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Category: Strategic Communications Planning

A Conversation about Communications Strategy

IABC Ottawa produces a terrific podcast series called the Voice that’s shared among other IABC Chapters across Canada. I was fortunate to be a guest on the show, to talk about all things strategic communications planning with Marlene Floyd, Principal of the Earnscliffe Strategy Group. Turns out our podcast has had the most downloads of…

How and Why to Evaluate Invisible Value

As I’ve often blogged about before, there’s nothing more important to your communications career than using evaluation to demonstrate the value you bring to your organization. Yet one of the most frustrating things about being a communicator is that some of the areas in which we add the most value are often invisible. They’re the…

Getting Down to Tactics

When you’re immersed in the long haul of strategic communications planning, figuring out tactics may well be the most exciting part of the whole enterprise. At last, you get to translate all of your conceptual planning into concrete activities that achieve results! Here’s the most important thing to keep in mind as you enter the…

Playing to Your Audience

In any kind of communications planning there’s one universal truth: it’s always about the audience. Wherever you work and whatever your public environment, audiences should be the gravitational pull that guides your communications directions, messages and tactics. As you’re identifying key audiences, remember that a strategy requires focussing on the best use of finite resources….

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…

Why You Should Clear Out your Dance Card

Thinking strategically as a communicator is a matter of taking a step back and first considering where you want to go—and only then which approaches, messages and tactics will best get you there. Putting this simple principle into practice has many challenges, of course. Often one of the hardest consists of breaking unproductive patterns of…

Adventures in Project Management: the Project Update

While most of my blog entries focus on juicy topics in communications, occasionally it’s wise for me (and you too perhaps?) to focus on the nuts-and-bolts realities of preventing bad things from happening. And so, the need for effective project management always rears its head. Whether you’re planning a communications strategy or executing one, it’s…

Why Communications is Your Business

Some communicators are unhappy seeing communications as a business enabler or a support function to their organization. Perhaps they feel that the art of messaging is so verbal, so creative or different from everything else an organization does, that it must be a stand-alone, autonomous function. Whatever the rationale, this attitude is factually misguided and…

The Communicator as Researcher

It may seem odd to consider the proposition that as a communicator, you should be a researcher. After all, aren’t the researchers those folks in other parts of the building, or outside your organization altogether? Isn’t your job to communicate what those people come up with? Well, yes, of course it is. But no, it’s…