Communications Strategy

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1 Communications Strategy Classification: Internal/Stakeholder

2 1. Introduction Good communication is central to the perception of City Property (Glasgow) LLP and our credibility. It is at the core of everything we do and is essential to the current success of the organisation while also having a strong role to play in our future. Aligned with the organisations Business Plan, this strategy provides a framework on how we are going to manage and monitor our communication activities over the next three years. By undertaking a planned and sustained approach in support of our strategic objectives, this strategy will ensure we continue to demonstrate our commitment to clear and consistent communications that meet the needs of all our stakeholders. 1

3 2. Strategic direction of City Property (Glasgow) LLP Our fundamental goal is to manage our business through the property market s cycle; adjusting key investment and development activities ahead of changing conditions to maximise return and minimise risk. The proposed programme of activities as detailed in the Business Plan for 2014/2015 to 2017/2018 are designed to drive both City Property (Glasgow) LLP and City Property Glasgow (Investments) LLP (both hereafter referred to as the LLP ) towards achieving this goal. Key strategic objectives for 2014 to 2017 Our strategic objectives are a response to the transitional nature of the property market and the broader financial challenges we face. 1. To increase the profitability of the LLP, thereby delivering sustainable long-term returns to the Council. 2. Maximise the returns from the Investment Portfolio 3. Maximise disposal performance, thereby delivering long-term sustainability. 4. Ensure high levels of customer satisfaction 5. Attract, develop, retain and motivate high performance individuals 6. Continually improve performance 2

4 3. Role of Communications A culture of good communication is the responsibility of everyone within the LLP. It is essential that we communicate in a professional and well-informed manner with anyone who comes into contact with the organisation, using a clear and consistent message that is appropriate to the audience s needs. Role of the Information & Communications Officer The Information and Communications Officer will review, support, maintain and manage electronic, manual communications and information effectively within the organisation and externally with partner services. Responsible for, in conjunction with the Head of Operations, setting and articulating the direction of the LLP s information and communication function, ensuring that management practices and approaches are up to date, and in line with industry standards. Role of management Communication is at the core of the organisation, and is a key task particularly for everyone who has a responsibility for the supervision and management of staff. The LLP aims to create and maintain an internal culture in which staff are able to raise ideas and suggestions. Managers must wherever possible provide swift and full answers, and to respond positively and constructively to ideas for improvement. Responsibility for the implementation of effective staff communications resides with the Senior Management team with support from the Information & Communications Officer. Role of the LLP s staff Staff are the day-to-day ambassadors of the organisation and the services we provide. There is a wealth of expertise, ideas, enthusiasm and potential contribution within the LLP, at all levels and across all functions which should be deployed effectively in the improvement and development of services All staff have a prime responsibility for good operational communications and for ensuring their line manager knows their views and ideas while asking for relevant information if they are not receiving it. 3

5 4. Our target audience The LLP has a number of internal and external audiences that need to be kept informed, listened to and with whom we should have regular dialogue. Different audiences need varying levels of engagement that is determined by their significance in helping to achieve the strategic objectives as identified in the current Business Plan. Internal All staff The LLP s Board External Glasgow City Council GCC ALEO s Political Representatives Tenants Local Strategic Partnerships The business community Public Media Tenant associations Trade associations Partner organisations 4

6 5. Communications Strategy Objectives This strategy intends to build upon and strengthen our current approach to communicating with staff and all our stakeholders. We need to be transparent and accountable to our stakeholders in all that we do. The LLP brand and reputation will only be strengthened by delivering the right messages and creating the right impression verbally, in writing and visually. Our Principles of Communication To comply with the vision, values and objectives of the organisation, our communications will work to the following principles: Open, honest and accurate Accessible to all appropriate stakeholders Clear and user-friendly Consistent and relevant messages Timely and current High quality Cost-effective Monitored and reviewed regularly Internal Corporate Communications Internal communications are targeted at all staff groups. Specific communication plans and messages will be produced for all key developments and major projects. These are aligned with the Communications Strategy and appropriate business/organisational plans. Objectives; To deliver management and operational information to staff ensuring they are well informed and know where to go to find information. To ensure staff are aware of the challenges facing the LLP, the strategic objectives of the organisation and understand their contribution to achieving these. To improve staff engagement by supporting a culture of open and honest two-way communication that ensures staff have channels through which they can voice their opinions and have greater involvement in decision-making. To build staff morale. 5

7 External Corporate Communications External communications will be developed to effectively promote the LLP and communicate messages about our work, our role and the services we provide to all stakeholders. A consistent message and brand is essential throughout the organisation and our aim is to give the right information, to the right people, at the right time, through the right channels. Objectives; To increase public and stakeholder understanding of the LLP and positively influence their opinions of our organisation. To continue to build trust in the organisation by stakeholders and to enhance and defend the LLPs reputation. To maintain a consistent and positive profile and visual identity. To support the marketing of our services for income generation purposes. To actively encourage stakeholders to provide feedback on their experience and to use this to continuously improve the quality of our services. Support Partnership Projects that benefit the LLP both strategically, in terms of providing a well-balanced service and operationally in terms of pooling resources. 6

