FAS Communications offers strategic communications trainings

All of the FAS core values rely on communication to be successful, and units and roles rely on effective communication that is aligned with university and FAS strategic direction to perform their core functions and to engage in continuous improvement.

Melissa Loe, director of FAS Communications, says the structure of the FAS Communications team continues to evolve into a service model that provides guidance and consultation to the portfolio.

“We are applying our team’s expertise to helping units and individuals grow their own communications expertise,” Loe said. “Together with our FAS partners, we are building our portfolio’s communications network.

With those intentions in mind, FAS Communications is now offering courses that are opportunities for FAS units to build their skills in strategic communications planning through the pandemic and beyond.

“The courses will support units and individuals in learning new processes and tools to help ensure that their communications have clear goals and achieve those goals,” Loe said.

Kerri Battles, assistant director for FAS Communications, notes that the staff, faculty and students we communicate with should be viewed as a shared resource, keeping stewardship of that resource in mind.

“By thinking about communications from the needs of our audience and our stakeholders we can be innovative in our approaches to communication while providing greater service to our audience and achieving our own goals,” Battles said. “We accomplish this through strategic communication planning.”

In many cases we are tempted to go straight to tactics such as email or social media because communication needs to be timely, Battles said. However, if we plan effectively those tactics can fit into a larger plan aimed at achieving institutional goals and adhering to our core values.

“It does take up-front work but will save time and effort in the long run in addition to resulting in better and more effective communications,” Battles said.

The first course in the series, Communication Planning 101: Overview of Strategic Communications Planning, is the first in a series of courses that end with participants creating their own communication plan work products. More information on the courses and the tools can be found on the FAS Communications resources page.

FAS Communications will revisit the courses later in the spring semester to help units plan for the next academic year. The department will continue to be available to provide consultation and partnership on communication efforts, Loe said.

Stewardship FAS value graphic
Nov. 16, 2020