Let’s face it, all requests from our business partners are not created equal. That unnecessary press release or latest CSR campaign poster are unlikely to be the motivating factors for getting us out of bed in the morning. No, we communicators know that there is so much more value that we can offer the business and are doing our best to demonstrate it.
I’d like to give our function some credit for being more business savvy these days (though admittedly we still have a long way to go). When a business partner approaches us with a request for our services, we are likely to give some thought to the business value that we can bring to the table. We will probably ask our partners (or at least ourselves) questions like: Is there potential for significant business upside? Is this initiative on the executive team’s agenda? These types of considerations help us determine whether or not it makes sense to put in the time and effort to work on the project.
So, are these good things to consider? Definitely! Should we stop here? Definitely not!
CEC’s latest research shows that at the heart of nearly every business goal is a stakeholder behavior—a physical action, not just a perception—that the organization wants to change. Some examples include employees enrolling in their benefits plan, customers purchasing our product, legislators voting favorably on a law. What I’m referring to is not just trying to get stakeholders to think or feel something, but actually do something. Additionally, CEC has learned is that the reason for stakeholders not doing something is often a communication breakdown, like mixed signals, incomplete information, or not seeing their peers or leaders modeling the behavior.
This is great news for communicators. After all, there is nobody in the company who is better positioned to help fix these communication breakdowns than us. But how do you know whether or not that request from your business partner is a great opportunity for Communications to shine or just another “unnecessary” task?
To help you sift through those requests and spot the true gems, CEC has a newly released resource, the Project Evaluation Scorecard, to help you with the assessment. This scorecard differs from many others because not only does it help you think about the business value associated with the request, but it also helps you think about whether there is a communication breakdown that Comms can help fix. CEC members can check out the lasts resource by clicking here.