Many of us, regardless of our roles, are under tremendous pressure to deliver, so our response is to 'do' as much as possible to create success. Never has this been more apparent than with Internal Communication.

The problem? We need to communicate with our stakeholders to be successful.
The solution? Start communicating as much and as often as possible.
The problem? We create noise versus communication that matters, and can teach audiences to ignore us.

When working with clients who've stated their business problem, my emphasis has always been on the research and planning before jumping into tactical solutions.

Why? I want to create the most efficient and effective way for them to solve their business problems and deliver real results.

"Quick?" you say. " Research and planning take time," you say.

Trust me, research and planning save more time in the end because they ensure you're not wasting your or your organization's time.

"But it's cheaper to focus on the tactics versus spending money on developing strategy," you say.

Only if you are ready to take a risk and waste your money and efforts on irrelevant work is my response.

A friend recently brought up a term that truly made me giggle. He called it the 'Pasta Principle' referring to when your plan was to throw things at the audience to see if they stuck. How many of you know companies that launch the strategy- brand-, value-, message-, program-of-the-month (week/day/hour) because the last one they tried didn't stick. It's interesting to watch employees and customers roll their eyes in exasperation...and the impact on trust and credibility, let's not even go there.

When starting any new initiative, big or small, use planning principles:

  • Articulate what success looks like - Have business goals and measurable objectives.
  • Do your research - Ask your stakeholders about what they need and give them a chance to contribute.
  • Create a stakeholder analysis - Don't create a one-size-fits-all strategy. Different groups have different needs.
  • Have a strategy and tactical plan - Even if it changes, you have a roadmap to guide you.
  • Prioritize - Not everything can be done at once. Decide what is most important and can have the biggest impact.
  • Measure the results - Understanding where you succeeded and failed will help you improve in the long-run.

When embarking on Internal Communications, so many organizations start with newsletters, town halls, intranets without doing the planning that will help an organization use communication to enable an organization to deliver real results.

In the future, treat communication success just like business success. Have a strategic plan before delivering the tactics.

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