What is a communicators' network?
A way to bring together people from different parts of the organization who have responsibility for communicating with employees. Since these practitioners often don't have formal reporting relationships, the network provides a way to address issues, share best practices, develop skills and collaborate to improve communication.


One key benefit of a communicators' network is that it offers members a chance to increase their knowledge and build their skills.

Here's how to incorporate learning into your network:

One Identify key knowledge and skills

Start by defining what communicators in your company need to know. For example:

Business knowledge
  • Company financials
  • Processes, such as quality improvement or Six Sigma
  • Products, services, functions
  • Competition/industry trends
Communication skills
  • Planning
  • Social media
  • Measurement
  • Meeting design/facilitation
  • Writing
  • Design/visuals
  • Photography/videography
 
Two Create a plan

Decide which skills are your priority and establish a learning plan for the coming year or so that focuses on those. Your plan might include an intensive workshop scheduled for when the network meets face to face, along with virtual web sessions held every quarter.

 
Three Find experts to lead learning

The best person to lead a session might be someone from another function (a member of the Finance team to give insights into financial reporting, for example), a consultant, a professor from a nearby college or a network member. Make sure the "teacher" you select understands what you're trying to accomplish, and work with him or her to design the best session for your network's needs.

 
Four Capture key points for future reference

Assign a network member to capture key points from the learning session; post the summary on the intranet or share with network members via email.

 
Five Get feedback

Ask participants to complete a brief survey to determine if the session met its goals. Include questions about the effectiveness of the presenter, the quality of the content, as well as an open-ended question to gather suggestions. Use this feedback to improve future sessions.

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