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Four steps to get buy-in for integrated communications

3 March 2015

You’ve decided integration is an effective way of working that will improve your processes and get results. Here are four steps to help convince your colleagues and persuade your management team.

Step 1: Gather evidence

Organisations don’t try to change unless there’s a strategic issue that needs addressing. You’ll need to clearly illustrate your problem and why an integrated approach to communications is the right solution. It can take time to research and gather the evidence you need. This may be anything from basic monitoring of your brand to extensive market research into what the public knows about your work or how people feel about a specific issue.

Do an audit of your communications. If they’re not coherent or consistent, this will soon show through when you put them all together. Case studies from similar organisations can be an important tool too. They demonstrate how others have tackled a problem and what you can gain from doing the same.

Trialling an integrated campaign will also give you strong evidence that this is the right approach to take.

Step 2: Start at the top

Ideally you want your CEO and most senior managers right behind this idea. How hands on or involved they get may depend on the size and structure of your organisation – and their management style. But if they champion the project, it’ll make a big difference to the speed it progresses and the commitment of others.

Step 3: Speak their language

Show that you understand different teams’ objectives – and demonstrate why an integrated approach will help achieve them. For example, you can use hard facts and financials to convince fundraising teams and highlight the alignment with brand values for brand managers. Make sure everyone can see the impact it will have on the organisation as a whole.

Step 4: Be creative and tenacious

People always find new processes challenging, so you need to be persistent and patient. When you come up against obstacles, it can be easy to lose sight of why you’re doing this. Keep revisiting your objectives, reminding your colleagues (and yourself) what you’re trying to achieve any why.

This is an extract from One voice: a Best Practice Guide to integrated communications. Download the full report.

Sarah Myers

copywriter and editor, freelance

Sarah Myers is a copywriter, editorial consultant and creative manager, with more than 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector. She has worked in-house for Mencap and Macmillan Cancer Support, and at a charity copywriting agency. Now freelance, her clients include an extensive range of charities, professional bodies and specialist agencies. Her guide to Storytelling for Impact was published by the Directory of Social Change in 2022.

Trina Wallace

copywriter and editor, freelance

Trina Wallace is a copywriter, editor and communications consultant with around 14 years’ experience in the charity sector. She has worked with over 70 charities, including Cancer Research UK, Rethink Mental Illness, Alzheimer’s Society and Oxfam. Trina specialises in writing audience-focused communications that inspire people to take action.