Assessing your communication options
does that leave us?
THERE IS NO DOUBT that we
could achieve better results and save a considerable amount of time and money if we always
used the right method to meet our particular communication objectives. Whether the
analysis presented here helps us make the right decisions is for you to decide. Depending
on your own experience and view of the world, you may consider it over-simplified or an
incidence of analysis paralysis. If you can improve upon it, I would welcome
Whatever the case, there is a
danger of making methods our starting point we have a satellite TV network,
what can we do with it? Clearly that is a case of a solution looking for a problem.
As always, we should start with the goal, the purpose of the communication, and ask
ourselves what method or combination of methods is most likely to achieve this goal?
Lets take some examples:
- The training department of a major airline had the problem of
how to communicate details of their 1000+ courses to their workforce. These details were
constantly changing along with user demands and paper methods just couldnt keep up.
They employed an intranet, which allows them to reach all their employees wherever they
are in the world and provide them with the latest information.
- Theres a danger of seeing technology as a panacea.
Having analysed its business requirements carefully, one of the UKs largest
financial institutions decided that traditional classroom techniques were the best
solution to develop telephone skills in their call centre operators. However, a CD-ROM was
employed alongside to provide a flexible means for instilling basic knowledge and
understanding, which trainees could use at their own pace and at any suitable time in the
- With a typically complex major communications exercise, a mix
of methods will usually be required. A major retailer utilised a wide array of techniques
as part of its change management programme for introducing its intranet: a number of
demonstration machines were made available in the staff restaurant; a special edition of
the staff newsletter was produced; a briefing document was issued to managers; a video was
produced to put across the vision for the intranet and to set the tone; all employees had
the chance to attend a demonstration and Q&A session; a programme to train new users
how to use the intranet was included on the intranet itself.
To help in analysing these situations and choosing the most
appropriate options, I have developed a decision-making tool in the form of both an Excel
spreadsheet and a series of web pages that can be installed on an intranet. I will be
happy to make these available to any readers who are interested in trying them out. Happy