HBO’s Game of Thrones season may be over, but winter is coming, which means it’s time to begin working on your 2018 internal communication plan. One of the biggest challenges communicators face—according to Davis & Company’s recent survey—is not creating their plans, but getting leaders to buy in and support the strategy.

So we looked to our favorite on-screen heroine, Daenerys Targaryen, the ambitious Game of Thrones princess, for some tips. Daenerys crossed land and sea on her mission to bring harmony to the Seven Kingdoms, but rallying support for her endeavors wasn’t easy. Even so, she made it to Westeros with unlikely advisors and a winning plan to become queen.

While you might not be seeking the Iron Throne of your organization, you need to ensure you have leaders’ support. Here are three of Dany’s strategies you can use to gain leader buy-in on your next internal communication plan:

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Involve leaders in the planning process.

Daenerys wouldn’t be the successful woman she is today without the guidance of her trusted advisors.

Sometimes, you won’t have all the answers to build your communication plan. That’s why you need to get leaders involved in the planning process.

Identify which leaders have the greatest stake in your communications and interview them to understand their business priorities, communication objectives and ideas for improving communication. In the end, you’ll have a brilliant plan that leaders will be ready to support.

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Demonstrate your expertise.

Just like Daenerys’s dragons, you have a unique gift: your communication expertise.

You attend communication conferences, subscribe to leading practice blogs and are always looking for new communication trends. You apply your cutting-edge experience to your communication planning, but leaders are stuck in their ways.

When presenting your plan to leaders, include data, like benchmarking studies, to define what best-in-class communication looks like and how successful internal communication positively impacts the bottom line.

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Be the voice of the people.

Daenerys always took the time to listen to the needs of her people—and you should do the same.

When creating your plan, use survey and focus group data to make strategic decisions about how to reach employees. Then, when you present your plan to leaders, advocate for the people by sharing employee-centric, quantitative data, along with real comments that defend your plan.

The result? Leaders will pay attention and see you as a confident strategic advisor.

 

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