The Magical Implementation – It Pays To Advertise
A magical and practical series of tips, tricks, and a real-world guide to implementing impactful end user technologies at scale
(Based on a Data Classification implementation but applicable to most large End User Impact implementations)
Dana McMullan is founder of Pasteboard Consulting, LLC specializing in End User Impact (EUI) Security Solutions with over 30 years of implementation and support experience. He specializes in, and is credited for leading, multiple global security product implementations. Dana is also a renowned magician who has toured with his own stage production and has performed in over 15 countries.
This blog series is intended to offer guidance and best practice advice for anyone responsible for implementing EUI applications as told through the mindset of a professional magician.
Installment 4: It Pays To Advertise
Publicity and Awareness Communications
In the heyday of my traveling stage show years I learned very quickly that the more publicity you can generate about an upcoming performance, the likelier you are to generate a healthy crowd and excitement around the upcoming performance.
In those days it was not uncommon to use a combination of media to share the particulars of the performance. Posters, print media, radio advertising and social media all proved useful in generating interest which translated to ticket sales/attendees.
In the corporate world, much the same can be said about getting the word out to users regarding impending technological changes which could potentially impact their day to day activities. If executed properly, a comprehensive communication campaign should leave no one saying “I didn’t know”!
However, the advertising in this instance goes much further than simply generating “awareness”. In a potentially user impacting implementation, you not only have to generate awareness of the upcoming change but you also need to prepare adequate documentation so that when deployment day comes the entire organization is afforded the detailed knowledge of what to expect and what to do if something goes bump in the night.
What I have found very helpful in my past experiences is to make full utilization of the channels of existing company communications. These channels can include but certainly not limited to:
- Intranet home pages and bulletin boards
- Regularly published company-wide newsletters
- Senior management and departmental communications
- Webinars and computer-based training
- Direct and specific email campaigns
- Print and other online resources
Intranet Home Pages and Bulletin Boards
It is common for internal company browser home pages to be used as a means of publishing timely company-wide updates. Using this channel allows the opportunity for all users to at least have information displayed on startup or if they are trying to find links to other available company resources. It does not, however, guarantee that users pause to take note of the lasted updates.
Regularly published Company-wide Newsletters
Most companies of any size have regularly published company newsletters. However, it has been my experience that a weekly newsletter may not be as effective as a monthly or quarterly publication. If someone receives the same “company announcement” email every week, they may be less likely to be read and absorbed over something which is only published monthly or quarterly. (Users are easily overwhelmed by frequent non-job specific communications and over time can become jaded).
Senior Management and Departmental Communications
Most organizations hold at least quarterly “All Company” meetings. Many also hold even more frequent divisional and/or departmental meetings. These meetings offer the ideal opportunity to get the word out. It also provides an opportunity to impress upon staff that the initiative is backed and supported by senior management.
A slide or two along with speaking points provided to senior managers to use at these discussions can be highly effective.
Webinars and Computer-Based Training
Online tools such as pre-recorded webinars and computer-based training can also be utilized to allow people to familiarize themselves with the technology and how it fits into their daily lives on their own schedule. Depending on the nature of the changes being implemented, mandatory training may be appropriate.
Direct and Specific Email campaigns
Direct and specific email campaigns can be another useful tool to spread messaging around impending implementations. I would encourage that messaging around the initiative be incorporated into as many different management issued emails and communications as possible.
Keep in mind however, that a daily or weekly email of the “This week at company ABC” type are often overlooked or ignored as people can easily become jaded to them over time.
Print and other Online Resources
In addition to generating awareness and to avoid having to answer the same questions repeatedly, ensure you offer people self-serve resources and make consistent reference to their existence in all communications.
One of the most common and useful tools for this is the publication and maintenance of a detailed Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) document/website.
As a part of the FAQ, you will want to include key messaging such as:
- Who will be impacted
- The purpose of the technology (If it is to enforce a specific policy, a link or copy of the policy can be provided as part of the FAQ)
- What to expect
- When to expect it
- How it may impact their day to day activities
- Where to turn if they have questions or issues
Also, include as much information, including graphics, to explain what the technology does and detailed instruction on how to use it. And always list the individuals or department to whom additional questions can be directed.
Every company usually has multiple communication channels available. It is my experience that using as many of them as possible and appropriate is most effective. The use of multiple communication channels over time helps ensure that just about everyone is aware of the impending change and thus reduce the amount of noise generated by people saying “I didn’t know”.
Next Installment In The Series:
- The Final Curtain – Taking a Bow!
Dana can be contacted at [email protected]
©2023 Pasteboard Consulting, LLC, written for Fortra
This post was first first published on Titus website by Dana McMullan. You can view it by clicking here