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How to Identify internal and external information needs.In order to make the communication effective the following measures need to be taken:• Gathering demographic and socio-economic information about the community.• Age/gender profile• Social grade/income levels• Religion/ethnicity• Housing types – proportion of each and distribution• Rural/urban split• Life stages of residents (students, young and single, new families, mature families,elderly)• Levels of car ownership/use of public transport• Levels/areas of deprivation• Barriers, benefits and SWOT analysis• Barriers and Benefits analysis – used to understand the barriers that prevent individuals from engaging in the desired activity, as well as what would motivate them to act.• SWOT analysis – used to look more closely at the current situation.• Identify potential sources of funding and support : It is useful to identify potential sources of support.• Setting aims, objectives and evaluation framework: All communications must have aims and objectives so it is clear what one is trying to achieve. • Identifying and segmenting target audiences: Understanding and identifying my target audience is important for communications as they will guide the development of messages, it’s a strategy as well as which communication methods and activities to use and where to deploy them.• Internal and external groups : Stakeholders are important for effective communication, timely identification of all the Internal and External stakeholders would ensure effective communication.• Culturally diverse communities and how to engage : It’s imperative to engage all cultural groups within the community to ensure communication effectiveness.• Developing campaign messages: Words used, Images portrayed and tone used are of utmost importance.2. Identify Competing or Conflicting InterestsPrimarily they are:?• Specific conflicts• Community Services Act & Disability Services Act A conflict of interest may occur when a person allows a personal interest to clash with a public duty. Acting in conflict of interest is to act unethically and sometimes unlawfully. In a general way, acting in conflict of interest calls into question the trust and confidence that the public needs to put in service providers, particularly those who suggest they are independent, unbiased and non-partisan. • Specific conflicts might include:• misuse of confidential client information.• non-declaration of relevant personal interests.• unsanctioned acceptance of gifts and/or monetary payments.• misuse of business property. • A checklist of things to do to help ensure against conflicts of interest would include:• identifying relevant codes, rules, and by-laws.• ensuring that workplace policies accord with relevant codes.• ensuring that your organization has a process to assess client conflicts.• identifying who is responsible for assessment and reporting.• identifying if there are professional supports or advisers available.• do you need to advise in writing.• how can you advise without breaching confidence. • Community Services Act & Disability Services Act • Both Community Services Act (and Regulations) and Disability Services Act (and Regulations) establish requirements about conflicts of interest:• The Disability Services Regulation requires organizations to keep and implement a conflict of interest policy (regulation 12)?The Community Services Regulation requires organizations to keep and implement a conflict of interest policy (regulation 16) 3. Develop a range of Communication strategies to meet organization needs and goalsCommunication strategy is the overall approach with the communication methods and activities in order to achieve the organizational goals. In order to change the behavior the two critical stages of communication needs to be understood.• Initiation – the communications need to get people to adopt the new behavior and start doing it. This is a critical stage – their perceived barriers must be recognized and properly addressed for them to change their behavior and it may take very little todiscourage them and for them to stop doing it • Persistence – once people have changed their behavior, their new habit needs reinforcing with further messages and communications delivered over time to keep them motivated. • Developing communications strategy: One should develop communications strategy using aims and objectives as a guide together with the information from background research, knowledge of target audiences, timescale and the likely budget, to decide which mix of communication methods and activities will be the most effective to reach the target audiences and deliver the desired result• The key stages in developing a communications strategy are: • Decide what you need to communicate: • Launch a new service, promote an existing one.• Decide who you want to communicate with: • Everyone in your LGA, specific audiences or a mixture of the two • Do you need one campaign for everyone or a number of interlinked ???campaigns targeting different audiences? • Decide on the mix of communication methods to use. Look at the attributes of the different methods and how they can help communicate: • Simple messages and/or detailed information to lots of people (broad-brush) • Simple messages and/or detailed information to specific audiences (tailored) • Review your initial list of communication methods: • Will they help me reach my aims and objectives? • Have i covered all my target audiences? • Can they be delivered in the required timescales? • Do i have enough budget to pay for them? • Do they support each other to increase their overall impact? • Advertising :Advertisements in printed publications (newspapers and magazines); in the outdoor environment (posters, bus backs, billboards, etc• Television :Television advertising is the most expensive of all the communication media and for most local authorities this alone will make its use prohibitive. • LGAs can choose to collaborate and pool their resources to run TV advertising  ?campaigns across whole regions. • Radio :Local radio advertisements can be a cost-effective way to build strong local awareness of my communications but, as with television, broadcasting areas extend far beyond the boundaries of any single local authority. One needs to check the audience profile of the local radio station.• Press advertising :Advertising in local or regional newspapers can be a good and ?cost-effective communication mechanism. • Media partnerships :Partly advertising and partly PR, media partnerships may be ?a useful and cost effective way of working with your local media (press and ?radio) to develop a range of activities.• Cinema advertising :There are two types of cinema adverts: single static slides or ?TV style advertising ‘shorts’. Cinema adverts are a relatively expensive medium ?(especially for TV style adverts) targeting a relatively small number of people ?mainly in the younger age range (under 30). • Outdoor advertising :This includes static outdoor posters and mobile advertising ?on vehicles. Posters & Billboards can be quite effective at getting short, simple ?messages across to people. • Social Media: One of the effective ways of communication as it uses word of ?mouth publicity to gain affiliation and communities can use it to shorten the ?Adoption Process. 4. Develop processes and protocols in line with communication Strategies.Improving and Developing communication Processes and Protocols requires careful thought, creativity and detailed planning. As well, monitoring and evaluation must be built into the plan. As the communication plan should be integrated within the organization’s overall structure and strategic plan. Implementation of protocols :• When implemented should the “Protocol” be seen as a regular part of the departments operational expectations, or should it be a ” pilot program”?