At The Word Lab, before we begin on an organisation’s communications strategy, we ask a lot of questions - and we don’t just ask them of the people who have contracted us to do the work. Where possible, we like to bring together people from all parts of an organisation to identify what’s working, what isn’t and to brainstorm ideas on how to better communicate.
Why take a whole team approach to generating ideas?
Throughout my career working with large organisations, I’ve been in many a meeting full of managers planning how to better communicate with and market to potential and current clients, staff and other stakeholders.
The problem with this? Often in these large teams, the managers have little real contact with the people the organisation serves and lack experience of how to connect on their level. In my experience, a trip downstairs to the contact centre team was usually the most productive way to generate new ideas on how to better communicate and market. These frontline staff were also the most effective people at pointing out problems in communications processes, to which they usually had a well thought-out solution.
If you don't ask - you don't get!
Seek advice from staff on the frontline
When beginning any new strategic initiative, make sure you ask for ideas from the staff who are connecting with the people you serve.
- How they would improve your communications and marketing approach?
- How do they explain what you do in an elevator pitch?
- What do the people they serve see as most valuable about your service?
- Where do they find that people most often find out about your service?
Each person will have different ideas due to their unique roles and experiences, and if you're looking to improve - this is exactly what you need!
Brainstorming together really gets results
We’ve held several communications and marketing workshops with community-focused teams in the past month. Last week, we enjoyed working with the team from the Community Wellbeing North Canterbury Trust who are looking to enhance their communications and marketing activities through a more planned and targeted approach.
The room was filled with not just managers, but social workers, youth workers, board members and more. The result was new ideas that would achieve the organisation’s communications and marketing goals and work well in practice.
One of the most inspiring activities for myself and the team was seeing them develop their elevator pitch - a quick statement that explained what they do, why it’s of value and how it benefits their community - in small groups. Each team had a different way of explaining their work, but the same key messages came through – evidence that they’re already working very well together to communicate and market themselves in their community.
All the ideas generated will go towards the organisation’s new communications and marketing strategy.
Sometimes more = more
Two heads are always better than one when it comes to creativity and problem solving – and when facilitated well, a whole room of heads brainstorming together is communications and marketing gold!
Need a hand to get your ideas flowing? Get in touch.