internal communications – the 5 w’s

over the past year i’ve had the pleasure and challenge of co-leading the national implementation of salesforce.com for a company here in australia and new zealand. my colleague and i quite organically assumed two roles on the project – he went more technical and back-end focused whilst i gravitated towards the front end implementation concerns.

the experience gave me a real insight into the importance of internal communications as a key component of the change management process. now, I took on this project in addition to my day-job as a marketing manager so comms is something that’s at the forefront of my mind relatively naturally. however, it quickly came apparent that internal comms is a slightly different game. as I mulled over the change process and the implementation strategy that we had to formulate, i found it really helpful to apply a key set of questions that I learnt to always have at front of mind when studying history at university:

  • who
  • what
  • when
  • where
  • why

the five w’s! these became my saviour and really helped inform the way that we delivered the training and the ongoing adoption strategy. in terms of internal comms around the change, i always made sure i had clear answers to the following questions – a simple checklist that really helped me so maybe it will help you too:

  • who am i talking to?
  • what do i need to tell them and what do we need them to think/do when they walk away?
  • when is the best time to tell them to make sure the message is heard loud and clear?
  • where should the message be delivered? email? in person? one-on-one? small group? large group?
  • why are we telling them this?

it’s not rocket science, i’ll admit that, but when you are looking at whole of business change it often helps to keep it simple!

what’s your approach around making sure your internal comms hit the spot?

it’d be great to hear some other tips/suggestions.

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