communication goals? </li></ul>
  11. 11. THINK: Not-working <ul><li>Sometimes you need communication to get rid of constraints. What is not working for you? </li></ul><ul><li>What communication-related challenges are you facing? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the main issue you are dealing with, where communication can help? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Work on ‘THINK’ <ul><li>Fill out the ‘THINK’ part of the matrix: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For each question use a card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See if you can organise the cards and link them together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill out the matrix (see next slide) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check your work with neighbouring tables? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Note down your content questions </li></ul><ul><li>Note down your process issues </li></ul>
  13. 13. Work on ‘THINK’ Item CRDA as network Org 1 Org 2 Org 3 Org 4 Overall objectives Situational analysis <ul><li>Stakeholder analysis: </li></ul><ul><li>Primary target audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary target audiences </li></ul>Communication objectives Key message(s) per audience Appropriate channels for each audience Activities, outputs and milestones planned Resources available (capacity, budget, time) Processes to support activities Capacity development plan Opportunities for support and allies Monitoring plan and indicators
  14. 14. PREPARE! Photo credits: Fotoos van Robin
  15. 15. Block 2: PREPARE
  16. 16. PREPARE: Messaging <ul><li>Messaging is making music to reach the soul of your audience </li></ul><ul><li>What is the key message you have to convey to each audience? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the value you have to offer? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the barrier you have to overcome? </li></ul><ul><li>What are you asking from them? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your vision? </li></ul>
  17. 17. PREPARE: Moulding <ul><li>Moulding is about adapting/refining to the preferences of your audience </li></ul><ul><li>What channel should you use to reach each audience? </li></ul><ul><li>What products / services / outputs do you plan to produce? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the difference between activities, channels and outputs? </li></ul>
  18. 18. PREPARE: Massaging <ul><li>Massaging is integrating your communication with your other work and ensuring it’s adding sense </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you want a separate communication strategy (document)? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the form ( structure ) of your strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you need to ensure the strategy reinforces, rather than hinders your approach? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Work on ‘PREPARE’ <ul><li>Fill out the ‘PREPARE’ part of the matrix: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For each question use a card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See if you can organise the cards and link them together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill out the matrix (see next slide) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check your work with neighbouring tables? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Note down your content questions </li></ul><ul><li>Note down your process issues </li></ul>
  20. 20. Work on ‘PREPARE’ Item CRDA as network Org 1 Org 2 Org 3 Org 4 Overall objectives Situational analysis <ul><li>Stakeholder analysis: </li></ul><ul><li>Primary target audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary target audiences </li></ul>Communication objectives Key message(s) per audience Appropriate channels for each audience Activities, outputs and milestones planned Resources available (capacity, budget, time) Processes to support activities Capacity development plan Opportunities for support and allies Monitoring plan and indicators
  21. 21. (just) DO (it) ! Photo credits: Mark E. Dyer
  22. 22. Block 3: DO
  23. 23. DO: Risks <ul><li>Long preparation, short war! Risk assessment is sound management </li></ul><ul><li>What risks are you bearing? </li></ul><ul><li>What threats are you facing? </li></ul><ul><li>How likely / influential are they? </li></ul><ul><li>What are key element of quality that you need to keep in mind to make your communications credible? </li></ul>
  24. 24. DO: Resources <ul><li>Your resources determine the realism/robustness of your plans </li></ul><ul><li>What budget do you have (how much)? How much do you need? </li></ul><ul><li>What capacity (skills + time) do you have to carry out your activities? </li></ul><ul><li>What can you do yourself and what needs (external) support? </li></ul>
  25. 25. DO: Resources <ul><li>Your resources determine the realism/robustness of your plans </li></ul><ul><li>What budget do you have (how much)? How much do you need? </li></ul><ul><li>What capacity (skills + time) do you have to carry out your activities? </li></ul><ul><li>What can you do yourself and what needs (external) support? </li></ul>
  26. 26. DO: Roles and responsibilities <ul><li>The key to a solid implementation: who does what (clearly)? </li></ul><ul><li>Who (internally) needs to be involved in the communication strategy development? </li></ul><ul><li>Who will carry out what activity? </li></ul>
  27. 27. DO: Realignment <ul><li>Integration again! Make sure your comms efforts tie in with the rest </li></ul><ul><li>What is your implementation plan? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What activities? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What outputs / outcomes? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What milestones? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What processes (workflow) should you design to support development of outputs/ products? </li></ul>
  28. 28. Work on ‘DO’ <ul><li>Fill out the ‘DO’ part of the matrix: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For each question use a card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See if you can organise the cards and link them together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill out the matrix (see next slide) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check your work with neighbouring tables? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Note down your content questions </li></ul><ul><li>Note down your process issues </li></ul>
