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Project Communications


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JISC Event: Using technology for effective project communication.

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Project Communications

  1. 1. Project Communications
  2. 2. Topics <ul><li>Communication & dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>Why a final report isn’t enough </li></ul><ul><li>Who are you communicating to? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the best method? </li></ul><ul><li>Limiting factors </li></ul><ul><li>Based on responses from consultation </li></ul>
  3. 3. Communication vs. Dissemination <ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>“the act or process of communicating” </li></ul><ul><li>Dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>“the action of scattering or spreading … dispersion, diffusion” </li></ul><ul><li>Dissemination is more strategic? </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic communication? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Strategic Communication <ul><li>Raising Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Telling others about your project, stimulating discussion, seeking expert advice/input… </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding and change </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging take up/implementation… </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>“ Having lost our communication officer recently, we're acutely aware of how exposed projects become when they take good communication for granted and we're embarking on a big task right now to put that straight.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Who to? Funders Community Project team Communication
  7. 7. Funders <ul><li>The dreaded final report </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome = success or failure?! </li></ul><ul><li>Not searchable </li></ul><ul><li>Often very long </li></ul><ul><li>Often too late </li></ul>
  8. 8. Community ownership <ul><li>“ We kept the community in touch with the project's progress through a regular blog, email and face-to-face workshops… </li></ul><ul><li>As a consequence the community … felt a sense of ownership and offered critique … willingly and publicly, which we blogged to inspire others.” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Project Team <ul><li>Communication is: </li></ul><ul><li>“ essential for aligning the efforts of individuals” </li></ul><ul><li>“ vital for a project team to work together” </li></ul><ul><li>Nice example: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Blogs have replaced weekly team member updates which used to be single side of A4 in MS Word/on paper.&quot; </li></ul>
  10. 10. Gaining momentum <ul><li>“ The combination of this (informal meetings, face-to-face) and my regular blog postings kept the momentum up. ” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Identify your audience <ul><li>Project/institution internal or external? </li></ul><ul><li>Funding body or practitioner? </li></ul><ul><li>Specialists or general public? </li></ul><ul><li>Local, national or international? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Understand your audience <ul><li>What are their needs? </li></ul><ul><li>How much detail do they want? </li></ul><ul><li>What do they care most about? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Intent and impact <ul><li>What’s your intention? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To inform, influence, sell, amuse, entertain… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is the likely impact? </li></ul><ul><li>… and for how long? </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Power of Language “ The web is all about communication … every detail furthers the conversation” Bronwyn Jones, Better Writing Through Design, A List Apart (July 31, 2007)
  15. 15. Words matter! <ul><li>Maintain credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Consider two options… </li></ul><ul><li>Tell them quick before they go </li></ul><ul><li>versus </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage users to “stay a while” </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>“ Every opening paragraph is the beginning of a delicate and transient relationship between reader and writer.” </li></ul><ul><li>Gentle Reader, Stay Awhile; I Will Be Faithful </li></ul><ul><li>Amber Simmons (A List Apart article) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Tools, tools, tools… <ul><li>Traditional </li></ul><ul><li>versus </li></ul><ul><li>New & emerging </li></ul>“ I have to say you need to pick the right tool for the right project!”
  18. 18. Limiting factors <ul><li>“ Blogs need commitment - perhaps setting aside 30 min a week at first, but it gets easier and needs less time with practise.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Overall, technology has made </li></ul><ul><li>life easier, not harder” </li></ul>“ One problem is that smaller projects just don't have the resource. Also, JISC generally only promotes the benefits.” “ There needs to be recognition that this is time consuming.”
  19. 19. Summary <ul><li>Plan your communications & be strategic </li></ul><ul><li>Identify & understand your audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Consider your intent </li></ul><ul><li>Assess the impact </li></ul><ul><li>Write well & appropriately </li></ul><ul><li>Embrace new technologies! </li></ul>