When people think about an organization's communications, they usually either think "PR" or "internal communications."
And yes, they are two essential elements of a full-scale comms shop, but there is a lot more to creating and managing an agile and successful department.
Communications impacts all aspects of a business. A good comms shop is a value add to your organization. They help put out fires, navigate complicated issues, generate ROI, and serve as a trusted advisor. If your comms shop is not fulfilling the above, there is room for improvement.
Communications is more than just PR
The 5 Dimensions of Communications is my way of organizing and managing the different dimensions (or boroughs, he says tongue in cheek.)
While PR and internal comms may be the rock stars of communications, they are only as impactful as the team and processes behind them.
Below I go into a bit more detail on what makes up the various dimensions. When first entering an organization, these areas are top of mind, and I have a range of audits that I use to help analyze the strengths and weaknesses.
1. Team & Development
Your team is at the heart of any effective internal or external comms planning and execution. If you’re a founder just starting and beginning to grow your team; or the team leader yourself, an agile and well-managed team will be your primary asset and should be supported and developed.
The primary areas I focus on include:
Team & Individual Traits
Six Key Traits to a Great Employee Experience
Building a Team
Comms Office Mission
2. System & Tools
The systems and tools used to manage a comms shop's function are almost as important as developing a well-rounded team. Some of these tools may seem self-evident and may already be found in the organization, but they become invaluable tools for effective communication.
Project Management Tools
PR Distribution & Analysis
Social Media Management
Content Management Systems
3. Internal Policies & Procedures
Internal Processes goes hand in hand with Systems & Tools but is less about the SaaS used in a comms shop and more about the policies governing communications within an organization and workflow management.
Media Response Policy
Social Media Policy
Comms Office FAQ
Key Staff Engagement
Internal Procedures - Fielding Inquiries
KPIs & OKRs
4. Internal Communications
Internal comms is the cornerstone of your organization. You need to have the right mix of internal communication tools and processes to connect and engage your employees.
Internal Comms Audit & Tools
Crisis Comms Planning
5. External Communications
This dimension covers the more well-known area of communications, including external engagement, media relations, social media, brand...
You get the idea.
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