This past week I was in Ottawa, taking part in a Federated Press conference on internal communications. (I was inside mostly so I missed the political fireworks on the Hill.)
My talk featured a case study about a company that used a major transition as an opportunity to engage employees in a way it hadn’t done before. And a number of the key points I discussed were also highlighted by other presenters, including:
- Transparency – you’ve got to be upfront about both good and bad news
- Credibility – if you’re not honest or, even if you’re perceived as not being honest, you’ll never earn anyone’s trust
- Two-way communications – can build solid relationships between management and employees
- Consistency – in your behaviour
- Long-term commitment – none of this happens with one message blast; communicate early and often
These are similar to the strategies we use online. But more than that, I think they’re fundamental to any effective (and ethical) communications program – regardless of the medium.