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Communications and Engagement – getting everyone on board.

16 August 2023

Communications & Engagement

From dynamic strategies to campaign planning, any communication and engagement initiative should always be accessible. They should bring change to life, for everyone. Successful communications take the technical and strategic and create clear communications to prevent confusion, whilst addressing any resistance to change.
Attention grabbing communications should be tailored to the needs of people, which ensures the building of strong relationships, through positive engagement and networks at all levels of an organisation.
Here are some steps that you can take to make sure that your communications and engagement get everybody on board.
  1. Is your messaging clear? Your messaging should clearly articulate a compelling vision of what you’re trying to achieve. This should be concise and will outline the purpose, goals, and benefits of the change initiative. Using language that is relatable and easy to understand will help people see the positive outcomes. Avoid jargon or technical terms.
  2. Be open and transparent: Being open and transparent in communication will foster an environment of inclusion and understanding. Share information, updates, and progress regularly. Using multiple communication channels such as emails, intranets, forums, meetings and social media will not only keep everyone informed but can also reach a broader audience. Embrace inclusivity by involving a diverse range of individuals in the decision-making process.
  3. Tailored and targeted: Your communications should have a tailored approach for different audiences. Targeting your messaging will help to address specific concerns, interests, and motivations of different individuals or groups, and ensures that everyone feels valued and heard.
  4. Two-Way Communication: Encourage open dialogue and create opportunities for feedback, so that people can raise their concerns, ask questions, and offer suggestions. Town hall meetings, online forums and surveys help support input, acknowledge  feedback and help to demonstrate that opinions matter.
  5. Storytelling: Storytelling brings your communications to life and can help people relate to the initiative on an emotional level. A compelling narrative with personal stories, anecdotes, and case studies can demonstrate the positive impact of the change, whilst infographics, videos and presentations will convey complex information in a more accessible and engaging manner.
  6. Address Resistance: There will always be resistance, concerns or scepticism to any change, and these should be acknowledged and addressed. Take the time to understand these concerns, demonstrate empathy and communicate clear explanations, evidence or data to alleviate doubts.
  7. Celebrate achievements: Milestones and achievements should be recognised and rewarded along the way. Acknowledging the contributions of individuals or teams involved in the initiative can boost enthusiasm and momentum, whilst encouraging ongoing engagement.
  8. Adapt and evolve: Be open to adapting communication and engagement strategies based on changing circumstances and feedback. Continuously assessing the effectiveness of communications allows you to refine your methods over time.
Effective communications require time and patience. Understanding, and meeting, the needs of everyone involved builds trust, fosters dialogue, reduces resistance, and ultimately gets everybody on board to drive change.
By Karen Gibbard, Head of Communications and Engagement at CMC Partnership Consultancy Ltd

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