As part of our planning processes we encourage clients to invest some energy into attending to communication throughout the process. Doing so helps ensure that staff, clients and funders are aware of the importance placed on planning, how the process will unfold, and opportunities to participate. We find this helps generate interest in and commitment to the final plan.
Durham Children’s Aid Society recognized the importance of communications and used technology creatively to keep staff up to date and engaged throughout the process. As strategic priorities were being developed, it became clear that innovation would be a priority and that part of this involved greater and different use of technology. Durham’s Executive Director, Wanda Secord, with support from her communications manager, anchored a brief newscast (think CBC’s ‘The Journal’), to thank staff for their contributions, update them on progress in the plan and introduce Durham’s preliminary strategic priorities. It was a great way to reach all staff in a way that was fresh, informative and entertaining (bloopers were included).
Wanda could have circulated the information in an email, or presented to staff at different team meetings. But communicating via video sent a clear message about the organization’s commitment to innovation and doing differently. Staff got the message… provided feedback and encouraged more of the same. Wanda followed up with a second newscast after the plan had been approved by the board.
Ruth and Sandi
QUESTIONS FOR LEADERS:
- How could you use new and low cost technologies to share your plan and/or keep it alive throughout the year?
- How effectively are your organization’s and the Board’s communications aligned with your audience’s preferences?