CommsTools is an easy-to-use directory, and is an ideal starting point for anybody looking for ideas on how best to communicate to a wider group. It alphabetically lists a wide range of print, digital and face-to-face tactics, with suggestions for when to use each type. The tactics have been divided into three different communication channels, these three channels are Electronic, Face to Face and Print. All tactics will continue to be updated, so the latest information will always be on hand.

Electronic

The Electronic channel comprises tactics that use some form of electronic technology e.g. the SMS tactic uses mobile-phone technology.

 

Face-To-Face

The Face-to-face channel comprises tactics that involve direct, inter-personal interaction where nuances of the speaker’s body language and manner are visible.

 

Print

The print channel comprises tactics where print is applied to a material such as paper, plastic, fabric, cardboard, wood, metal, etc. Creating a tangible item.

 

Communication goals vs. outputs

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu

Many leaders are time-poor. Yet they unnecessarily waste scarce time and resources when they respond to an identified communication need with the first tactic that comes to mind, whether or not it’s the right one for the job.

Time is wasted because communicating via the selected tactic can consume hours of the leader’s and their employees’ time. But what organisational benefits did the communication deliver? That’s left to serendipity. When there is no strategic plan to inform identification of the right tactics it signals, as Sun Tzu says above, the ‘noise before defeat’.

By setting your communication goal, you establish up front the communication purpose. In responding to the identified need, what shifts in employees’ knowledge, beliefs or actions does the leader want the communication to accomplish in order  to move the organisation closer to achieving its objectives? This process of taking a purposeful approach to communications helps inform selection of the right tactics for the job.

These tactics enable you to achieve shifts in organisational performance only when they are deployed as part of a purposeful, planned strategic approach.

Helpful Tip

Communication requires investment in the following:
– Your time and effort.
– Employees’ time.
– Resources.
– Money.

These variables can equate to many thousands of dollars. What return did the organisation get on that investment? Maximise that return by taking a performance-based, outcome-focused approach to your communications. Deploy these tactics in a purposeful and planned way so they do the heavy lifting for getting your organisation to where you want it to be.

Disclaimer

Before implementing any of these tactics or tips, evaluate their suitability in the context of your organisation’s prevailing strategic, operational and cultural dynamics. Those variables make an organisation unique.

They also make every communication challenge unique. This has a significant bearing on the selection of suitable tactics to address an organisation’s specific communication needs.

Measurement

Helpful Tip

An integrated approach affords many benefits. Here are three ways to take advantage of those benefits:
– Repeat key messages across multiple tactics in multiple ways to reach every targeted employee.
– Reinforce the purpose of the communication by staying ‘on message’ across all tactics for the duration.
– Refine the key messages in response to employees’ feedback to ensure optimum clarity and relevance of meaning.

Measurement is a key part of any communications campaign, you need to define what outcome you want to achieve, and measure that. Keep it simple by establishing objectives that define ‘who’, ‘what’, and ‘when’. For example, if a desired outcome is the smooth transition of a new executive leader, the measurable communication objective might be: “To achieve understanding (outcome) by 90 percent of employees (who) of the new executive leader’s organisational priorities (what) by August 2017 (when)”.

By making communication objectives measurable, evaluation of the effectiveness of your approach can be undertaken through post-implementation surveys and analysis.

For outcomes critical to execution of the organisation’s strategy, orchestrate an integrated communication mix to leverage the respective strengths of electronic, face-to-face and print channels.

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