Issue #25 - September 2012

 It’s not just the media – its communications

While a formal business plan is the most effective way to guide your overall strategic management process and communicate this process with your team, it is possible for an organisation to implement a strategic management process without a formal business plan, but probably not the best way of doing it.

Balfour Consulting has developed a highly successful and very practical communications training course targeted to smaller organisations.  This course is particularly valuable for Councillors and others in local government who may deal with the media from time to time, and has also gained wide acceptance from CEOs and Managing Directors of smaller companies wanting to increase their media profile. It covers dealing with the media and with stakeholders generally.
Talking is not necessarily communicating.  For example, Councils do many good things but too often they fail to communicate their work and results to their key audience – their ratepayers.
In some circumstances spokespersons such as Councillors may be unprepared, get ambushed by the media and a negative story results.  Dealings can then get aggressive, and the end result is that communications are not managed effectively.
Our training course can help you understand how to use the media as a valuable communications tool.  We help you overcome any fear or frustration, so you can become a leader in communications. 
We talk about the keys to effective communications, along with:

 Things you need to know before you open your mouth to a reporter

  • Why the facts don’t matter to the media
  • Why you get taken out of context  
  • How to control questions and answers
  • How to tell an honest and compelling story when you talk with the media.

 We’re not talking about spin – we’re talking about delivering your message to your target audience.  Ask us about a communications training course that is tailored to your needs and your budget.


Getting results from your internal communications

If you’re reviewing your internal communications results and seeing……nothing but silence….you have to question whether people see, hear or read what you’re putting out!
Internal communication is now seen as a critical function, and senior management is paying attention to it. They are no longer satisfied knowing that internal communication is occurring; they want to know that it is delivering engagement and supporting change that can be measured.
To deliver these business returns, communicators are under pressure to position their role and function strategically, as well as establish the right policies, procedures and measurement strategies and demonstrate business alignment.
Generally, internal communications target employees and other internal audiences, eg. vendors and contractors may be included.  The aim is to ensure that employees understand the company and its initiatives and get the information they need for success.
Effective internal communication can have substantial business benefits and can create sound returns on investment including:

  • An increase in discretionary effort by staff
  • Increased retention of employees (and consequently skills and intellectual property)
  • Increased innovation
  • Improved stakeholder engagement.
  • Organisations will also realise an increase in brand equity and brand value when staff demonstrate behaviours that are aligned with the external brand positioning. This is because consistent brand interpretation and alignment with external functions can substantially enhance overall engagement.
  • If your internal communications are not delivering results, the key steps to fixing the problem are:
  • Conduct a comprehensive internal communications audit.
  • Implement the audit recommendations in developing an internal communications strategy that speaks directly to the business objectives of the organisation.
  • Ensure that leadership is equipped with the right material and skills to communicate with their employees.

Work to make your communications “sticky”.  People read ”sticky” information because they want to, not because they have to – and they keep going back to see what’s new, as with Facebook.  People actively check Facebook and digest the information it provides. The elements that make communications “sticky” can be incorporated in your new internal communications tactics.

Good luck! And if you need help creating that internal communications strategy, you can always call us.