Allocate your efforts based on the benefit to the organization
I remember the good old days at Hallmark Cards, when I was responsible for the company’s gorgeous, glossy employee magazine.
Yup, I wrote and managed one quarterly publication.
Occasionally I’d pitch in to help a colleague who produced the daily employee newsletter. I’d write a book chapter or brochure now and again. I believe I remember making a horrible video once.
But the gist of my job was to produce four magazines a year. That came out to about 20 publications over the course of my five-year career at Hallmark.
I know folks now who produce that many pieces a week.
Overwhelmed by assignments
And that’s one of the problems with communication today. (Oh, my A-Rod, did I just type that? What am I, 90?)
But it’s true: One of the problems with communication today is that communicators have far, far too much work to do to do anything well. That leaves us with two options:
- Resign ourselves to lives of mediocrity. Oh, we’ll get everything done, all right. But none of it will be very good. And that will make us very, very sad. (Not to mention exhausted and cranky.)
- Perform communication triage.
(Here’s a tip: Choose No. 2.)
Communication triage is actually pretty easy to perform. Conveniently, it takes three steps:
- Prioritize. Sort projects into A, B and C pieces — or essential, nice to have and frankly, doesn’t deliver much value.
- Allocate resources. Invest in A projects, develop templates and other tools to streamline B projects and let C projects die (or kill them).
- Sell your plan. Planning and metrics are excellent alternatives to your third option, which is doing daily battle over priorities and resources.