How to be a Great KM Communicator

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

May 12, 2017

In my upcoming book on promoting knowledge management initiatives within the corporate world, I include a chapter on communication. Timely communication is critical to successfully introducing a new KM initiative and keeping the organization informed of implementation progress.

Recognize that you will need to communicate repeatedly and continually, since you won’t reach everyone at any one time—and not everyone will pay attention early on, even if you do reach them.

You’ll need to create a communications plan that you’ll use to introduce developments and remind users of existing capabilities. In the plan, specify the vehicles you will use to inform your organization about the program, including launch and ongoing implementation. Below are a few of the communications vehicles described in my book, Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program:

  • Team spaces: collaboration sites dedicated to the core team, knowledge assistant team, group teams, and the KM community; use to share files, hold meetings, conduct polls, and maintain lists
  • Portals: repositories of KM documents; use to store big-picture documents, user guides, administrator’s guides, and policies and procedures
  • Newsletters: periodicals sent to subscribers interested in knowledge management and knowledge resources; use to provide regular updates, success stories, and useful content to interested parties
  • Podcasts: recorded broadcasts available on demand or by subscription; use for those who prefer audio, like to listen while performing other tasks, or who are not usually connected to the network but will subscribe to automatic broadcast downloads
  • Videos: recorded videos available on demand; use for those who prefer video, when there is important visual content, or for special occasions
  • Distribution lists: lists of email addresses used to distribute messages about the KM program; use for occasional communications of high importance, and do so infrequently to reduce information overload
  • Reports: details on how the KM initiative is performing against its goals; use for communicating program progress to leaders and stakeholders
  • Audience surveys: solicit inputs from the target audience; communication isn’t just about talking—it includes asking questions and listening; use feedback to determine what users like, dislike, and want changed

Note that it is optimal to communicate via a variety of methods, including multimedia, as well as leveraging channels users are already familiar with, such as email and management reports.

Lucidea will be publishing my upcoming book, and I hope it will inspire you as you move forward with your own knowledge management strategy. Please stay tuned; we’ll let you know when it’s available for purchase via Amazon!

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