Home > Measurement, Networking, Presentations, Social media, Strategic public relations > Some tips for driving change initiatives within organizations

Some tips for driving change initiatives within organizations

Over the years, I have experienced the satisfactions — and stresses and frustrations — of driving change within several organizations. Among those efforts were re-establishing a proactive media relations program with the computer trade press, creating and implementing an extensive internal communication system, and developing and carrying out a strategic social media marketing plan.

A webinar this week by a hospital public relations executive about implementing an unsupported (at first) social media plan reminded me of some of the practices that have helped me lead change efforts. Here are some things I’ve found helpful:

* Have passion for your cause. Really believe in what you are doing. That’s probably been my No. 1 asset. I can see the possibilities and opportunities. My enthusiasm rubs off on early adopters and change agents.

* Connect with others who have driven (or are driving) similar changes. You can support each other and share ideas. It’s very helpful to have moral support — and to offer backing to someone as they push through negativity.

* Stay abreast of the latest statistics and data that support your cause — and share with key audiences. For example, I have been getting great data from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life project about how Americans use the Internet for healthcare information and decision-making. I share relevant stats with others on a frequent basis.

* Study what your competitors and leaders in your industry are doing — and report to decision-makers. Give them a good idea of what’s out there. Tell them that you want to be ahead of your competitors and among the leaders in your industry — and that this is possible. If there is a will, there is a way.

* Once you begin to implement, track and share regular statistical reports spiced with real-life examples. This is essential. I have found that doing a monthly report with bar charts and stories of how changes have helped achieve a strategic business goal open many doors. It’s part of the strategic process — Research, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation.

* Give presentations about your program both within and outside of your organization. Incorporate stats, stories, video. You need to repeat a message seven times to just achieve awareness. This is a great way to move toward that standard.

* Listen to what supporters and naysayers are communicating. Build upon the support, and address the concerns. It’s great to have an answer in advance to every conceivable “what if.”

* Post quotes from industry leaders in your workspace. I know this sounds silly, but it has helped me reinforce key messages and generate positive discussions in the past. For example, I love this one from Lisa Baron: “Ignoring social media makes you mute, not invisible.” I put it in a Word document, printed out, and put on the wall in my office.

Those are just a few thoughts that come to mind during my weekly blogging time slot! Please feel free to share any more in the comments.

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