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Category: Strategic Communications Planning

Communications Strategy, Communications Plan – What’s the Difference?

Communicators are often asked to work with many different types of strategies and plans – and there’s often a lot of confusion swirling around these various products. That’s a real problem, as it can set up a disconnect between expectations and deliverables, right out of the gate. Here’s a quick guide to demystifying strategic communications…

Driving Alignment: The Communicator in the Driver’s Seat

Some communicators are unhappy seeing communications as a business enabler and support function to their organization. Perhaps they feel that the art of messaging is so verbal, creative or different from everything else an organization does that it’s something else altogether. Whatever the rationale, this attitude is factually misguided and professionally unhelpful. The essential truth…

The Top 10 Questions Every Strategic Communicator Should be Asking

Yesterday I was honoured to have the opportunity to deliver a session at the IABC Canada 2012 Business Communicators Summit on the Top 10 Questions in Strategic Communications.  As is always the case when you have a room full of smart, innovative communicators, the discussions were animated, the participation eager and the shared experiences invaluable….

Becoming a Strategic Communications Rock Star

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of leading a packed house full of dynamic communications practitioners through a workshop on Becoming a Strategic Communications Rock Star for the Ottawa chapter of IABC . The group was a great mix of staff communicators from the private, public and NGO/association sectors, and a number of consultants. As you can imagine, the…

Making Your Workshop Work

It’s probably the case that most of your work as a communicator consists of one-on-one discussions with internal clients, management or external stakeholders. But from time to time, your job calls for you to stand up before a larger group of people and make communications magic happen. One of those times that I find most…

Communications Planning: The Principles

Here are my all-time Top 5 Principles for strategic communications planning: Communications should be focused on results, rather than activity. Often, communicators are in the business of generating “stuff” – speeches, media releases, and promotional materials. The communications function is much more effective when it is driven to generate results, such as increased rates of…

Being Strategic is a State of Mind

How many times have you heard your colleagues or leaders go on about how the world would be a better place if the people around them could just be more strategic? You know… as in: “Man, if I could just hire more strategic communicators we could actually get something done around here” Or… “That Mary…

Chickens and Eggs, Budgets and Tactics

Here’s a puzzler: in creating a communications strategy, which comes first – the tactics or the budget? I’m often asked the above question in Results Map workshops. And the answer, as with so many of life’s great chicken-and-egg questions, is “it depends”. But let’s backtrack a moment to some general points about communications budgets. You…

Why do Most Communications Strategies Fail?

As a strategic communications junkie, one of the saddest realities to face is that I’m convinced that most communications strategies fail. Yup, you read that right. The majority of communications strategies fail, because they never get implemented. Overwhelmingly, the reason is simple: Because the strategy was written as a document, rather than being the results…

Messaging as Architecture and Alignment

Communicators do themselves a great disservice when they don’t appreciate the real value that solid messaging can bring to their communications. Too often, messaging takes the form of a bulleted list jammed with buzzwords that don’t really say much of anything. And it’s a sad sign when that happens; my sense is that many communications…