Planning for Change - Communication
“We’ve learnt a huge amount from our partnership with the BBC – particularly about communications. We’ve realised how defensive universities often are in their communications and how hard they try to ‘sell’ themselves – which can be counter-productive. The BBC has helped us see how important it is to listen to and to research your potential audiences and to tune your communication to their needs – not vice versa! That’s really helped us with internal and external communications, and has also directly influenced our engagement activities.” Bruce Etherington, Director, Beacon for Wales
Why does Communication matter?
A third key element in building a strong sense of institutional purpose is to ensure that public engagement features prominently and consistently in internal and external communications. It is important to communicate widely to encourage and share effective practice and to celebrate success, within the institution and with the wider world.
The following three areas are well worth tackling:
|Internal communications promote and celebrate PE
Featuring public engagement regularly in internal communications sends a very strong message to staff and students about its importance.
|Research is undertaken into public perceptions and needs
Understanding your different audiences and stakeholders means that your communications and your engagement activities can be much better targeted and ‘tuned’ to meet their interests, expectations and needs. Universities are increasingly using research to help inform their activities.
|Marketing and communications reflect commitment to engagement
It is important that you commitment to public engagement is also communicated externally, through your website, marketing materials and press activity.
We have a host of other resources to help you work through this area. Select from the following options.
Self-assess your communication
We have developed a self-assessment tool to help you assess where your institution sits in terms of embedding engagement into your communication, and plan how you might develop this area.
Download Communication EDGE tool
Story of Change: Communication
Coming soon: We will publish an in-depth account of how Cardiff University developed its communications to support engagement.