Define communication strategy

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After having clearly identified the stakeholders and their communication needs, it is necessary to determine the message(s) to communicate to them, the frequency at which they will be informed and the format in which the message will be communicated to them.

There are a variety of communication methods and technologies to deliver project information, like:

Brief conversations
Written documents
E mails
Immediately accessible databases
Telephone calls.
Site visit

Since the effectiveness of communicated information is as important as the information itself, it is crucial to determine which method is most effective for each stakeholder. You can do this by assessing the advantages and disadvantages of each method, the percentage of the stakeholders that can be reached through each method, and the ability to obtain feedback through each method.

For example:

Meeting communications include project team meetings and focus groups. Meeting is a two-way communication format, because it provides the ability to provide information and to obtain feedback. It is best suited for specific targeted messages, such as project progress or critical issues.

The main advantage of meetings is the ability to reach a large number of stakeholders with focused and targeted messages. The main disadvantages of meetings are that they can be time-consuming, travel might be required, and they can sometimes be difficult to schedule for maximum attendance.

Electronic communications include e-mail, online portals, and digital dashboards. Electronic communication can be a two-way communication format. It is best suited for broad content, non-controversial announcements, instructions, and updates to a focused group of stakeholders. The main advantage is that it is an inexpensive and a quick communication method. The main disadvantage is that some people might not have access to such electronic means of communication.
Multimedia communications include presentations, demonstrations, and training sessions. The ability to obtain feedback is limited. It is best suited for specific, targeted messages, focused intervention, and critical issues. The main advantages are that it is a mass distribution method and that it has the ability to reach a large number of external stakeholders. The main disadvantage is that staff supporting this effort must be available.



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