bobbie smith

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Communications As A Function

Communications is a function or expertise in an organization like Finance or Information Technology (IT) that serves internal clients throughout that workplace. 

Communications takes care of getting messages to the right people at the right time through the right medium. So, for example, any written materials produced by an organization has likely been done by a communications professional:

> written materials such as newsletters, emails, memos, announcements, web pages, social media posts, press releases, briefing notes, issues papers, etc...;

> written materials for the purposes of supporting verbal interactions such as speeches, media lines, presentations (usually in PowerPoint)

Depending on company size and whether or not the organization is in the private, public or non-profit sectors can have a major influence on the type of communications activities that happen, and the kinds of documents prepared.

For example, in the public sector, media lines are an important communications product. When an issue breaks, and the organization needs to respond, someone in the communications branch or division will pull together a set of media lines to prepare the spokesperson for any media calls. The reason this approach is so important, usually in government, is because of the number of people who need to confirm the position. At least, if it's in writing, it can be worked out and then it becomes the spokesperson's 'cheat sheet'.

In the private sector, very rarely do communicators do media lines. Private sector communications teams (or often it is one or two people) will simply write up the press release and speak about it freely, without concern for public interest, political will, the policies and processes of democracy, etc...
However, it would be wise to prepare key messages and/or a position statement with facts to back up the statement.

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