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Increasing the Business Value of Communications: Innovation, Strategy and Trust


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Presentation given at the Melcrum Publishing Strategic Communication Management Summit October 4-6, 2011 in Washington D.C. The presentation describes my evolution of the internal communications approach at DTTL from the remnants of a reactive publishing team in 2009 to a proactive, tightly partnered business line communications team. At its peak, the team had 30 members in four countries. The team was dissolved as part of an organizational restructuring in 2013.

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Increasing the Business Value of Communications: Innovation, Strategy and Trust

  1. 1. Increasing the business value of communications Innovation, strategy and trust Jeff Zwier, Associate Director, Global Business Line Communications Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ltd.
  2. 2. Getting started 2 DTTL Global Communications Company and context Characters The journey Milestones
  3. 3. Company and context
  4. 4. DTTL Global Communications © 2011 Deloitte Global Services Limited4 DTTL Global Communications Support the strategic direction and business objectives of the global organization Capitalize on new communication technologies and foster an integrated, multidisciplinary approach Enable global connectivity and encourage collaboration with member firms Three interconnected goals drive our approach to global communications
  5. 5. DTTL Global Communications: Functional areas Business Line Communications IMOs / Americas Region AERS / ERS Financial Advisory Tax Consulting Global Clients Middle Markets Industries External Relations PR & media outreach CEO media relations Regulation & crisis management Thought leadership Social media communications Research & analysis Executive Communications CEO external communications Executive/leader communications Global News Global Projects Planning & infrastructure Project management Strategic initiatives Global events Editorial services Metrics/ ROI Brand Talent Online Communications & Multimedia Services Graphic design Web & print Internet Intranet Deloitte Resources Campaigns Online strategy Email marketing Search engine marketing Social media marketing Content syndication RSS/podcasts Content optimization Videography & photography Vendor management Annual Review DTTL HR OIM
  6. 6. The question we asked…
  7. 7. The communications landscape has changed. . . 7 Radio (1920) TV (1950s) Internet (1996) eBay (1997) Wikipedia (2001) Cell phones (1984) Blackberry (2002) Google (1998) iPod (2001) Facebook (2004) Twitter (2007) 1920 1970 Fax machine (1970s) Dates shown above are when the technology became commercially viable Source: DTTL Online Communications team research 1990 2000 20101930 1940 1950 1960 1980 LinkedIn (2003) YouTube (2005) Blogs (1999) iPhone (2007) Macintosh (1984) IBM PC (1981) iPad (2010) Mainframe Computer (1960s) HBO (1972) MTV(1981) Amazon (2001)
  8. 8. Have the communicators?
  9. 9. Characters
  10. 10. Business Line Communications (established 2009) • Eleven communicators supporting eight business lines in four countries • New leader (your presenter) • Diversity of knowledge, skills and experiences • Diversity of approaches, methods, business models, and priorities
  11. 11. The journey 11 DTTL Global Communications
  12. 12. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu The vision: A more unified, value adding approach 12 DTTL Global Communications • New competencies for communicators • New roles, teams, tools and ways of working • Readiness for higher expectations of business leaders • New definitions of how the communications function contributes to the organization
  13. 13. Innovation
  14. 14. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu New competencies . . . 14 DTTL Global Communications Actingand influencing atadistance ‘Unboxing’ the business objective Consultative approach True business knowledge Diversified skills
  15. 15. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu . . .to match higher expectations 15 DTTL Global Communications From . . . To . . .
  16. 16. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Example competency set 16 DTTL Global Communications Business Communications Demonstrates comprehension of generally accepted business communication practices Theme Foundation Advanced Mastery Professional Business Writing Demonstrates in-depth understanding of target audience and adapts writing style to reflect tone, objectives and media selected. Edits own or others' content for compliance with organizational writing, risk and legal standards Ability to identify requirements for writing and effectively assess if content will achieve the desired business objective Identifies roadblocks to efficient, effective writing and proactively communicates potential solutions to peers, clients and leaders Proactively collaborates with clients to continuously improve efficiency, effectiveness of communications.Initiates or anticipates communications and drafts copy accordingly. Builds Brand & Reputation Understands and applies Deloitte brand standards in all communications projects, production cycles and across all vehicles Proactively educates communication and serves as 'ambassador' for Brand, providing resources and consultation upon request. Proactively identifies opportunities for accelerating brand expression and designs new communication tools accordingly Organizational Communications Familiar with industry-related professional organizations and resources; develops depth of expertise in one or more communications specializations Ability to articulate value proposition for methods and tools utilized