Good communications will help you make sure your engagement work is seen, heard and understood.
Involvementoffers you advice and guidance on the key disciplines and where they fit.
View our 'Involvement Insights' guides to 'Social media platforms', 'Which social media channels to use', and 'How to use social media to engage and inform'
WHY do I need to use communications?
- Design – Visual impact is key to engagement. Good design will help you grab and retain the attention of your audience, and can simplify complex data, telling a story with strong imagery and only a few words.
- Digital – Building digital solutions around your users will help you drive better engagement. Good websites, video production and other forms of digital communications encourage greater interaction with your work.
- Internal communications – Staff are an organisation’s greatest asset – they can also be your greatest advocates and have the power to make or break reputations, so keeping them informed of developments and involved in what engagement work you are doing is vital.
- Public relations – PR looks after reputation and involves keeping stakeholders informed – it will help you make sure you are managing the stakeholder relationships central to your engagement work.
- Social media – Conversation is the lifeblood of social media and platforms offer huge opportunity to reach, engage and talk to stakeholders.
HOW do I use communications?
- Design – A designer will help you determine whether branding is necessary, and will build design into your various communications to give it more impact.
- Digital – Website development, e-newsletters and video production are just some of a toolbox of digital communications methods you can use.
- Internal communications – Many organisations use an intranet, newsletters and briefings to keep staff engaged, but there are a variety of ways, online and face-to-face, to keep people informed of what you are doing.
- Public relations – PR experts manage communication with all media and with MPs and councillor, preparing an organisation’s spokespeople for public-facing interviews and speaking opportunities.
- Social media – You should consider what platforms you will use in engagement activities - all have different uses and audiences.
WHEN do I need to use communications?
- Design – Good design can be built into most processes not only to attract, but to explain concepts simply.
- Digital – Weaving digital solutions into the fabric of your work from the outset will mean you reach a broader cross-section of people and can build your project around users, increasing engagement.
- Internal communications – Build staff into your engagement plans, keeping them informed of progress and outcomes through communication channels at your organisation.
- Public relations – PR can help you in stakeholder mapping, risk management and planning work involving the media.
- Social media – Define how you will use social media to communicate, treating each platform differently. Include social media in risk management planning.
WHO do I engage with through communications?
- Design – Your stakeholder list should help you understand who to tailor visual materials for.
- Digital – Using your stakeholder list will offer insight into who is likely to visit your material, but all content should be interesting, engaging and written in plain English format, so it is usable by anyone.
- Internal communications – Staff are key to consider in internal communications, but it’s also important to look at partner organisations and other groups involved in your engagement work.
- Public relations – PR considers all stakeholders defined under your project, such as the general public, politicians, media, and other organisations involved in or affected by your work.
- Social media – Undertake an in-depth assessment of the different stakeholders on your list and how they use social media.