W small only   Driving to my weekly networking meeting I saw a dog walking down a major thorough-fare with traffic coming right up on it!  I stopped my car, put on my flashers and hoped my car, the dog or I didn’t get hit!  We all survived the moment, and now I had a beautiful Cavalier King Charles spaniel in my car!  Now this dog definitely belonged to someone, this is not your average dog—high maintenance might even be an understatement.

So now what do I do?

The first thing I did was take the dog to the nearest vet office to see if it had a microchip since it did not have a collar with tags.  No chip!  I did learn the dog was a boy and he was not neutered.  This is all important info which I figured would further define the dog’s identity when I was able to locate the owner.cavalier

 With three dogs at home I couldn’t bring this flea-full animal into my house.  So I took him to my vet where he would spend the day being pampered and receiving shots while I began executing against a communication strategy to find the owner.

How did I do this? 

First!  I made calls to the pounds, the local vets, I posted on Craig’s List, I contacted the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Society of Houston, and I send out a tweet to see if anyone was looking for a missing Cavalier King Charles spaniel. I posted in the “lost dog” section of Craig’s List that I found a dog (many details not included—see next paragraph).  I also posted on Facebook a request for a foster home for this cute boy as we have three dogs in our household and another would just be pushing it!

Next, I made signs.  Now since this is an expensive doggie, we didn’t put the breed on the signs.  We simple stated–Found Dog, Small Male, White and Tan. Call xxx-xxx-xxxx. I left off the breed, as you never know who is in the market for a high-end dog and would love to claim ownership!

I placed the signs strategically around the area where the dog was found. I chose a 2 mile square area to place the signs.  Additionally, I focused heavily around parks and schools, and major intersections.

Then our family waited. 

Nothing the first night but by morning a dog-lover who was walking her dog around one of the parks saw our sign.  She called!  She told me she saw a sign on a front lawn not far from the park saying “Lost Cavalier King Charles spaniel.”  Unfortunately, they had no phone number on their sign—their only sign in the entire neighborhood!  She gave me directions to the home, as I don’t even live in that neighborhood.  I drove over (without the dog), rang the bell, and asked questions.  I felt I had found the owners of our cute little man!  The owner was in tears and followed me to my house.  With many tails wagging, (my dogs included) the owner and the dog were reunited!

There are a few morals to this story.

  1. Have your dog micro-chipped (it doesn’t hurt, and it is not expensive)
  2. Always, always have a collar on your dog with your contact information
  3. Check your fence to be certain there are not any escape opportunities
  4. Put signs up and think strategically about where to place the signs and be sure to include contact information
  5. Use every opportunity you can think of to communicate you lost your dog or you found a dog

And what does this mean to you?

Whether you are looking for a dog, or looking to create awareness in your company or organization you need a well-thought-out plan.  Begin by defining your audience, hone your message to the audience, create a delivery strategy that matches the demographics of your intended recipients, create listening posts to identify if your audience is listening, and if they are not, immediately fine-tune your strategy!  Keep refining and measuring until you are happy with your results.

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A Public Note of Thanks!

I would like to thank my dog-loving daughter for her assistance is helping me with this lost dog endeavor. I couldn’t have done it without her!

Our poll this week is a test of your heart-strings!  What would you do?

 

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Eileen Weisman is a communication strategist, a good listener, a walker,  a recycling expert, a dog lover, and a mother of the bride.  Contact The W Group to discuss opportunities for improving the listening environment within your company or organization

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The answer is quite simple: Senior management is responsible for getting the word out to everyone, no matter the size of the business or organization.

 

Maybe your business isn’t global or your business doesn’t have thousands of employees. Perhaps your organization is so small that a formal internal communications strategy isn’t necessary; I don’t agree.

 

Whether you consider yourself a big business or a small business as long as you have employees or associates you need to be certain you have a formal strategy of communicating to those who assist you in the success of your operation.  Hearing important information from the top of the organization carries much weight and is the sign of strong leadership.

 

Peter Drucker (1909-2005), the man often cited as the inventor of modern management, would tell you to ask employees what needs to be done to make the business a success.  He would say to respect everyone’s ideas, learn from them, and incorporate as many ideas that make sense. Productivity and performance will improve when each employee feels their ideas are being considered.

 

According to Intel Corporation’s co-founder Andrew S. Grove: “Like many philosophers, he [Drucker] spoke in plain language that resonated with ordinary managers. Consequently, simple statements from him have influenced untold numbers of daily actions; they did mine over decades.”[1]

 

If your organization is small, speak to as many of your associates as is possible.  If you don’t have weekly staff meetings consider creating one that is interactive, action-oriented, and goal-driven.  No one wants to sit in a weekly meeting to hear information that could have been read in an email. Your personal delivery of news coupled with asking for input drives associate engagement.

 

And if you are a large company with multiple locations, even internationally dispersed, communicating successfully is possible. It begins with senior management at each location listening to those in the workplace.

 

So whether you are a big or small organization, internal communications begins with senior management listening, speaking in a way that can be understood in the lunchroom, and ensuring there is a process in place for everyone to understand the business and the business needs.

 

Be sure to create avenues for employees to be heard.  Consider an employee opinion survey to be administered at least two times a year.  Hold town hall meetings and measure their success.  Lead by example; listen to your associates and they will listen to you.  Always remember that successful communications is a two-way process.  And successful businesses have strong strategic communication plans.

 

Eileen Weisman is a communications strategist who designs successful communication environments for clients, ensuring that important messages are heard, visible, and understood. Her business philosophy is “You can improve performance by improving communications.”

 

 


I am introducing my blog, our new web site, and myself which serve as your personal invitation to engage in a strong business partnership with The W Group.  The W Group has been around a long time and has built its reputation on creating strong relationships with its clients.  If we haven’t met formally I look forward to our first visit!

 

Each week I will post a new “Tip of the Week” on our web site and the blog will provide common sense details around the topic.  Sometimes we might create a white paper, mention a case study or recent report that supports the issue and provides you with specific data and a more compelling message on the subject.

 

This week’s tip is the most basic of internal marketing communications: 

 

Preparing an annual communications strategy to support your business plan ensures greater success of your goals.

 

My guess is you spend a lot of time preparing your yearly business strategy.  You may have an entire team working on it and everyone is proud and excited when it is finally presented to senior management. Congratulations, but….

 

All the priorities along with all the initiatives can only travel as far as the words on the page without a communication plan aligned to match each priority.

 

Your associates, employees or donors need to understand how they are part of the business plan, why it is important for them to support the plan, and how everyone benefits from the plan.  If you don’t connect the dots from the boardroom to the lunchroom, you diminish your opportunities for success.  You may need to think like an interpreter translating each initiative into the language of your audience; this is essential to your communication strategy.

 

Remember to speak the language of your associates, employees and donors.  Corporate jargon and business terminology is fine for your document, but put everything else into words that turn your business into a thriving bee hive where the buzz is about engagement, and the results of your efforts become obvious through your bottom line.

 

How do you do that?  With a well written and executed strategic communication plan.  Visit http://www.wgroup.net