Every organization struggles with communications. Why? Too often, they’re left to chance; they’re not well thought through. Major, recurring communications need to be planned, structured and managed. The Communications Matrix is a tool to help you do this.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Before implementing any strategic initiative, meet with the implementation team to complete the Communications Matrix. First, identify which key stakeholder-groups need to be communicated with – managers, employees, departments, etc.
2. Work through the matrix row-by-row, and determine the objective of communicating with each stakeholder-group, the content of the communications, the most effective medium for communicating, how long it should take, how often it should occur and, finally, who is responsible. Then review the entire matrix to ensure that communications with all key stakeholder-groups are covered.
Two things you should watch out for: 1) relying too much on 1-way communications instead of interactive communications, and 2) relying too much on text-based communications instead of using other media like video and images.
3. Each person responsible for a communications line-item needs to take ownership for that item.
4. During every update meeting (for the strategic initiative) review the Communications Matrix, verify execution, and discuss the effectiveness of the communications. Make adjustments as needed.