• When and how should the “Protocol” be evaluated as to its usefulness, need for revision, etc.?• When implemented are there any organizational changes that need to be made or overcome?• How does the “Protocol” link to either the mediation or formal grievance processes?• Can or should the “Protocol” be a performance expectation for the staff ?• What do I, as an individual need to do differently if the “Protocol” is to be effective?• How are individuals new to the department to be oriented to the “Protocol”? Communication Protocol:• Deal directly with the person involved, unless it is a supervisory matter, in which case oneshould talk to the person’s supervisor. • Appreciate that different communication styles exist.• Be civil – no yelling and no profanity.• Stick to the issue at hand – no “kitchen sinks” or irrelevant issues should be brought up.• Be aware of the work environment; use a private office when the situation calls for it.• Be honest and trustworthy.• Be consistent, especially when delivering your message to more than one party.• Don’t undermine by griping behind other’s backs. If you are brought into this type of situation as a third party, support protocol by reminding the person to talk directly to the appropriate person.• Do your fact-finding, especially when representing the position of others in a critical manner.• Be willing to be identified if you have a concern or complaint; anonymous complaints will not be addressed.• During all aspects of communication, conflict management and decision making, separate the issue from the person. In other words, don’t personalize an issue when delivering or receiving.• When receiving a message, demonstrate verbal acknowledgment that you have received the message; avoid withdrawal, passivity or passive-aggressive behaviors.5. Present Information to staff regarding communication strategies • Solicit input from the appropriate parties at the appropriate time.•  Acknowledge opinions/input and express appreciation for ideas. • When decisions are announced, provide information as to why the decision was made, ?  ?including what the department/program/person’s needs are. • If an individual has questions, s/he is responsible for seeking answers from the ?supervisor or Program Coordinator.• Staff are expected to support the decision.6. Maintain Work related Networks and Relationships.?Networking can occur on a formal or informal basis. • Formal networks : Involving structured meetings or processes• Informal networks: These networks may be internal or external networks. They are the relationships you develop and build up over time with and colleagues. These networks carry lots of information in the form of facts, gossip and rumor about issues affecting your work—such as government policy initiatives, local developments or changes in services.• Skills to network effectively — problem solvingo Identify the problemo Collect Datao Assess the data for relevance or importanceo Identify and assess potential solutionso Identify additional information requiredo Sharing the information• Recognize the value of networks and other work relationships in providing benefits for the team and the organization: The workplace is a ‘social system’. It is a myriad of networks and relationships (system) between people (social). As in any other system, there are dependent and interdependent relationships. When people work effectively with each other they are more motivated in their roles and are more likely to work collaboratively with others. An off-shoot to the activity of collaboration is relationship building or networking.7. Obtain Feedback from others to assess communication outcomes. • Regardless of whether one needs to give positive or negative feedback, certain basic rules need to be considered when constructing and giving feedback.o Specifically describe the problem you have observedo Focus on the problem not the employeeo Indicate why it is a concern i.e. implications on the departmento Discuss the causes of the problem – find out the whole storyo Ask for the employee’s help in solving the problem. Identify and write possible solutionso Decide on specific action to be taken – by you and the employeeo Agree on a specific follow-up dateo Preparation? If you have the time, prepare what you want to say and the order in which you want to deliver the information. • Time and PlaceAn appropriate time to give the feedback should be selected. If you or the other person are stressed, in a hurry, upset or angry don’t give the feedback straight away. However, don’t leave it too long before addressing the situation.• QuestioningWhere giving feedback is important to use open and closed questions. By using a mixture of open and closed questions you will be able to collect the information you need while at the same time, gaining an understanding of how the other person is accepting and dealing with the feedback that you are giving.• State facts clearlyWhen providing feedback, state the facts as clearly as you can and identify how you feel aboutthe situation. • Consistencyo Giving feedback means being consistent with your messages.• Disagreemento Listen openly; do not become defensive or argumentativeo Check to make sure you understand the reasons for disagreemento Use empathyo If you need time to gather more information, reschedule the discussion 8.Identify Opportunities of continuous improvement• Improvements are based on small changes, not major paradigm shifts or new inventionsThis concept is important, because large changes often feel frightening and destabilizing to organizations. By approaching change in small, incremental steps, the continuous improvement model reduces the fear factor and increases speed to improvement. When following this principle, the organization does not need to wait for a strategic shift or a new product release to begin to advance.• Ideas come from employeesThe continuous improvement model relies on employees, not top management, to identify opportunities for improvement.  • Incremental improvements are typically inexpensive to implementEmployees tend to focus on small changes that can be accomplished without a lot of expense. In fact, many ideas from employees involve eliminating processes, rather than adding them, which is an excellent way to be sure that every activity adds some value to the customer and reduces wasted effort. • Employees take ownership and are accountable for improvementGetting people to change the way they’ve always done things is hard. Do you know what makes it easier? Rolling out changes that originated from the front lines. When people come up with the ideas to improve their own work, they intrinsically see the value of the changes. Knowing that improvements come from their peers inspires faith in the necessity of the changes much more so than does a decree from senior leadership who has never actually done the process in question. • Improvement is reflectiveConstant feedback is an important aspect of the continuous improvement model. Open communication during every phase of executing an improvement is critical to both the final results of the improvement and to the maintenance of employee engagement. • Improvement is measurable and potentially repeatableIt is not enough to simply make a change and call it improvement.  To achieve real improvement, the impact of change must be measured.  This makes it possible to determine if the change can be applied successfully to other problems.  Proving positive ROI also helps keep the organization aligned around improvement. ?

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