WWH: The When, Where & How Of Strategic Communications

WWH_CommIf you’ve moved up to a leadership role as an in-house creative, chances are good that you’ve mastered the art of effective communication. Organizations are only as good as the ability of their members to interact and collaborate with each other and good communication skills is the foundation of this type of culture. You’ve, therefore, been rewarded for this skill.

I’ve often witnessed, though, in-house managers who are excellent writers and speakers, make key poor communication judgment calls about the when, where and how they deliver information. Here are 3 true scenarios to help illustrate how critical it is that you carefully plan your time, place and method of communication.

The “How” is as Important as the “What”
A team lead has to let his remote team members know that their hours are going to be reduced due to a decrease in workload. He composes and sends a thoughtful, well-constructed email to the entire group. Upset ensues, and the next day, he has to travel to the site where the team is embedded to do damage control.

Location, Location, Location
A studio manager is interviewing a prime candidate for a critical leadership role. Rather than take the time to book a room, he escorts the candidate up to the studio area and after searching through the potential meeting rooms all of which are occupied, he conducts the interview in a windowless workroom. The candidate leaves the interview unimpressed and unsure of the opportunity.

Timing is Everything
A group manager has crafted a detailed re-org for her teams to review with the studio’s director. She notices he’s going to be on vacation the following week and, with an exaggerated sense of urgency, piggybacks the review on another meeting on a different topic scheduled the day before the director is to leave. The director is distracted and frustrated by the level of information crammed into the single 1-hour meeting, and the plan doesn’t land well.

These cautionary tales speak to the need for all of us to put just as much planning into the when, where and how of our communications as we put into the crafting of the actual content. Attention to WWH will avoid any and all WTFs and OMGs.


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