Monthly Archives: January 2010

Communications plans: Where to start when starting from scratch?

I’ve landed my first job here in the UK (hooray!) and in a few short days have come to learn quite a bit about the organisation, how it functions, and the extremely impressive range of skills and talents of its employees. Two of the main purposes of this contract is to devise a communications strategy and a new Web site for the organisation, which is a newly-merged result of two similar, yet geographically separated firms.

My first few days were spent pawing through the materials and content already in existence, believing that it would be more of an organise-refresh-relaunch task. Upon further inspection, however, I learned that it’s much, much more than that. In fact, neither organisation seemed ever to have any semblance of full-time communications staff and resources at all. Yikes. I found information on the two Web sites dating back half a decade and more, with typos peppered throughout, and a general lack of focus in messages and materials.

Hmm…It was time to drop back and punt.

I interviewed staff members to find out their thoughts and what they viewed as the purpose and mission of the organisation. Responses were somewhat varied, though (thankfully, at least!) not absolute polar opposites. It seems to me that this is where we’d need to start. After all, whilst I can develop a strategy and plan for the next year, three years, five years, whatever, I need to base any writing done now on such foundational information of the goals and future vision of the organisation–even if it is to evolve in the near future, as I’m sure it will.

It’s an exciting time, as I feel I can truly make a difference in molding the future of this organisation. However, it’s a bit daunting to think that the starting point is so…well…nebulous and unfocused. When any task is this open with so many moving parts, one begins to wonder where one ought to start. Nonetheless, from goals and objectives to tools and resources to the timeline required to complete it all, I’m absolutely up for the challenge. Heck, maybe I’ll be able to prove myself as one with good ideas on this side of the pond and show them some of the newer channels and methods that are currently developing! (winks)