Damianakes Communications - Communications Consulting to Improve Business Performance
communications consulting to improve business performance
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case studies

Business Problems: Communications Solutions

Positioning the Newcomer

Heightened Competitive Pressures

Fostering Faster Decision Making

Helping Managers Become Primary Communicators

Building a Service Brand

Upgrading An Existing Work Management Process

Refining the Corporate Brand Platform and Culture



Market Entry
Positioning the Newcomer


The Problem
An unknown market entrant with a specialty software product wants to unseat two legacy players with a 20-year head start.

The Communications Solution
Build awareness and differentiate the product, highlighting advantages that set a new industry standard by:

  • Revising the company brand identity to appeal to the target audience
  • Leveraging the company name to create memorable clever slogans and promotions
  • Developing strong customer references
  • Identifying a mix of effective visibility opportunities
  • Consistently applying clear new messaging in all communications
  • Instituting web-based product demos

The Results

  • Significant increase in web traffic
  • Companies switching from legacy providers to newcomer
  • Conference attendees seeking out the booth
  • Reduction in sales close cycle time
  • Added 100 new customers in eight months, doubling the total added the three years prior

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Heightened Competitive Pressures
Readying the Workforce


The Problem
Preparing for the competitive onslaught in the wireless industry required significant cost cutting, along with a keen focus on delivering superior service to customers. Employee commitment to change was essential.

The Communications Solution
A comprehensive series of well-executed communications and culture building aimed at:

  • Appreciating that what worked in the past wouldn't sustain future success;
  • Showcasing leaders united in support of the effort;
  • Defining "superior customer service" in clear, behavioral terms;
  • Involving employees to solicit ideas and commitment.

The Results
Data confirmed most employees understood the rationale for change;
Employee behavior and language changed in support of delivering superior service;
Decisions were made with "actual" and "perceived" costs as key criteria;
Employees launched regional cost savings programs driving cash cost per unit to all-time lows.

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Cultural Fine-Tuning
Fostering Faster Decision Making

The Problem
Consensus decision-making was taken to an extreme. Protracted decisions, once made, were often interpreted differently or implemented inconsistently.

The Communications Solution
A multi-dimensional approach focusing on clear structure and behavioral reinforcement that included:

  • Positioning the leadership team as role models for faster decision-making;
  • Sharing anecdotes to reinforce the new way to make decisions;
  • Clarifying decision maker's roles and responsibilities, and escalation criteria;
  • Documenting key decisions during executive meetings to foster fast, consistent communications.

The Results

  • Individual leaders sought input, but made many key decisions without consensus;
  • Reduced tendency to require further study, shaving months off decision timelines;
  • Documented decisions were cascaded quickly and with consistency;
  • Managers understood the goal and began escalation efforts to prevent delays.

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Accountable Messengers
Helping Managers Become Primary Communicators


The Problem
Employees wanted to hear information from their own manager - the person uniquely qualified to put information in context and make it relevant. Busy managers often didn't see communications as part of their job description and weren't motivated to fill this important role.

The Communications Solution
An e-mail "Talk It Up" program providing content and direction to prepare managers to become primary communicators by:

  • Scripting packages with easy-to-follow talking points;
  • Recommending ways to foster two-way communication
  • Designing modular materials, easily tailored to varied audiences;
  • Measuring usage and quickly gathering feedback to drive continuous improvement.

The Results

  • Ninety-five percent of managers highly rated the "Talk It Up" tools;
  • Data confirmed greater accountability for communicating was required;
  • HR introduced a Managers' Standard of Excellence model with "Communicator" as the central role;
  • HR modified performance management tool to specify communications requirements and drive increased use of "Talk It Up" tools.

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Building a Service Brand
Generating Employee Commitment

The Problem
Differentiating a service company amidst a flurry of new competitors required focused brand building. Ensuring employees understood the brand positioning and their role was key to success.

The Communications Solution
Link the brand to the business strategy and translate it into actionable steps enabling employees to send consistent messages by:

  • Coordinating with key functions to achieve maximum launch impact;
  • Providing a Managers' Discussion Package for tailoring brand actions to specific audiences;
  • Reinforcing brand focus through a special newsletter and ongoing articles;
  • Recommending specific employee behaviors and phrases to reinforce the brand message.

The Results

  • Eight thousand employees were briefed/trained using customized information in three weeks, enabling a new campaign launch in record time;
  • Nearly every employee reported personal commitment to deliver on the brand promise;
  • Customer Care changed its Call Observation forms to measure use of brand phrases and behaviors;
  • Survey feedback enabled managers to identify and address employee concerns quickly.

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Upgrading An Existing Work Management Process

The Problem
After two years, some employee resistance to a Work Management Process remained. Recognizing that the Process could be further refined, management wanted to involve employees in the effort to identify barriers to success and introduce meaningful improvements.

The Communications Solution
A two-part employee survey process designed to:

  • Focus on eliciting constructive solutions instead of complaints;
  • Involve employees in the effort to improve the Work Management Process;
  • Demonstrate management's willingness to listen and act on employee feedback;
  • Showcase the impact of employee input through open communications at key milestones.
The Results
Identified eight underlying issues and solicited specific improvement suggestions during targeted phone interviews;
  • Generated more than 50 constructive improvement suggestions;
  • Facilitated management workshop to create action plan;
  • Built a foundation for increasing employee trust in management by providing rationale for action on all suggestions.

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Refining the Corporate Brand Platform and Culture

The Problem
After more than 10 years in business, a change in company direction necessitated updating the corporate brand, Vision, Mission, company Values and related HR processes. Key to the success of this re-positioning was to ensure that the culture of the company enabled employees to deliver on the new brand promise.

The Communications Solution
Use a combined interview and workshop methodology to develop a new brand platform and update the company Vision, Mission and Values. Craft and implement a three-phase change communications plan designed to:

  • Build understanding and alignment around the new company direction;
  • Honor the past and help the organization embrace the future;
  • Make values a daily part of doing business and getting results;
  • Engage the workforce to deliver on the new brand promise.
The Results
  • Established four Core Values with behavioral definitions linked to performance management;
  • Created strong employee understanding of the link between brand and Values;
  • Prepared the top 20 business leaders to successfully launch the new Vision, Mission and Values;
  • Workforce survey showed 95% understood their role in representing the brand and how their work tied to the company Vision.

"To support the spin-off of Facet Biotech from PDL, Amy partnered with our leadership team to articulate a set of values to drive a high performance culture at our new company. She was instrumental in revising our approach to Performance Management and Career Development to align with the culture. She worked closely with my team to launch and communicate both. She is an ideal thought partner, seasoned communicator and skilled facilitator who made invaluable contributions to our work."

Gwen Carscadden
Former Vice President, Human Resources
Facet Biotech

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