The best strategic plans in the world are not likely to be successful if they’re not effectively communicated to those who must implement them—the employees. Planning and execution get plenty of attention; communicating the strategy to the front-line troops often does not. Your communications strategy should be on equal footing with the business frameworks, fundamentals and strategies that have been implemented. Develop a big-picture communications strategic goal, then clearly define objectives. Communications objectives will change over time periods or functional areas, so managers must make appropriate adjustments. Identify critical tactics. More specifically, answer the question, “What do you want to get where?” This step can provide a good metric for feedback and evaluation of the program. Then incorporate the appropriate feedback loop. Recognize the limitations of various communications channels. For example, if your employees check email via a dialup connection, it’s not a good idea to send important communications via large, slide show presentations that take a long time to download and open. Match the channel to the desired level of interaction and feedback needs. Video conferencing may be appropriate for higher levels of strategic development, while a simple memo may suffice for issuing new company policy. Finally, recognize that multiple channels may be necessary.

Graziadio Business Review Vol 6 No 1