Strategic Communications

Most of my work in the last thirty years has been strategic communications with a wide array of government institutions, advocacy organizations, and community leaders.  Strategic communications are so instrumental to any change effort that they involve every aspect of program design.

Lately, work has centered on problem-solving, disinformation, and structuring communications. Training or mentoring is often spent with communications staff focusing on what will have the most impact and results with limited time, resources, and people. An additional focus is on introducing communications staff and leaders to the latest applications and identifying process steps to make their communications more effective.

Whenever possible, evidence-based research, best practices, academic studies, polling, social media metrics, SEO, and website analytics can be brought to inform decision-making.

Over the years, I have created 52 training modules in media relations, public presence, branding identity, social networks, and message development and testing.   Innovation continues and information environments change, so this list will only grow over time.

Communications Management

  • Evaluate communications structure or programs
  • Evaluate websites, and social media for metrics
  • Create a communications plan or strategy
  • Create a monitoring and evaluation plan for communications
  • Create a message calendar and events program
  • Create a communications team structure and job assignments

Communications Basics

  • Develop messages and message delivery discipline
  • Create a style or branding manual or guidance
  • Practical writing for public audiences
  • Internal communications
  • Inter-governmental dialogue or communications

Public Diplomacy

  • Public involvement /outreach
  • Getting key leader or organizational endorsements
  • Event design and planning
  • Presentation or speakers’ training

Process Issues

  • Internal communications within the government agency.
  • Open records policy and procedures for handling information requests.
  • Create a customer service policy and process for dealing with citizens or beneficiaries.
  • Beneficiary or citizen service policies and process steps.
  • Rapid response or crisis communications process.

Media Skills

  • Package and pitch story ideas/materials to the media.
  • Media releases, advisories, and statements.
  • Media briefings for complex topics.
  • Speech writing.
  • Spokesperson video training with interview techniques.
  • Scriptwriting for television and radio.
  • Monitoring the media and correcting mistakes

Social Media Skills

  • Website development and content writing for the web
  • E-newsletters for internal or external audiences
  • Social media campaigns, how-to, trends
  • Search optimization, keywords, headings
  • Website usability practices for government websites
  • Video on phones and iMovie editing for social media
  • Simple graphic design for social media (often Canva)