Organizations frequently find themselves needing to communicate difficult messages. Consider layoffs, never a positive message but easy to make worse than they need to be. (Consider the message delivered by a Carrier Corp. executive informing employees at an Indianapolis plant that their facility would be closing and their 1,400 jobs relocating to Mexico.) And sometimes companies inflict damage on themselves, deciding to communicate messages that audiences won’t take well, even though leaders are enthusiastic. (Many companies have gone down that road with the announcement of a Shareholder Value Enhancement initiative.)
In this month’s Circle of Fellows, four IABC Fellows tackle the issue of difficult messages, covering strategy and tactics.
These links were mentioned in the episode:
- Employees would rather hear bad news than no news
- Companies aren’t planning communication for high-profile lawsuits
- LinkedIn’s CEO talks with employees after stock dropped 40%
Today’s panel includes…
Kellie Garrett, MC — Based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, Kellie is a speaker, coach, and strategist, as well as an associate professor at Royal Roads Univesity. Before launching her own business, Kellie was Senior VP of Strategy, Knowledge and Reputation for Farm Credit Canada. See Kellie’s LinkedIn profile.
John Gerstner — John is a strategic communications leader whose work has spanned 30 years and 30 countries on five continents. He has career experience as an internal communications and intranet manager, consultant, marketer, website developer, video producer, book author, magazine editor, photo-journalist, conference producer, radio announcer and public speaker. He is CEO and founder of Communitelligence, an online learning community for corporate communicators. Previously he managed diverse communication assignments at John Deere. These included launching John Deere’s internal communication program and intranet, serving as the company’s first manager of environmental and safety communications and authoring an award-winning coffee-table history book, Genuine Value: The John Deere Journey. See John’s LinkedIn profile.
George McGrath — Founder and managing pincipal of McGrath Business Communications, which helps clients build winning corporate reputations, promote their products and services, and advance their views on key issues. George brings more than 25 years in PR and public affairs to his firm. Over the course of his career, he has held senior management positions at leading strategic communications and integrated marketing agencies including Hill and Knowlton, Carl Byoir & Associats, and Brouillard Communications. See George’s LinkedIn profile.
Jim Shaffer — Jim is a business advisor, leadership coach, author, speaker. As leader of the Jim Shaffer Group, he helps organizations accelerate results through superior strategy execution. The Jim Shaffer Group creates hard business results by translating the business strategy to the people who need to implement it, aligning systems, processes, and culture to make the gains sustainable. See Jim’s LInkedIn profile.