My internal stakeholders are:
• My Scheme Management Unit colleagues which involves mainly face to face communication in both formal and informal contexts
• Other division within the WG like WEFO, RPW finance and Land, Nature and Food Division this is usually done by email
My external stake holders are:
• Often small community groups, farm businesses or larger private company, QUANGOs this is usually done by email or phones calls
It is important to communicate with all internal and external stakeholders in a clear, concise way, in plain language. There are some basic points of good practice that should be considered for all forms of communication, including:
• Avoiding jargon, buzzwords, acronyms etc. This may be acceptable for internal communications but can lead to misunderstanding especially with external stakeholder
• Any use of expletives, swear words or any other language that is likely to offend
• Consideration of cultural differences to avoid possible offense
Moreover, a conclusion or summary may be useful when this communication is quite lengthy and this should focus on the salient points, this ensures the key details are passed on.
In both internal and external communication, it is important to maintain a level of formality, which can vary depending on context. For example, when required to communicate regarding an official subject such as formal report, policy document, data/information to a regulatory body it is important to use formal language and correct grammar, where possible proof reading is advisable. This will ensure that the communication comes across in a professional and accurate manner.
External communications to the public will vary in their format, again depending on the audience and the numbers involved. For example, if it is communication for marketing purposes on a large scale then social media, newspaper, TV or internet are more practical. The information must be in plain language and concisely written, current and accurate. To meet the needs of individuals who may wish to have access to information that is more technical or further detail then the use of links and signposting is appropriate. Alternatively, if communicating with an individual or a small number of people on a specific issues then the use of emails, newsletter and group meetings are a more effective way to communicate. It should not be forgotten that some members of the public do not have access to the internet therefore, a letter will be required.
Another thing to consider when communicating with various stakeholders, particularly external, is what is being discussed and with who are you discussing it. Are there security implications associated with the information being shard/discussed? If this includes personal, confidential, official or sensitive this is important to ensure the appropriate arrangements are made this includes not only written communication but also a telephone conversation, face-to-face meeting, or a private meeting.
Most of the above points are also applicable internally. Communication with work colleagues will vary depending on whether they are managers or work colleagues and again on the subject matter. Formal meeting require accurate recording enabling other individual not in attendance to understand the discussions and decisions that may have taken place.
In many organisations, it is important for record to be kept for conversation, either verbal or written for later reference. In this process, it is important to ensure the information accurate and up to date, as these are official minutes and records that may require referencing in the future (e.g. audit).
When dealing with sensitive or personal information it is important to ensure that, it is securely stored and not retained outside internal policies. The failure to keep such information in a secure way can cause problems within an organisation and a serious data breach can incur significant reputational loss, financial penalties for an organisation, or serious legal implications for individual.
Informal language within emails is acceptable in non-official communications between colleagues in a team, although individual must always be aware of sharing data through emails that could become subject to a freedom on information submission.
The use of emails is particularly effective internally and will allow the rapid distribution of information. For example, a senior manager may email a brief or important email to their managers for distribution to the teams.