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Category: Strategic Communications Planning

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…

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…

Planning Your Training & Capacity Building Activities

Most change requires training support to ensure effective implementation. A focused, comprehensive approach to training and development is a key component of supporting people through a change, providing a deeper learning experience which can be important in mitigating against risks. The Change Agent’s Toolkit provides a suite of tools that connects the phases pf transformation,…

Best Practices in Communications for Public Servants

The business of government has changed dramatically in recent years. So it’s no surprise that the transformation of government operations, coupled with an unprecedented rise in citizen expectations have created extraordinary demands on government communicators. Here’s a round up of the top 8 best practices in government communications to emerge – many originate from the…

A Manifesto for Strategic Communications

After working through the Results Map process with thousands of communicators across Canada, and around the world, there is one remarkably consistent trait that pops up in our community – a shared frustration that is absolutely universal to communicators whether their organization is big or small, public or private sector. It is the feeling of confinement….

Progress > Perfection

It’s all too easy, when we’re thinking about how to be better strategic communicators, to shrink in dismay at the distance between where we and our organizations are now, on one hand, and where we should be, on the other. Throwing up our hands and adopting a “can’t get there from here” attitude of resignation…