Rethink Your Company’s Communications

communicationsFor many organizations, the new year begins with planning on ways to improve relationships with stakeholders.

Meeting rooms are scheduled, discussions are conducted, flip charts are filled, and plans are developed.

But will the plans actually make a difference to the impact of the communications you implement to engage? How do the plans for this year differ from recent years? And can you reasonably expect different outcomes without changing your approach?

Keep these things in mind as you plan how to communicate in 2012.

Remember, it’s about them, not about you. How we communicate in 2012 should not be about the tools we can use; our priority must be about the tools that will reach the stakeholders that matter. As communicators, we love our toys. But reaching into the toy chest is not the best way to plan.

Remember to listen, not just to speak. How effectively we communicate in 2012 may be about how we listen to the people we need to reach, not just what we say. When we communicate, we often say more when we listen than when we speak. Our stakeholders evaluate our willingness to absorb as much as our eagerness to speak.

Remember communication is about relationships. How we communicate in 2012 is defined by the relationships we want to strengthen. That requires that we understand what our stakeholders need from us not simply what we expect from them. If we communicate to satisfy what they need we may have a better chance to achieve what we expect.

Remember to monitor and measure. How we communicate in 2012 will only help us communicate in 2013 if we monitor the engagement and measure the impact. When we measure we must reach beyond how people react to the communications to focus on how the ultimately act. Outcome is more significant than output.

Remember the anchors. How we communicate in 2012 is somewhat limited by the effectiveness of our anchors, such as the usability of an intranet, the ongoing communication commitment of a leader and the communication skills of managers. How we plan is not only about new ideas; we need to take care of the fundamentals, too.

Speak Your Mind