The purpose of this section is to describe the benefits to the County Human Services Department of an Integrated Communication Strategy.
An Integrated Communication Strategy (ICS) is created when the leadership develops a specific ongoing plan and understanding of the way information is shared. The ICS fits into the effective communication component of the third section below. An ICS should be designed to enhance the likelihood of achieving the goals and purposes of the department.
Many successful non-profit and educational organizations are organized along principles of Development which see that the program, business structures, fund raising, endowment, capital campaigns and other activities are all interrelated. In one classic theory of Development of an organization there is a model, or outline, that places the role of communication in regard to the overall strategy of the organization. This model posits that “Quality Services plus Sound Business Practices plus Integrated Communication attracts people and dollars.” The outline below gives some examples of this as if it were applied to the County Human Services Department (HSD).
Personal background: Gerry La Londe-Berg
I have a background in Development using this model. It was based on the work of Fr. John Flynn of Omaha, Nebraska in 1985. I have worked as a development director, I have written and implemented successful grants and have trained local Catholic school boards in long range planning. Throughout my career I have paid close attention to the successful practices of bureaucracies, particularly as they relate to the broader community. The purpose of offering these ideas is to explore applying these practices to the whole department. I expect that people with a broader perspective can certainly add to my ideas and offset any imbalances.
A key purpose in presenting a development model is to develop a common language and expectations which will help identify opportunities, strengths, shortcomings (as to fulfilling the use of this model), and areas for further development. I’d like to offer several of the assumptions for the strategy.
- Our primary focus is the well being of the people we serve.
- Ethical and legal considerations call upon us to keep the self determination of the people we serve as paramount.
- As a government agency our respect is for the constitutional and other legal rights has to be assured.
- As a government agency our actions must reflect respect for the laws, regulations and purposes we are intended to serve.
- The people who work in the department can, and have, integrated into their performance the mission, goals, values, and practices which fulfill these assumptions.
- An integral element of recruitment, induction and training is to assure this is as true as possible and is a shared responsibility of all staff members.
A communication strategy can be based on these assumptions for the convenience of proceeding to improve the organization. It should nevertheless be acknowledged that an Integrated Communication Strategy should also be designed to assure that the truth of these assumptions remains accurate. For the sake of the discussion, we can operate as if we have the Quality Services and the necessary Sound Business Practices. It could be pointed out, however, that an integral component of a communication plan should be the feedback elements to assess and enhance the quality of services and the business operations.
Overview of Development
Fund raising professionals regard the concept of development as an overarching frame work within which a variety of efforts can be acted upon. So for example, many of us are familiar with development drives or capitol fund drives for specific purposes. The Green Music Center at SSU is a good recent example. Similarly, a County Children’s Foundation capital drive is a beautiful example of a successful capital campaign. These efforts fit within the overview of development shown below.
Another way to think of this model is to think of a Marketing 101 class wherein people are taught how to develop a business. Development under this framework integrates these elements. The primary purpose of such a model is to develop and share a frame of reference for all the people who are working toward the success of the organization. It will help us to develop a common language for describing our communication activities in relation to our business activities. An integrated model will also be an invaluable aid in helping us identify pieces of the model which may be missing between otherwise successful elements of our endeavors. When we link the pieces with the missing piece the whole department will be stronger and more effective.
In one classic theory of Development of an organization there is a model, or outline, that describes the role of the communication plan as a key element.
An Overview of Development
Four principles of Development which ensure success
QS + SBP + EC & PR = P & $
Quality Services = the most effective Human Services Department Possible (Outstanding product)
- Assumptions: Service / Well being / People / ESP
- Philosophy / Goals / Objectives
- Five year plan / Vision of the future
- Case statement
- Catalogue of investment opportunities
- Governance / Staff / Client policies
- Identify user profile / market served /
- Demographics of the county and the clientele
Sound Business Practices (good administration)
- Assumptions: People – efficient government organization
- Administrative manuals
- Structures and strategies for working with BOS, Community Boards, and Foundation
- Charts – Organization and function
- Five year financial plan
- Evaluation systems
- Budgeting / auditing / accounting / reporting
Effective Communication & Public Relations (Publicity / consumer involvement / staff)
- Assumptions: People Business
- Identify / research / approach publics
- Five year marketing plan
- Internet presence
- Newsletters and public statements
- Criteria and system for reporting to constituents
- Staff organization
- Integrated approach to staff involvement in the process
- External communication plan
- Internal communication
People (Investment / volunteers / consumers / dollars)
- Assumption: good investment of resources
- Good product market
- Development Council ( affluent / influential )
- Year round involvement (recruitment) program
- Maximize eligible funding from federal and state sources
- New dollars
- Private / Business / Endowment / Estate planning
- Private foundation Grants
Inform / Thank / Report / Thank
!(For each item there is a description.)
If only our CoC’s would see the wisdom in this and adopt some or all of the steps