Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Executing Projects/Communication Management/Communication Planning/Prioritize the Communication Options

Some communication activities provide more value than others. In the previous exercise, you brainstormed lists of communication options. Now you need to prioritize the items to determine which provide the most value for the least cost. If a communication activity take a lot of time and provides little or marginal communication value, it should be discarded. If a communication option takes little effort and provides a lot of value, it should be included in the final Communication Plan. Of course, if a communication activity is mandatory, it should be included no matter what the cost. If a mandatory activity is time-consuming, you may be able to negotiate with the stakeholders to find a less intensive alternative.

Determine the Effort Required
Determine how much effort is required for each of the communication ideas surfaced previously. Some of the activities might be relatively easy to perform. Others will require more effort. If the communication is ongoing, estimate the effort over a one-month period. For instance, a status reports might only take one hour to create, but might be needed twice a month. The total effort would be two hours.

Prepare for the unexpected
Consider setting up a project hotline that team members can call when instant communication is required, such as during local weather emergencies or critical project times.
Often during the life of your project you might deliver a message that requires immediate feedback. Yet the recipient might be unavailable. Ask stakeholders to name substitutes who you can contact during vacations, off-site meetings, project/programme purpose trips, or unplanned absences.

Be flexible
As the project moves forward, your communication requirements might change. For example, you may find that some stakeholders need more (or less) information or that some meetings can take place less frequently. Keep your plan flexible enough that you can make changes as required.
You'll also need to prepare for unplanned communications that may arise during a project emergency. Plan the best approach to such messages. For example, sometimes an urgent e-mail message to a busy executive might go unread for several days, so a phone call or meeting might be more effective.

Keep the quality bar high
Maintain a consistent level of quality when communicating with sponsors, steering committee members, and other stakeholders. Every project team has people with different levels of written and oral communication skills. As project manager, you need to review and approve all status reports, presentations, and other formal communications before they are delivered.

Share the load
Project communications can provide the chance for staff at all levels to improve their skills. Challenge team members by having them draft some of your presentations, memos, or status reports.
This lightens your load, helps them to improve their skills, and gives them visibility to senior staff. It's also a great way to build people's confidence and enhance team morale.

Monitor public communications
Occasionally you might enlist third parties, such as public relations organizations or other media organizations, to help with external messages.
Including these third parties during project review meetings can help avoid sending inaccurate messages to the public. Have someone internal to the project review and approve all public communications. This minimizes the number of errors — or worse, the need for a correction.

Bring it all together
Clear and accurate communications are a vital part of any successful project. As a project manager, you spend a lot of effort creating and delivering messages to people at all levels of your organization.
Planning ahead can keep you organized so that tools for communication are ready when you need them.
Choosing the right method to get each message across gives all of your words more impact.
Reviewing all important communications can prevent misunderstandings and mishaps.
Delegating a share of the project communications improves the skills and confidence of team members.
These practices lay the groundwork for an effective, informed project team and for satisfied beneficiaries.

Case Study

Stefano De Santis speaks whit Paolo Sulpasso about the Documentaries.  How to plane the work ?

Continue from Building the awareness, page 1

Case Study

Andrea Alfieri, blogger and expert of Communication through Media Social Network, thinks that Media Social Networks can be very useful in order to build the awareness. But using them in the right way!

"Any communication strategy - he says - must be planned according to the chosen channel. Social Network can help touching the emotional sphere of your audience but the approach must be necessarily “narrative”. Stories are powerful means, used in the Bible as much as in The Prince of Nicolò Machiavelli, because they are easy, familiar, immediate and merged with experience and emotions of their characters. Find the right story, tell it right and then use Social Media".

Read more in his interesting interview 

Full written interview:

Other Resources

Wilma Massucco, Freelance journalist, member of Armadilla  (Italy), suggests to create the "Eugad journal/magazine website", and the reasons why this initiative might be useful to develop awareness and promote interactions among people and efficacy of the Action as well, and for that she suggests to analyze the positive and negative aspects related to make a blog a journal/magazine web site.

Read here (italian language) ⇒ blog discussing about the positive and negative aspects related to make a blog a journal/magazine web site

Read here (italian language) - blog discussing about the positive and negative aspects related to make a blog a journal/magazine web site ⇒ pro e contro di un blog depositato come testata giornalistica

Case Study

Wilma Massucco, Freelance journalist, member of Armadilla coop  (Italy) gives some suggestions about the way how to improve the visibility of Eugad web site in S.E.O.(Search Engine Optimization), as she believes that improving the visibility on line of a web site like Eugad, dealing with Cooperation for Development issues, is an essential key point to help spreading "awareness"; she also suggests to analyze the tools available on the web, useful for that purpose.

⇒  Read more her ideas here and download (italian language) ⇒

I am convinced that one of the key issues for generating awareness to the challenges of the millennium is to give high visibility to initiatives, such as Eugad, aimed precisely at promoting awareness.
Therefore, with a view to giving greater online visibility to the Eugad site and better content in the description of the related articles that appear through Google searches (or rather, that strip of text under tracked by the search engine), I suggest adopting the following measures:

  • adopting an appropriate plug-in that allows you to associate a certain description (which we as the authors have identified as a two-line synthetic description of a certain page) which is what I want is visible as a strip of text under the links found by Google (instead of generic first lines of text, as is currently)
  • adopting an appropriate plug-in that allows to decouple the title of a POST (eg interview to Andrea Alfieri) and the TITLE (where you can write, for example, Interview to Andrea Alfieri by Wilma Massucco).
  •  take appropriate measures that allow the inserting of specific keywords (chosen by the authors) within the text of the page, but that do not appear in the title of the page

Tags (or rather, the generic inclusion of keywords) give Google's search engine additional information when accessing a certain site and for tracing links through keyword searches, but their influence on online visibility is significantly lower than that found taking the steps above.

Read here (italian language) - how to improve the visibility of Eugad web site in S.E.O. ⇒ Visibilità on line del sito Eugad

Other Resources

Wilma Massucco, Freelance journalist, member of Armadilla coop  (Italy) suggests to improve the visibility of Eugad web site in S.E.O.(Search Engine Optimization), by analyzing the tools useful for that purpose.

⇒  Read more her ideas here
and in this blog discussing about rules to improve visibility in S.E.O. (italian language) ⇒ Guida al posizionamento nei motori di ricerca

Blog discussing about rules to improve visibility in S.E.O. (italian language) ⇒ Guida al posizionamento nei motori di ricerca


Case Study

Following the results of the recent political elections in Italy (March 2010), Marco Artusi, professor of Web marketing at University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) and CEO of LEN Strategy srl, makes a very interesting analysis of the influence that a communication made through only the Web and the Social Media can have on the results of political campaigns. On his opinion, Internet is nowadays not only a tool of communication, but also a tool to strongly activate and organize any supporters’ campaign. See for the case the result got in these last election by the so-called “Movimento a 5 stelle”, an Italian political movement - lead by the comic Beppe Grillo - which used only the power of web to make political communication, i.e. no support by TV or Magazines or Newspapers. Reaching, in spite of not using the mainstream channels of communication, a significant result of votes on a national level. Which means a new way of making communication, building the awareness, and making political campaign in details, is growing up, built only by people for common people.

Read more his ideas here  ⇒ Interview to Marco Artusi, details in italian language

Read here the full written interview (details in italian language) ⇒

Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Executing Projects/Communication Management/Communication Planning/Development Cooperation Handbook/Communication Planning/Communication and Knowledge Management/Prioritize the Communication Options