Let’s imagine you’re a rock star communicator. And there’s a line of colleagues waiting for your advice: Can you edit this email? When should I start communicating about this major change initiative? Could you write the CEO’s end-of-year message? 

Repeat after me, “I can’t help with everything.” But you can prioritize requests and determine the level of support you’ll provide. 

Here’s a prioritization model that will help you focus on the right things, while improving communication across the organization:

  • Full communication strategy and implementation (platinum). This highest level of support should be reserved for projects that support your communication objectives for the year and are tied to your organization’s goals. I also put key business initiatives into this bucket, such as improving customer service or reducing safety incidents. 
  • Communication planning (gold). If a communication request doesn’t fit your criteria for full support, help your colleague develop a communication plan and find resources to support implementation. You may decide to help with a deliverable or two. Forming and managing a communication network is another option at this level. Extended teams like this can help you share communication responsibilities. 
  • Over-the-shoulder guidance (silver). I think of this level of support as quick hits; such as, helping a team think differently about communication during a meeting or consulting on the best way to approach an email. 
  • Self-service (bronze). At this level, you create tools and resources for colleagues to execute their own communication. For example, guidelines for posts on the intranet or a template for a simple communication plan.

Here are two tips to help with managing requests:

 

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