“Communications is even more essential in difficult times.”
Yes, communicators know this, and many other people do as well. But let’s look at the group of people who don’t believe this or who don’t understand this.
– People who don’t like communications
– People who are overworked and someone has asked them to participate in a communications project
– People who don’t understand the value communications adds
– People who want to preserve their own world and offer someone else’s up for scrutiny and potential budget cuts
Do we blame these people? If we are honest, then we’d say “sometimes”. (You know they drive communicators nuts, admit it.)
Do we keep smiling? Yes. Do we keep educating? Yes.
Case in point: An internal business web site is going under a redesign. The project started last year. The first phase – a redesign of the landing and business unit home pages – will go live in a month. The second phase – working with the business units to better organize and update their content – is underway. One-hour meetings are being held with the content owners to ensure the programmers get the information they need.
So what happens?
A business unit representative gets upset because as he states, “why are we spending money and using on web redesign in this environment…(business) content is generally from 2006-2007 which tells me it is not a vital part of our business and likely does not warrent spending money on it at this time.”
Yes, so, after I picked myself up off the floor and made myself promise not to say anything for 24 hours, I put on a smile and say to myself, well, I mentally say many things. I recognize that this person is being tasked to be a part of the redesign in addition to his other responsibilities and doesn’t understand the value of communications.
It’s clear that many things are wrong with this picture. I mean, if your content hasn’t been updated since 2006-2007, doesn’t that tell you something? A communicator is banging her or his head against the wall, tearing hair out, and thinking about skipping wine and going straight to hard liquor. I mean, if you don’t update the content, people will quit coming to your site. They will find other avenues to gain the information they need.
If you aren’t updating your site, of course it doesn’t have value. Personally, I think when the site redesign is finished and the full communications team now in place (there wasn’t one before) works with the business to leverage the site, he will see how “vital” the web is to the business. Then again, he may not. I’ll stay optimistic for now.
Any thoughts on how to manage this without creating a conflict? Or, should I just repeat my own mantra: “Communications is even more essential in difficult times.”