  29. 29. Work on ‘DO’ Item CRDA as network Org 1 Org 2 Org 3 Org 4 Overall objectives Situational analysis <ul><li>Stakeholder analysis: </li></ul><ul><li>Primary target audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary target audiences </li></ul>Communication objectives Key message(s) per audience Appropriate channels for each audience Activities, outputs and milestones planned Resources available (capacity, budget, time) Processes to support activities Capacity development plan Opportunities for support and allies Monitoring plan and indicators
  30. 30. IMPROVE! Photo credits: Steve Sawyer
  31. 31. Block 4: LEARN & IMPROVE
  32. 32. LEARN & IMPROVE: Capacities <ul><li>Activities depend on people . Think and care about them: empower </li></ul><ul><li>What could have been improved? </li></ul><ul><li>Where did you lack skills / capacities? </li></ul><ul><li>What capacity development activities can you plan? </li></ul>
  33. 33. LEARN & IMPROVE: Support & allies <ul><li>Out there, someone or something can help you : be curious! </li></ul><ul><li>Who (ind/org/netw) can you involve to work on your plans? </li></ul><ul><li>What events and movements can you use to piggyback on? </li></ul><ul><li>What resources are available to implement your plans? </li></ul>
  34. 34. LEARN & IMPROVE: Monitoring & adaptive planning <ul><li>The best plan is just not good enough! What matters is to monitor and improve over time </li></ul><ul><li>What would you consider measures / statements of success? </li></ul><ul><li>How are you planning (methods) to monitor your expected success? </li></ul><ul><li>How will your monitoring link back to improved planning? </li></ul>
  35. 35. LEARN & IMPROVE: Integration <ul><li>And again: unite and rise ! </li></ul><ul><li>How to integrate your communication activities in day-to-day practices? </li></ul><ul><li>What activities do you need to cut out (or sub-contract) because they drive you away from your core ‘business’? </li></ul>
  36. 36. Work on ‘LEARN & IMPROVE’ <ul><li>Fill out the ‘LEARN & IMPROVE’ part of the matrix: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For each question use a card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See if you can organise the cards and link them together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill out the matrix (see next slide) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check your work with neighbouring tables? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Note down your content questions </li></ul><ul><li>Note down your process issues </li></ul>
  37. 37. Work on ‘LEARN & IMPROVE ’ Item CRDA as network Org 1 Org 2 Org 3 Org 4 Overall objectives Situational analysis <ul><li>Stakeholder analysis: </li></ul><ul><li>Primary target audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary target audiences </li></ul>Communication objectives Key message(s) per audience Appropriate channels for each audience Activities, outputs and milestones planned Resources available (capacity, budget, time) Processes to support activities Capacity development plan Opportunities for support and allies Monitoring plan and indicators
  38. 38. What structure for your communication strategy? <ul><li>Overall objectives : Good to add clearly (at beginning) </li></ul><ul><li>Situational analysis : To integrate in a summarised assessment? </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder analysis : Rather mention primary / secondary audiences? Perhaps mention influence of some. </li></ul><ul><li>Comms objectives : Should be clearly mentioned and restated in the executive summary. </li></ul><ul><li>Key messages : For you to decide. If clear enough, add them? Otherwise include them at a more general level. </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate channels : No need to show a table but useful to clearly state how (through what channels [and outputs]) you will reach each target audience </li></ul><ul><li>Activities / outputs / milestones : Key! Put a table? Organise it per target audience? Milestones if you have an operational plan (GANTT chart?) </li></ul>
  39. 39. What structure for your communication strategy? <ul><li>Resources available : No need to include it as is but also possible (budget mentioned). Human resources and timeframe should be mentioned however. </li></ul><ul><li>Support processes : If you include it, mention it in a summarised way. It’s more useful for you. </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity development plan : Best not to mention it? </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for support / allies : Add it as part of your audiences? In your assessment of the context? In a risk and opportunity part? </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring plan / indicators : Should be mentioned. To develop to the degree of detail that you like. </li></ul><ul><li>Other elements : Principles? Risks? Images/ graphs/ pictures? Annual operational plan? Budget? Proofs of your results? Process to develop strategy? References? </li></ul><ul><li>What to put in the body / what in the appendixes? </li></ul>
  40. 40. Activities, channels, outputs? <ul><li>Activities: What you will do . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organise workshops; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write publications etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Channels: Where you will circulate information . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic: World Wide Web, email, discussion group... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Face-to-face: Workshop, training, event, discussion, theatre... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print: publications, graphic display etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other media: TV, radio. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Outputs: What you will transmit through channels. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Website, electronic newsletter, e-conference, facilitated discussion on discussion group. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workshop reports, training course, video of theatre play </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Briefing notes, working papers, specific posters </li></ul></ul>

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