Thursday, August 25, 2011

Managing Communications

In the dying days of my career at AAPT I had to briefly fight a battle to retain a single communications function that covered internal and external communications. I did so, which was the right thing for the company, and in the process sacrificed myself.

As my blog about NBN Co today noted, the internal communication about an organisation change was always going to result in an external story. At listed companies you get very much better at setting up a sequence of communications so that staff and external stakeholders are informed by you directly at the same time.

Further analysis of the NBN Co structure reveals that while there is now a "Chief Communications Officer" (there will be another blog post about nomenclature) there are still two OTHER communications functions. Reporting to Kevin Brown in his role as Head of Corporate Services, David Auld is the GM Training Strategy and Internal Communications. Meanwhile in Operations Mike Kaiser is still listed as acting in a "Community Relations" role.

By all means recognise that there are communication execution functions across the organisation. But don't fragment them.

You cannot tell vendors, suppliers and government (external stakeholders) one thing, communities another and staff a third. There is only one truth to be communicated and it needs to be communicated in a way that addresses all these audiences.

Note: I am of course only reacting to what I can glean. Presumably the new Chief Communications Officer will have his own views and possibly seek some realignment.

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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