In the life-cycle of an internal communications professional, I am sure one comes across the need to own, promote or make a leadership visit ‘successful’. Success is quite an ambiguous word in this context. It could mean making the leader prominent in the eyes of the employees or in the media or create a larger than life imagery. Or it could be a factor of the attendance for the road-shows which showcases the leader.
Quite often, the challenge is to gain acceptance for the leader either in the region or in that country or location he or she is visiting. You could be torn between focusing on the subject of the talk, making the leader be perceived as approachable and affable.
In a recent leadership visit – we created a quiz using his profile, produced posters of him in a ‘visionary’ avatar and propagated the message via waterfall communication using other senior leaders and mailers.
The results were there to see – we got an amazing response to the quiz (the prizes were gift vouchers from a leading shopping brand), there were queries on participating at the road shows held at the locations he was visiting and even senior leaders quipped that he was a ‘celebrity’ – his bookmarks, posters and banners were smiling down from the notice boards in the facilities!
Some key points to note while drawing out a communication plan for a leadership visit –
– Build in both face-to-face as well as online communication to ensure interactivity
– Have the ‘whats in it for you?’ message incorporated within the communication
– Keep the subject of the communication focused on the speaker(s) to make it more personal. We got feedback that they would like to meet the leader since he seems to be affable – the photograph had him smiling pleasantly.
– Think long term – we captured the leader’s thoughts on camera for a film we had in mind 6 months later in the year
– Accommodate communication for those who cannot make it for the road-shows due to travel or personal commitments. Try to broadcast the key messages.
– Have a feedback mechanism and a link for more information in all communication is released. Sometimes a chat link works fine as well – again depending on how the organization views technology.
Have other ideas on promoting a visit? Share it on my blog…