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Change Communications Resources – Coming Together to Address COVID-19

The global communications community is right now facing its biggest challenge, as it navigates the unknown, unprecedented environment of COVID-19. In many ways as communicators, this is our time. Our contributions in providing clear, fact-based information, setting the appropriate tone, supporting our employee community and demonstrating leadership have never been more important. We are the…

Creating an Evaluation-Positive Culture

Everyone wants a communications team that embraces evaluation, but the reality is that such a model is the exception, rather than the rule. Evaluation doesn’t just involve specific activities – it requires intentionally setting up a supportive culture. Here are some suggestions: Build psychological safety: If we want to get serious about evaluating, it has…

Your Blueprint for Success

A useful parallel for thinking about the value of strategic planning for communications is to consider the world of construction. If an organization wants to commission a building project, it would be irresponsible for the tradespeople to just start digging holes or stacking bricks randomly or putting in pipes here and there. Yet the cold…

Doing the Right Things and Doing Them Right

A simple but highly effective way to remain focused on strategic value is to be attentive to doing the right things and doing them right. Step 1 – Do the Right Things: Check in with yourself and your colleagues making sure that the tasks you’re working on are actually the ones that are most strategic…

How to be Strategic

The word “strategic” is one of the most over-used and poorly understood terms in organizations today. Everyone wants to hire a “strategic” contributor and it’s become shorthand for complaining about a task that’s not up to par (as in “Well, the blog post is fine but it’s really not strategic”). The first thing about stepping…

The Change Agent’s Contract

As a change agent, you play a vital role in contributing to effective change execution. Given that working with change is high in both opportunity and risk, it’s important to be very precise in defining and executing your role. Setting You Up for Success One of the most constructive and positive steps you can take…

Planning in White Water: Being Strategic During Change

For the last dozen years, I’ve devoted my career to strategic communications planning, including developing the Results Map methodology. I’ve had the opportunity to work on hundreds of strategic plans – large and small, for the public and private sectors, all focused on aligning internal and external communications to organizational goals. From the vantage point…

Adjust your Focus: Shifting from Activities to Results

One of the easiest ways you can immediately enhance your strategic value as a communicator is to make a shift in the way you think about your function. Communicators generally are in the business of producing “stuff” – their focus is on the very real day-to-day challenges of writing press releases, developing key messages or…

Top 10 Questions Every Communicator Should Have in their Arsenal

Here are the questions I recommend as arsenal for every strategic communicator heading into a tough meeting or assignment: What does success look like? Why this, why now? What are the project or corporate objectives? What are the communications objectives? How can effective communications help advance the project objective? What are the main risks/opportunities? Thinking…

Generating Results from Audience Segmentation

A simple way to add value to your audience segmentation efforts is to deliberately consider types of audience groups. While some audiences may be simply constructed as receivers of information, most often as communicators we impart a role to audience segments. For example, in an internal communications plan, we might identify Managers/Supervisors as an audience…