Getting a campaign off the ground can be tricky with internal processes, differing stakeholder viewpoints and overlapping interests to navigate within the organization. Not to forget the business implications and timing that need to be aligned before a campaign can be considered or even launched.
- Understand the organization’s culture: Depending on how open the organization is a campaign can go places or can be left the wayside. Inclusive and welcoming cultures are willing to listen, encourage and back campaigns that add value. It can be frustrating to craft a campaign that doesn’t have leaders pitching in when needed or when the messages aren’t addressing the ‘what’s in it for me’ for employees. Spend time to appreciate what worked and what didn’t from earlier campaigns. Test run the campaign idea and communication to ensure messages are clear and understood. If you need to factor in translations for other geographies sense check with a group of employees before you roll out.
- Consult and consensus: Most campaigns hit a roadblock when key stakeholders aren’t engaged early and well. Ensure you are feeding back on the progress you are making and involving them in decision making as you build the campaign. Identifying key people to consult and gain commitment is as important as getting them on your side before the campaign launches. Most often people with the most clout with regard to resources, influence and support within the organization can be on your list to consult.
- Time it right: Often you can have the best campaign idea and plan in place only to be drowned by the ‘noise’ from other communication that your stakeholders already receive. Get a sense of when and how other communication occurs and what is the best time for a campaign to be slotted in. Socialize the campaign idea at various forums so that they are aware and also find ways to support you when it launches. Provide reasons why the campaign will be a win-win for all. Get the most trusted leader to back your campaign.
- Keep the drumbeat on: Employees are busy and have only so much time to absorb information that you share. Launching a campaign isn’t often enough. Therefore keeping the momentum going with a regular flow of communication can help sustain interest. Depending on the campaign’s goals consider what can get your stakeholders to be more aware, take action or change behavior. Integrate your campaign with ongoing initiatives so that it doesn’t feel like a stand-alone piece.
- Plan for ‘after launch’: Launching the campaign is only half and the work done. It is important to consider what happens right after and in the future. Many campaigns can fizzle out if there isn’t a clear focus to keep audiences constantly thinking about the initiative. If there is an end-point for the campaign then work backwards from the date of completion. Consider what will keep employees motivated to either share or contribute over a sustained period of time. You can map out key events, milestones and celebratory moments along the timeline to feed a regular stream of communication.
Remember that not everything in your campaign plan may go as scheduled. Therefore, stay flexible to the ebb and flow of business cycles. Factor in some leeway to make improvements or changes as you go along as you make your campaign memorable.