Designing communications for impact

Designing communications for impact

How to design comms strategies that achieve real impact – and prove it
Why for for whom?

Campaigning is communicating for change. Yet too often the comms strategy gets left to the communications team after the campaign strategy is complete.

This training is designed to help communications professionals in/aspiring to leadership roles.

Topics covered
  1. Earn a place in organisational strategy planning
  2. Involve colleagues across disciplines
  3. Change reporting to demonstrate impact

All campaigning is communicating for change; yet, in many campaign timelines, planning a communications strategy often comes after the development of a campaign strategy, and is the responsibility of the Communications Team alone.

This training is designed to help mid-level and senior communications professionals :

  • Win their rightful place at the strategy table, with specific contributions to - and demands from! – the initial strategy development process;
  • Introduce techniques to involve colleagues from across the organisation in designing a communications strategy that helps deliver towards individual and organizational objectives as well as the mission; and
  • Demonstrate leadership in Meaningful Measurement, reporting on communications impact in terms of both outputs and outcomes.

Topics covered

Designing an integrated communications advocacy strategy:

  • Aligning objectives across the organisation
  • Setting data points for communications in the campaign timeline
  • Profiling stakeholders and audiences

Building a Messaging Framework – practical exercises to take the guesswork out of:

  • Identifying the right tone of voice for different stakeholders
  • Parsing campaign language to design key messages
  • Translating rhetoric to credible soundbytes

Meaningful Measurement – How to prove the impact of your advocacy communications:

  • Analysing communications reports – are your reports telling you what you need to know?
  • Moving beyond metrics for evaluating communications campaigns against outcomes
  • Creating layered reports for a variety of audiences, internal and external


Designing communications for Impact
08:45-09:00 Check in: grab your name tag and say hello! You also might want to grab a cup of coffee or tea
09:00-09:30 Introductions and overview of the day’s agenda.
What’s in your toolkit? Discussion to discover common ground, and arrive at shared expectations/objectives for the day’s workshop.
09:30-11:00 Meaningful Measurement – Changing how you report on communications activities directly affects your inclusion in the strategic process, and proves the impact of your work on your organisation’s mission. It also provides a useful frame within which to build our strategy! We therefore start the day by identifying what we ought to evaluate our work against, before learning how to create layered reports tracking both outputs and outcomes, and measuring what counts. We will follow up with group work to identify what data you’d need to create an ‘outcomes report’.
11:00-11:30 Break
11:30-13:00 Designing an integrated communications strategy – and keeping it alive through the campaign lifecycle:
Review the process you follow to design a truly integrated advocacy campaign, with simple exercises to keep your strategy focused on stakeholders, audiences and outcomes. (A practical exercise built around two or more live campaigns will allow participants to put these skills and theories to the test, and come up with a rough draft of a strategy.)
13:00-14:00 Lunch (included) & table discussions
14:00-14:15 Review of the morning’s work and quick Q&A to clarify any points.
14:15-15:30 Designing around data: Armed with foresight of what data you’ll need for your outcomes-based reports, group work helps turn the draft strategy into a ‘reality map’ as you identify plot points to collect data, then use it to review and revise your strategy along the campaign timeline.
15:30-16:00 Break
16:00-17:00 From strategy to action: Building a messaging framework, with practical exercises that take the guesswork out of understanding audiences, identifying the right tone of voice for each, and parsing campaign language into customized key messages.
17:00-17:30 Wrap up, review and discuss the group work done. Qs of clarification if needed.
17:30 End of training day
About the trainer

Namrata Chowdhary Namrata Chowdhary is a media and communications professional with over 18 years’ experience in the international third sector. She set up Cause Impact to help clients build and improve organisational capacity for truly strategic Comms management.

As someone who routinely takes on both frontline roles and leadership positions, in large organisations and with small special interest groups, Namrata has a diversity of perspective as well as the ability to influence change at all levels. Through her workshops, she challenges communications leaders to take centre stage in advocacy and social change, while providing them with the tools they’ll need to cause – and demonstrate – real impact.

by Duane Raymond published Aug 29, 2014,