Updated: Dec 31, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we work and interact with each other. Now that many more people are working and interacting virtually. It's forcing people to think more strategically about effective communication and information sharing both with team members and external audiences.
Even if you were already part of a remote team, think about how much content, events, and personal interactions are being shifted or enhanced through virtual communication due to COVID-19. Begin to think proactively about how you are sharing information and with whom. Prioritizing helps to navigate such a massive influx of virtual information and planning being shared, gathered, and experienced.
Here is a simple yet powerful digital project management strategy to help with navigating "the new normal" at work to enhance communication methods across the board. This results in communication becoming well-organized procedures, techniques, or processes that transfer information among stakeholders.
The three main types of communication methods are Interactive Communication, Push Communication, and Pull Communication. Below is more info on each and their uses.
Pull communication is traditionally used for large amounts of information and requires the intended recipients to access the communication or content at their discretion. This process relies on making the information available somewhere for the intended recipients to go and pull or view the information in such places as a cloud space or project management software.
One risk with this can be timeliness or confirmation that people are going to that source regularly. For pull communications to be successful, it's essential to ensure that team members or audiences are aware of pulling and engaging in the available information.
Push communication is sent to specific recipients who need to receive information such as an email, a blog, a voice note, or a press release. This commonly used method is used daily for both business and leisure activities. You might be able to track the opening of an email or see when something was published. However, this method does not always guarantee that the intended recipient has fully read, understood, or will respond.
Interactive communication is a multidirectional exchange of information between two or more parties. This method is the most efficient way to ensure common understanding or to observe engagement by participants. This method includes video conferencing, instant messaging, meetings, or phone calls.
Due to the increased demand for this method during COVID-19, individuals or organizations may have less capacity for it. This means they may need to rethink how to maximize interactive communications internally with teams vs. externally with audiences. But, be careful not to overload your employees or other team members with constant virtual meetings. This runs the risk of interrupting the time needed to complete isolated tasks. Also, at the start of virtual meetings let employees and team members know you care about them and give participants a chance to share how they're feeling.
Now is the time to think creatively with external audiences. How can your company repurpose content? External audiences may need several ways to access, engage or be notified of information during this time because everyone is competing with increased virtual engagement within various markets.
Audiences may need to see a pull, a push, and an interactive communication method to engage in just one online activation or sharing of information. In the age of COVID-19 combine all three commonly used communication methods wisely to maximize engagement.
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Author Tiffany Spearman is Head of Strategic Partnerships and Outreach at Black Girl Ventures