Great change communications are the cornerstone of a strong and successful change implementation. But we’re usually confronted with someone who has the idea to “put a few posters up” and call it a day. We know this won’t be a successful, so let’s start getting into why. Change communication needs to focus on purpose first, and modality second. So first of all, you need to know why you’re communicating and secondly what, before we even get into how. Change implementation is long, and we have so many points along the way. It can get confusing and overwhelming especially when we have sponsors and others involved.
To help clarify this, I like to think of communications in two main categories:
Advertising communications happen throughout the change, but the content of the communication changes depending on where you are in the change journey. Tactical communications escalate before, during and after implementation and tend to have a shorter, but purpose-driven run in your change strategy.
The purpose of Advertising communications include:
Tactical communications answer the questions, where, what, who, when and how. Tactical communications include (as examples):
I find that poor change communication focuses too heavily on one of the categories, where great change communication focuses on both! Change leaders can also be hesitant to communicate early and often because they think they need to have all the answers to the questions in the tactics section. But we can help bridge this gap by talking about the categories. It makes their role clearer, and easier to understand.
In next week’s article we will get into some of the more tactical aspects of change communications including what types of communication modalities you need to use in today’s context.
A reminder for our readers, we’re sharing a free communications plan template with our subscribers in the November edition of our newsletter.
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Going forward we’re going to be sharing free templates for core change management deliverables every month with subscribers to our newsletter.
Change: The Conversation
Tune in for conversations about change management where we seek out business leaders and talk about their experience managing and navigating change. Hear stories about change from the people who have experienced it, led it and created amazing results. Watch all videos in the series here