For the last few months I’ve been involved in redrafting our communication strategy and yesterday was the final presentation of our recommendations. Thankfully it went far better than expected.
I’ll probably do a more in depth post later with the details but the headlines revolved around:-
- Getting the overarching narrative of the organisation right
- Getting people to talk to one another
- Listen to customers and talk their language
Not rocket science but the more I have worked alongside communication teams the more I’ve realised what a rough deal they often get.
I’ve met very few people in the business world who do not rate themselves as excellent communicators.
It’s littered through most CVs I’ve ever read and is certainly on all of mine.
“Excellent communicator….proven track record of communicating at a senior level….experienced public speaker….yada yada yada”
So inherent in most people is a instinctive under appreciation for anyone involved in comms and the value they add. This often means that the comms team gets involved very late on or have pre-written copy passed to them to be sent out… and then people get offended when its recommended that half of what they’ve written isn’t needed.
So how do you sell egg sucking classes to your grandma?
Well the first tactic was to build up a comprehensive evidence base. This involved surveys, focus groups, analysis of customer data as well as bringing in some experts to give their opinion. The second tactic was to really not refer to it as communication at all…
Communication should be a two way dialogue but (certainly in my organisation) has become a shorthand for just sending an email on whats going on – hardly two way. So when the ‘name’ gets in the way…change it…
We presented a ‘One Voice’ strategy that talked about conversations and customer voice…