5 tips for... getting help for your communication project

How to get help for your communication project

In an ever changing world, setting up and executing a communication project can be a daunting task.

(Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash)

Audience expectations shift, attention spans decrease, information flows in endless news feeds and new tools for communication management appear constantly. Here are five tips to get the help you need.

1 Look over the fence

Whatever you are trying to do, there is someone out there who has already done something similar. Search on the internet and look at what others have done on similar subjects and for similar audiences. You might even want to contact them and ask about their experience. This exercise is also useful to stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of designing something different from what has already been done before.

2 Learn online

If you get stuck on some technical issues or you want to learn about new trends, tools and practices, you might want to consider using massive open online courses (MOOC) or getting onto learning platforms such as iversity. org, lynda.com or coursera.org. You will be surprised how easily you can find tutorials for very specific issues.

3 Ask a trusted advisor

Mentoring schemes provide a good opportunity to get to know experienced communication managers who you can contact for guidance. They might not know the answer to all your questions, but they can certainly point you in the right direction and give tips on where and how to search for answers.

4 Get together with your peers

Communication professionals from other organisations can be goldmine when you are looking for help. You could create a regular action learning set – a permanent group of peers who meet regularly to discuss challenges at work. You could also bring together a bigger group of communication professionals for a peer coaching session and ask an experienced facilitator to set up and to guide the conversation.

5 Brainstorm differently

If you cannot look for help elsewhere, sit down with your colleagues and try to think out of the box. But how can you generate really useful ideas? A flipchart and a marker pen is a good start. However, you might want to consider more sophisticated approaches. Methods like Mind Mapping, Design Thinking, LEGO® Serious Play®, the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter will help you tap into the collective intelligence of your team and generate ground breaking new ideas and solutions. .

Béla Dajka

Béla Dajka has worked for EU institutions for the past 10 years, dealing with communication in the areas of health, food safety, regional policy, telecommunications and ICT research. He led the corporate communication team of the European Commission for seven years. Previously, he worked as a journalist and editor at the BBC for 10 years. His extensive facilitation experience includes hosting away-days, brainstorming and peer coaching sessions at the BBC and at the EU institutions – often as part of a bigger organisational change process – and leading participatory sessions at conferences such as EuroPCom and the European Communication Summit.