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Talking tactics

In the third of our series on the Five Step Value Framework – 44’s business tool to demonstrate the value of internal communications (IC) to senior stakeholders – Account Director Phil Parrish explores how its third step, Define the Tactics, puts balance and flexibility at the heart of its approach.

How can IC professionals show the value of what they do as comprehensively as possible?

Define the Tactics, Step 3 in 44’s Five Step Value Framework (FSVF), proposes a robust and balanced measurement methodology to do just that.

Building on the links established between IC and wider company objectives, and strategy outlined in Steps 1 and 2 of the FSVF, Step 3 centres on a value framework built around four distinct perspectives (see the four quadrants below).

Within each quadrant, there are three specific subsections to help you tailor tactical ideas to the specific needs of your organisation. The framework helps IC practitioners demonstrate all the different ways their profession is making an impact in the corporate world.

The four quadrants:

1. Employee: A well-informed workforce is an involved and loyal one. The centerpiece of this quadrant is employee engagement measurement, recommending tactics which reveal changes in behaviour, what people are thinking and why they’re acting in certain ways. This quadrant also advocates gauging the quality of innovation and ideas generated by employees, a strong indicator of how well IC is performing.

2. Leadership: What tactics can an IC professional employ to win the support of the executive team? Possible routes include showing how IC can serve as a valuable sounding board for leadership decisions, offer unique insights into an organisation, adapt to the executive’s changing needs and display financial acumen and accurate budget management.

3. Operations: Like any business function, IC is in many ways a series of processes, with inputs, outputs and key performance indicators that enable you to track its day-to-day effectiveness. This quadrant helps identify what these are, and covers the unseen value of IC too, such as the different ways it advises and supports other departments.

4. External: Establishing a clear link between IC activity and the end customer or consumer is essential. Every employee is a good or bad ambassador and it’s an illuminating exercise to track customer satisfaction levels against employee engagement scores. Other valuable tactics are including alliance partners and suppliers in your measurement scope and seeing how your IC activity compares with your competitors’. Finally, all IC practitioners have a duty to look outwards and bring new communication ideas and advances into their organisation.

Read the Five Step Value Framework here for more about the Value Framework’s rationale, quadrants and tactics.

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