8 must-have communication roles for projects
by Jo Ann Sweeney - 07:02 on 07 October 2014
Its all very well deciding on the stakeholder engagement, aka communication, activities we will use to win support for our project. It is another thing to decide who will be responsible for each activity. This is especially true in teams where the focus is on technical processes.
Ideally responsibilities are shared out across the team so no one person feels they are being given more than others; then frustration builds and people do the minimum rather than their best. Communication is the fun bit of projects so lets make it as fun for our teams as we can!
When working with project teams I advise specifying essential communication roles and then using these to develop specific responsibilities. While each project is different and so roles are different, they are likely to include this core list:
Setting the direction Deciding the focus and priorities for communication activities, scheduling, helping people stay on track
Creating content Researching, creating and clearing the words, images, videos, slides, photographs, etc
Managing production Some or all of print, audio-visual, websites, events
Managing distribution Usually via post, email and social media
Managing campaigns Responsibility for a discrete campaign with a range of face-to-face, print, digital and multi-media activities
Liaising with suppliers Working with providers outside the team, perhaps in other parts of our organisation, external consultants and specialists like printers and designers
Managing relationships Connecting with key stakeholders to win their support, involvement and commitment to the project
Evaluating outputs Data collation and analysis of how activities and campaigns support project objectives plus business goals, followed by recommendations for improvements.
Giving team members a mix of responsibilities they are interested in as well as challenging ones that give them development opportunities is fair. Projects should be a chance for people to develop new skills for future roles.
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