Follow These Key Steps to Develop and Carry out Communications Campaigns with IMPACT
In today's competitive environment where we are doing everything we can to compete for talent, effective communication ensures we are showcasing our HR programmes in a way which will help us attract, retain and engage our key talent. Whether introducing new HR programmes or re-launching existing ones, communications help us deliver the key messages so that employees understand, appreciate and action them to meet our HR and business objectives. But how do we do this? How do we get our employees to take the time and make the effort to absorb and digest our communication messages so that there is a ‘shared meaning’, which is when they clearly understand what we are saying and what they need to do? In a world where we are all overwhelmed with messages, how do we make ours stand out and be clear enough so that it can be effective and make an impact on our employees and ultimately the business?
Let me answer this question with one word, IMPACT. Impact is a six-step communications model which I’ve developed by drawing on more than 30 years of working in reward roles and on communication projects. It was designed to help myself and others understand and action the key steps of effective and impactful communication campaigns. Here are the key points of the model, as explained in my book Effective HR Communication – A Framework for Communicating HR Programmes with Impact:
I = Investigation
Investigation is about taking the time to uncover and review all of the facts before developing your communications campaign strategy and plan. It is also about using these facts to develop not only your plan but your objectives. By creating objectives from the outset, you will ensure that you have clear and meaningful goals by which to develop and measure your communications.
M = Medium
Medium is about determining which medium(s) are appropriate in order to deliver the most effective communications campaign, whether that be print, live or digital. It is critical to select those which best fit your company’s objectives, culture, demographics and timelines, getting the right mix for your organisation.
P = Planning
Planning is about creating a comprehensive, coordinated and collaborative approach to planning and running your communications campaign. Being clear about what needs to be done by whom and by when, thus ensuring that all timelines and objectives are met.
A = Allies
Allies is about bringing together and working with the right colleagues so that your campaign is run smoothly and effectively. It’s about understanding who are the ‘right’ allies to best deliver on your objectives, and working with them in an effective and efficient manner.
C = Content
Content is about creating messages and graphics which ‘stick’, meaning they will encourage your employees to take the time to read, think and behave differently. The is done by creating content which is valuable, relevant and consistent, and it is also about understanding if or when you need to segment the content to appeal to a variety of audiences.
T = Testing
Testing is about collecting data which can demonstrate the effectiveness of your communications campaign, and thus the ROI (return on investment) to your business. It is also about using the data throughout the campaign to adjust or update to drive effectiveness.
Keep these key steps in mind when you develop and carry out your communications campaign. By doing this you will be able to overcome the challenges and barriers you face when communicating to your employees, and deliver communications which will have both impact and effect. Go on, you can do it!
About the author: Debra Corey is an experienced HR professional, with over 30 years of experience as a rewards practitioner. She is currently the group reward director at Reward Gateway, having held similar roles at global organizations such as PageGroup, Merlin Entertainments, Quintiles, Honeywell and Gap. Debra has developed and led a variety of award-winning communication campaigns, and currently teaches a communications course through WorldatWork.
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