Thursday, November 3, 2011

How is Your Communications Area Organized?

Jina Gaines of the City of Virginia Beach is doing some research into how government communications departments are structured. Her questions are below.

  1. Which communications structure does your organization subscribe to (centralized vs. decentralized)? By centralized I mean there is coordinated messaging from a department of communication/public affairs office and within that department/office there are representatives/account executives that see to the communications needs of individual departments/offices/programs. By comparison, a decentralized communications structure is one in which the public affairs/public relations/media person operates more independently and communications decisions are largely made at a departmental level without oversight from a central office.
  2. How does your structure work? How are communicators organized and what are their responsibilities?
  3. Do you think the method you are currently using is effective/efficient? If so, please explain. If not why not?
  4. How has your communications structure affected branding? Do different departments have different logos, slogans, taglines, etc.?
  5. Have any issues/problems arisen that are attributable to how communications are carried out (whether centralized or decentralized)?
NAGC: Good Communication...Good Government


NAGC said...

At Memphis Light, Gas and Water, we have a centralized communications department. Our Director of Corporate Communications reports to the President, and as Supervisor I report to the director. We are responsible for all employee and customer communications, media relations, advertising, social media, external website, community involvement, photography, and more. I have three lead specialists for media relations, internal/external, and community relations that report to me. My department includes communications specialists, community relations coordinators, public records clerk, a web specialist, and graphic designers. Our structure has been very advantageous for us because we can focus on consistent key messaging. We are also able to coordinate consistent branding across the company this way. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the feedback; it is most helpful. I hope we hear from others. I'm happy to share the final report if we get enough response. ~ Jina

Daughter, sister, friend, wife, mom, manager said...

I would be very interested in the results of your informal survey. I am wondering if your professional organization might be willing to let you send a survey instrument link to all members, which would allow you to collect potentially valid and consistant information with some demographics as well, e.g., number of constituents.