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Session Overview Why Communication Planning is Important? What is the Communications Feedback Loop? Who is your Audience? What are the Elements of a Communication.

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Presentation on theme: "Session Overview Why Communication Planning is Important? What is the Communications Feedback Loop? Who is your Audience? What are the Elements of a Communication."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Session Overview Why Communication Planning is Important? What is the Communications Feedback Loop? Who is your Audience? What are the Elements of a Communication Plan? What are Some Good Practices / Resources?

3 Why is Communication Planning Important? Regional Economic Development Boards (REDBs) have consistently identified communications as a significant challenge REDBs are generally presented with too few communication opportunities not to take full advantage to get their messages out.

4 Why Organizations Communicate? Meet funding requirements Meet legislative requirements Conduct Due-diligence (by-laws) Change behavior/attitudes Build community support Raise awareness Exchange information

5 What is the Communications Feedback Loop? Language is essentially individual (no two people speak exactly the same way) The way I understand a word and its meaning is not necessarily the same way in which you will understand it Language varies based on profession, organization, gender, age, ethnicity and many other factors.

6 What is the Communication Feedback Loop? Communicating the same message in different ways increases the likelihood of it being understood. Examine the loop to see if anything is impeding good communication such as: –Confusing Acronyms / words people don’t understand –Highly emotional state –Inappropriate medium for the situation / audience –Excessive “Noise” –Limited access to decision-makers

7 R /Sender Receiver / S Medium Message Encode Decode Feedback Encode Decode Communication Feedback Loop

8 Who is your Audience? Identify the target audiences for REDB communications Describe these groups and note (1) the types of information they would expect to receive (2) how they would prefer to receive it Consider both external and internal audiences

9 Who is your Audience? External audiences often include: –Businesses –Local municipalities –Regional development associations (RDAs) –Chambers of commerce –Community business development corporations –Sector and industry associations –Labour organizations –Post-secondary institutions –Federal/provincial departments and agencies

10 Who is your Audience? Internal audiences include: –Staff –Board directors –Volunteers Other audiences might include: –NLREDA –Other REDBs

11 AudienceDetailsPoint of ViewDesired Results Area Business Large Employers (List specific businesses) *Understand REDB Role *See as link to Government *Input into REDB planning process *Participate in events *Service on committees *Event sponsorship *Partner on key initiatives *Drive opportunities coming out of O.M. process Small employers (List types of business) *Opinions of REDBs vary *Feel to busy to engage with REDB *Input into REDB planning process *Participation in events *Drive opportunities coming out of O.M. process (part of business networks or coops) *Response to REDB surveys

12 What are the elements of a communication plan? 1.Communication Principles Facts do not speak for themselves. We select information, language used and when to communicate our messages. Communication principles should reflect the values of the REDB.

13 1.Communication Principles For example: Communicate to support the REDB’s IBP & SEP To protect and promote the REDB image To never knowingly communicate false information Respect privacy and confidentiality Disclose information in the public interest

14 2.Key Challenges & Opportunities Outline two to ensure focus. For example: Challenges Funders like to see more initiatives in the zone REDB focus on planning vs. implementation impacting community levels of support Opportunities REDB could form partnerships with Regional Council to gain direct access to senior officials New ICSP could provide an opportunity to renew partnerships with municipalities

15 3.Key Communication Messages There are key messages that REDBs must communicate to be effective. A sample primary message might be: –The Board is the lead economic development agency in the Zone and coordinates partnerships with local municipalities, chambers of commerce, and development organizations.

16 4.Secondary Messages Indicate other messages to be delivered through REDB communications activities. Secondary messages might include the promotion of events or informing the public of board elections. For example: –The REDB is hosting a renewable resources conference on November 27 th at Bob’s Hotel in Badger Cove. The public is encouraged to participate.

17 5.Communication Goals Long-term, desired outcomes that provide focus. For example: –To protect and enhance the image of the REDB –To raise REDB profile within the region –To build credibility and trust within key stakeholder groups including municipalities, businesses, and government partners

18 6.Communication Objectives Outcomes supporting goals expressed as qualitative or quantitative statements that are specific and measurable. For example: –Promote REDB successes using news releases and newsletter. REDB will also document its most successful initiatives for inclusion in NLREDA’s “Top Twenty REDB Success Stories” –Collaborate with NLREDA and REDBs in joint communication activities wherever possible including the issue of joint news releases and the production of special joint newsletters

19 6.Communication Objectives (continued) For example: Adopt the provincial REDB logo and include in all reports, letterhead, and promotional materials Raise awareness of the REDB role among regional residents using open-line shows and a direct mail flyer Ensure information disseminated to REDB partners is accurate, timely and responsive Establish clear communication priorities for the Board, resulting in targeted use of limited resources Raise awareness in the local community of the Board’s economic development activities Increase public meeting participation by 20%

20 7.Communication Activities Select activities based on target audience expectations and communications objectives. Consider key messages and analyze the situation. Activities include: –News releases/news conferences –Photo opportunities/signing ceremonies –Editorial Boards/media briefings/interviews –Letters/memos to targeted publics –Bulletin Boards/internet sites –Public consultations /forums

21 7.Communication Activities (continued) –Stakeholder meetings/letters to the editor –Newsletter articles –Speeches/Presentations to stakeholders –Print materials (brochures, posters, business cards) –Special events –Advertising –Call-in shows

22 It may be helpful to list communication activities and the budget on a Gantt Chart.

23 7.Monitoring and Evaluation You should explain how the REDB will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of its communications. This could include: Tracking website hits Surveys Media monitoring

24 7.Monitoring and Evaluation This section should specify what information will be gathered and how. For example: –ED reports on communications at board meeting –Communications objectives during the year (met /unmet) will be included in the annual report –REDB staff will track website hits monthly –Questionnaires circulated at events

25 Good Practices Discussion 1.What communication processes and activities has your REDB found effective? 2.What should others avoid? 3.How do we leverage our “Success Stories” for maximum benefit?

26 The End Thank You!

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