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Category: Employee Communications

A Penny for your Thoughts

It’s easy, when you’re planning a communications strategy or project, to get caught up in the reams of material to read and the plans to be written. But there’s no substitute for leaving your desk and going to talk to people. By consulting your colleagues and audiences, you’ll feed ideas, perspectives, opinions and (if you’re…

Where Alignment Matters Most

Organizational alignment is one of the central goals that communicators should strive for in their daily activities.  Driving alignment means taking a strategic perspective on communications that sheds light on the broad context of an initiative at issue: what is the initiative about? What’s its purpose? Who do we want to reach? Why are these…

The Top 10 Truths of Social Media

There’s no question that social media is the darling of communications tactics at the moment, and with good reason. Social media gives communicators a direct, immediate and highly targeted way of engaging with our audiences. It’s a profound and permanent game changer. The thing I find fascinating about social media is that getting in the…

Beware the “Communications Police”

No one likes a spoilsport—and we as communicators don’t want to be one. But we do run the risk of sometimes grating on the nerves of internal clients within our organizations by coming across as the “Communications Police”. This unfortunate phenomenon is one in which internal clients perceive that their communications officer is primarily in…

Communications Begins at Home

It often amazes me to see that amid the oceans of material written about strategic communications planning, virtually nothing is said about how communications advisors operate on their ‘home turf’, in relation to senior management and colleagues in program or policy shops. It’s a peculiar omission, because the way in which you approach internal client…

Raising Expectations: Can You Deliver?

Through several client engagements the last few weeks, I noticed a common trend – the importance of carefully considering how raising audience expectations inadvertently can cause significant damage to your communications efforts. Case in point: A client was working on a survey of its key stakeholders and wanted to explore opinions about several new initiatives…

Kicking Off to a Strong Start

It’s no fun being far out to sea with a hole in your boat. And there are few worse moments in the life of a communicator than realizing that the big communications strategy you’ve been struggling with for weeks is foundering because some basic things weren’t clarified at the start. Part of the team thought…

Social Media in the Public Sector: Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Yesterday, I enjoyed the opportunity to present to the Conference Board of Canada’s Public Sector Social Media Conference. The session was co-hosted with Yves Desjardins-Siciliano who shared an insider, executive-level perspective on VIA Rail’s gutsy and extremely successful social media campaign led by its @VIA_Rail customer service presence on Twitter. Clearly, social media is a…

Top 5 Suggestions to Kick-Start Your Communications Career

I’m often asked about what core competencies are most important in building a career in communications. Here are my top five: Project management: To excel as a communicator, you have to be comfortable with complex projects with many moving parts, shifting and changing in order of priority in real time. Project management is the discipline…

What does audience have to do with it?

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…