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Category: Strategic Communications Planning

Becoming a Strategic Communicator – 5 Tips for Enhancing Your Value

The question I receive most often from communicators is “How can I be more strategic?” Here are my top five suggestions on enhancing your strategic value in a communications function: Ask good questions. The quickest way to add strategic value is to ask insightful questions that help sharpen focus on desired outcomes and results. Asking questions…

Top 10 Questions Every Communicator Should be Using

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…

The Goldilocks Effect in Communications

If you’re a communications professional, I’m willing to bet that you’ve come up against what I call the “Goldilocks effect”. That is, working with internal or external clients who can’t or won’t articulate what they want, but rather will only share what they don’t want. You know the drill: This one’s too hot. This one’s too cold. This is…

The Results Map in Colombia: Corona’s Story of Success

The Results Map process for strategic communications and change was launched internationally eight years ago, very much as a passion project and an experiment in knowledge product development. While we’ve received lots of feedback on its impact, I often wonder how the methodology is being used, and hope that it’s making a difference. That’s why…

Agile – the next big thing for communications teams?

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a learning event at the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Strategic Communications and Change, on how communicators can implement agile methodologies. We welcomed a sold-out crowd to hear Tanya O’Callaghan, Senior Manager of Communications at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), share her experiences in adopting agile…

The Value of Communicators

If you’re planning a retreat for your communications team (and if you’re not – why aren’t you?) here’s a suggestion for an easy, but powerful exercise to offer the group. The Value Proposition Worksheet is a simple tool that can be used in either a breakout or plenary format. The worksheet helps structure an exploration of…

Don’t Communicate for the Sake of Communications

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…

Time Crunch – Managing Competing Demands as Communicators

One of the most ubiquitous characteristics of communications teams is that they lack time. In virtually every workshop I conduct with communicators, the issue of a time crunch comes up. Unfortunately, a consequence of this is that important work (such as strategic planning, evaluation, strategic counsel, research, public environment scanning) often gets shelved as teams are sucked…

Communications Strategy – A Checklist

As a communications strategist, one of the cold hard facts that I face is that most communications strategies fail – that is, that they never get implemented. And yet, my experience is that a solid communications strategy (particularly one developed through a robust consultative process) can have a transformative impact on an organization`s results. This…

Three Cheers for Podcasts!

I am a huge fan of podcasts, and am always on the lookout for smart, fun content that I can stream on the go. I’ve had a few requests for recommendations of late, so I thought I’d put together a list of my favourites, particularly in the fields of communications and change management: Under the…