Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Sunday, 14 October 2007

Management first, communication later

When do you need strategic communication advice? My clients explain their organization needs a more strategic use of communication. They expect added value for corporate and internal communication, but especially for the translation of scientific research to policymakers. They are already working on a communication strategy document. Asked what they expect from me, they say they are not sure what should be in the document. So could I help there?

We talk about the history of the organization, its current structure, the products and services, its reputation and successes, the human capital, clients, competitors, donors and challenges for the future. It becomes clear that they have only a vague idea about the business they are in, the added value of their products, their successes, their vision and objectives etc. It appears they have no overall strategic plan for the organization. So my advice is: “communication is a means to support the vision and objectives of the organization. You need strategic communication only when you have clarity about the vision and objectives of the organization. Lets work on that first”. Section 4 of the CEPA toolkit is about making a strategic communication plan.

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