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Internal Communications Update

All the planning in the world can’t make up for a lack of communications with each other.  One of the most challenging aspects of a large public university (Land-Grant Universities especially) is that we have so many internal audiences.  In North Carolina alone we have faculty, staff, students, alumni, all 100 counties, and many many more audiences.  If you can’t talk effectively to each other, how can you be expected to talk to those outside the family, so to speak.  The Internal Communications Subcommittee is taking on those challenges.

Internal Communications Subcommittee Update

•Who are our internal audiences?

•Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats

•Action items/next steps

NC State’s Internal Audiences:

  • Primary internal audiences: Faculty, staff and students (both on campus and off campus)
  • Secondary audiences (want to be kept in the loop): Alumni, retired faculty and staff, donors, students’ parents, advisers and volunteers
  • Though we are large, NC State is a community.

Internal Communications SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis – Strengths:

  • The Bulletin e-newsletter
  • The university’s home page
  • Social media: Twitter, Facebook & YouTube
  • Email listservs
  • Technician and other student media
  • Old-fashioned face-to-face contact with administrators

SWOT Analysis – Weaknesses:

  • Communicators “on our own” to figure out internal comm
  • University events calendar – confusion over purpose, who posts, etc.
  • Urgent university messages (resignations) don’t always get out in a timely manner
  • How do we make internal comm more dynamic, more two-way (feedback)?

SWOT Analysis – Opportunities:

  • New chancellor – strategic planning process
  • Collaboration among university communicators
  • Sharing information about internal comm resources
  • Readership survey: Have data from 2008. Should we repeat this?
  • Training: NC State has good training resources. Can we use these to train staff on better internal comm? Key messages?
  • Marketing/advancement rollouts: Need to do better internal comm around these opportunities.

SWOT Analysis – Threats:

  • Information overload!
  • “You can lead a horse to water,” but you can’t make him read…
  • How do we keep up with the pace of communications?
  • Can we create a “culture of trust” on campus to promote two-way communication?
  • Slow to abandon communications that don’t work; slow to adopt new ones that might work

Action Items:

  • Complete a strategic plan.
  • Create an online resource guide related to internal communications.
  • Conduct training on internal comm resources and key university messages.
  • Talk with student media adviser to learn how to work better with Technician, other resources.
  • Consider the need for a staff communications survey and share results.

Comment on the Internal Communications Ning Page: http://ncsucommunicators.ning.com/group/internalcommittee

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