8 6. Strategic implementation Internal Communications The following methods of internal communications will be used to effectively and efficiently keep staff at all levels up-to-date with what is happening within the LLP and encourage feedback. Written Newsletter City Property Matters This staff newsletter will be published quarterly to include staff news, features on individual departments, behind the news features, and general stories on matters of interest for all. Staff will contribute to encourage a sense of ownership. Summary Business Plan Communicated to all staff so that everyone is aware of the strategic direction of the organisation and what is required by each team to achieve our objectives. Employee handbook An updated handbook will be made available containing information about all company policies and procedures. E-Communications All staff have an account and it can be used to rapidly disseminate messages and information. Guidelines for the correct use of are included in the information security policy. Urgent messages may be ed to staff, but this should be limited to avoid over-exposure to . A select group of people throughout the organisation should have access the all staff facility. E:bulletin To communicate information on policy decisions, the reasons behind them and future events should be shared and made available in support of corporate excellence. Online surveys that allow staff to initiate new ideas. Social media (online communities or networks) as a means of improving communication to support traditional methods. Intranet The Intranet could be a key communications tool within the organisation and the LLP will explore how the website can be developed to incorporate this. It will be a place where information, policies, guidelines and meeting documentation can be stored. Updates, news, magazines, annual reports, business plans, board minutes, the team brief, newspaper cutting summaries and updates about news affecting the organisation can appear on the service. 7

9 Meetings Team briefings All staff should be able to participate at least once a month in a two-way team briefing on relevant issues concerning the organisation. This will ensure that everyone receives information first-hand from their manager, and have the opportunity to ask questions and to raise issues. Staff induction process updated and to possibly incorporate video presentations. Managing Director Q&A sessions if a particular issue demands. Informing staff about unexpected or adverse stories in the media There is a need for a recognised communication method to deal with unexpected or adverse stories about the LLP likely to appear in the media. Phone as well as will be used to rapidly communicate messages about information likely to appear in the press. Awards and Recognition Staff recognition awards held annually to recognise and celebrate achievements. Team building / corporate events; designed to encourage staff participation and to build morale. PR Group Chaired by the Information and Communications Officer, each team will have a representative acting as a liaison between the group and their team. This will afford the opportunity to bring information that could be communicated to our stakeholders, both internally and externally, through a variety of mediums including; staff e:bulletins, newsletters, local press, website and social media. Ensure City Property (Glasgow) LLP have in house the skill set required to achieve the overall 8

10 External Communications To effectively promote the LLP and communicate messages about our work, our role and the services we provide to all stakeholders. A consistent message and brand is essential throughout the organisation and our aim is to give the right information, to the right people, at the right time, through the right channels. Written Newsletter A Newsletter will be produced and issued twice a year. The newsletter will contain relevant news and developments, and will also highlight any key challenges facing the organisation. It will also contain general human-interest stories, such as profiles on staff members and news about successes staff have achieved, as well as information about major projects. It will be produced in the most cost-effective way and issued as an e-communication, to those registered online and identified as key stakeholders. Annual report and other publications A user-friendly style will be adopted for the Annual Report and other documents to ensure they effectively convey our achievements and planned developments to a wide audience. Summary Business Plan Communicated to key stakeholders identifying the strategic direction of the LLP and our future plans. E Communications Website The Information & Communications Officer is responsible for maintaining the external website and ensuring it is both up to date and consistent with other messages. The website, located at receives approximately 5,500 visits per month and around 90% of traffic is from the UK. The website raises awareness of the organisation and promotes property available for sale and lease while gathering market intelligence. APPS, QR Codes New technologies to be explored and adopted to improve our communications. Social Media Promote services & interact with stakeholders through twitter & linkedin. Discussion groups and forums on topics of interest to stakeholders to be developed. signature Acts as an electronic business card. Design to be clear and consistent throughout the organisation. 9

11 Informing external stakeholders Councillors The possibility of a newsletter / e:bulletin published quarterly will be explored. The Information & Communications Officer will liaise with the Members Liaison Officer in all elected member communications and media issues. Glasgow City Council Various Committees Regular meetings between representatives of the LLP and local Council will ensure good understanding of the issues facing the organisation and the direction we are taking. GCC & ALEO PR meetings Attended monthly by the Information & Communications Officer. These meetings offer the opportunity to develop relationships with GCC & ALEO PR departments and allows for the coordination of communication activities. Stakeholder information - written and, where appropriate, multi-media. The Information & Communications Officer will work closely with each team within the LLP to develop communications as and when required. Other stakeholders / partnership working The Information & Communications Officer will liaise with external stakeholders as appropriate to work in partnership on issues which affect the LLP. Corporate identity Guidance will be made available on corporate style for both internal and external publications. The Information & Communications Officer will liaise with each team to ensure standards are met. Brand identity will be consistent across all mediums including; corporate stationary, tenant guides, property schedules and s. Contact with the media The media are a valuable vehicle for carrying good news stories to enhance the reputation of the LLP, by promoting and celebrating our successes and achievements, as well as that of our partners. A regular supply of pro-active news releases will be issued on behalf of the LLP each month. The media will also be monitored and appropriate action taken if stories appear damaging to the organisations reputation. The power of the media should never be underestimated and it is essential that all contact with the media should be made through or referred to the Information & Communications Officer or Senior Management Team. Tenant Engagement Over the next three years we will broaden our approach to enable more in depth and meaningful feedback from stakeholders, particularly commercial tenants. 10

12 7. Evaluation This strategy and the methods of communication used to implement it will require ongoing evaluation to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the organisation. The techniques for measuring the effectiveness of this strategy will be qualitative (such as feedback from individuals or through focus groups) and quantitative (such as the number of media releases issued). Valid key performance indicators can be output-based, impact-based and outcome-based. Evaluation of internal communications include: The volume and type of internal communication material issued. Feedback on communications through staff surveys, conversations and input from PR group. The measurable outcome/response/action taken following the communication of specific messages such as changes to a procedure or completing an e-learning module. Information on intranet usage. Evaluation of external communications include: The volume and type of external communication material issued. Media monitoring, the rating of coverage (positive, negative or neutral) and its Advertising Value Equivalent - the equivalent cost of buying space devoted to editorial content. Information on website usage. Tenant surveys. Analysis of complaint letters and comments. Reports and feedback from partners. Interactive surveys/polls on the website. 11

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