and understands how to measure success within a communications specialty area Devises communication strategies and formulates plans that integrate methods and tools from a wide range of communications specializations Communications Strategy, Planning & Measurement Ability to identify key messages, calls to action and success measures, and align communications tactics to business objectives Independently creates communications strategy and plan that achieves one or more specific business objectives Demonstrates sufficient knowledge of business area or DTT overall to gauge success of communication in achieving business objectives. Capable of devising global strategies and developing extensive/complex global communications plans New Practices & Media Demonstrates an awareness of external and internal research on communications methodologies/tools Stays current on leading edge methodologies/tools to contribute to and influence overall Communications strategy Subject matter expertise of leading edge methodologies/ tools and applies these to execute best in class communications plans
  17. 17. Strategy
  18. 18. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Recruiting for a new approach New hiring process focusing on deep behavior-based interviewing with both communicators and supported team leaders Work samples focusing on assessing solution-orientation, not just content quality New background and skills emphasis • Less emphasis on writing, more on translating business objectives into communications interventions • ‘Non-traditional’ candidate backgrounds, education • Change management, training, organizational development • BA/BS business, organizational psychology, liberal arts with business minor • MA/MS communications or MBA at senior manager level • Experience in professional services, marketing, business development roles 18 DTTL Global Communications
  19. 19. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Business line communications: Operating model Third party service providers: • Document & Creative Services • Internal resources • External contractors, vendors DTTL Global Communications: • Online / multimedia • External / media relations • Global project teams • Leaders engage communicators to confer, strategize, plan, and execute. • Business line communicators identify opportunities based upon business objectives and create a strategy and plan for internal/leader communications. • Business line communicators for each function/service highlight potential synergies or duplications, recommend adjustments, promote best practices, and measures success. • Each communicator independently delivers some communications and manages relationships with DTTL Global Communications and/or third party service providers to deliver communications projects. Dedicated business line support is provided through centralized communications planning and high-quality communicator skills Business line leadership Business line communicators 19
  20. 20. Trust
  21. 21. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Credibility and influence: A new conversation for a new role 21 • The potential of communicators and communications • Positioning communications as a leadership accelerator • Objectives-based communications strategy, planning and measurement • Behavior-based measurement of results • Listening, listening . . . and more listening • An agenda including influence, eminence and keeping the focus on business objectives throughout the year
  22. 22. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Growing together 22 • Build relationships first • The tools are a prerequisite, not the destination • Measure your successes together • Leverage each other • Empower and partner beyond the communications function
  23. 23. Milestones
  24. 24. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu The journey 24 DTTL Global Communications
  25. 25. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Then: Eleven communicators producing communication products upon request for leaders in nine business lines Tax Consulting (3) Global Clients Global middle market clients OIM Industries Audit Business Line Communications Jeff Zwier Talent HR
  26. 26. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Now: Twenty-seven communicators directly contributing to achieving strategic objectives in eleven business lines DTTL Global Communications Director Business Line Communications Jeff Zwier Specialist Consulting / KM Manager Consulting / SQ Manager Global Tax Global Tax Lead Global Fin Advisory Lead Specialist OIM Global Clients Lead Manager Deloitte Analytics Specialists (2) OIM / US-ITS Manager OIM / CIO Comms OIM / US-ITS Lead Manager Tax Service Lines Manager Tax Service Lines Americas/ I MOs Lead Manager Global KM Global ERS Lead Specialist AERS / DA Manager Deloitte Audit (DA) Specialist DA Princeton Specialist Consulting / SQ Specialist Global Clients Global AERS Lead DTTL HR Lead Manager Amer Region Sr Asc Amer Region Global Talent Lead Manager MidMarkets
  27. 27. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Percentage of communications leads reporting directly to business line leader / leadership team 27 DTTL Global Communications 1+ Layers down Direct 2009 33% 1+ Layers down Direct 2010 52% 1+ Layers down Direct 2011 75%
  28. 28. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu The journey: What’s next? 28 DTTL Global Communications
  29. 29. Think
  30. 30. Listen
  31. 31. Invent
  32. 32. Succeed
  33. 33. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Increasing the business value of communications Thank you Jeff Zwier, Associate Director, Global Business Line Communications Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ltd.
  34. 34. © 2011 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu