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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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