Strategic internal communication plan to create awareness on ill effects of using tobacco in your organization

Tobacco in any form is harmful for humans. Considered more addictive then even alcohol, tobacco is certainly a nuisance for humans. While health risks are high among heavy smokers and smokeless tobacco consumers (chewing tobacco and snuff), even non-smokers, both children and adults, can be harmed by second hand tobacco smoke generated by other people’s smoking.

It is a common sight at offices to see employees taking frequent smoking breaks. This practice not only hampers the employees’ good health but may have a negative impact on their career growth too. Even businesses are suffering; according to a study for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), smoking breaks cost employers £1,815 a year for each full-time employee who smoke during working hours.

Strategic internal communication plan anti tobacco campaign
As a communications professional in your organization, if you want to generate awareness on the ill effects of using tobacco, here is a strategic communication plan which you might find helpful in formulating your own:

Strategic internal communication plan – the essentials

Purpose: Generate awareness on the ill effects of using tobacco

Target audience:  Employees

Communication tools: Desktop wallpapers, banners, intranet and video

Key message or slogan: “SAY NO TO TOBACCO”

Time period: Approximately 5 weeks

Measurement: Online survey

Strategic internal communication plan

Week 1:  Period of preparation

  • Meeting with senior management and possibly the CEO for their consent to initiate this campaign.
  • Meeting with IT, Admin and Marketing team for their support in preparing relevant materials and flashing them at strategic locations.
  • A short video (approximately 3 – 4 minutes) of oral cancer survivors explaining the ordeal they went through to be downloaded from internet.
  • 4 desktop wallpapers to be prepared with witty messages and attractive graphics.  However, the chosen slogan, “SAY NO TO TOBACCO” should be maintained on all the desktop wallpapers, to ensure a consistent message is sent out.  Since a desktop wallpaper just sits and sticks on the PC, it acts as a very effective and non-intrusive way to communicate a message.
  • About 4-5 A3 size banners to be prepared with eye catchy graphics, the chosen slogan and relevant message. About 10 copies should be printed for each of this banner.
  • 4 articles, highlighting the ill effects of using tobacco and possible ways to get rid of this habit to be prepared.

Strategic internal communication plan anti tobacco campaign 1

Week 2: Period of implementation

  • The first desktop wallpaper to be flashed on employees’ computer screens. Thereafter, a different wallpaper will be flashed each week until the last day.
  • A3 size banners to be pasted on all the strategic locations of the office e.g. in lift, corridors, cafeteria, entrance and exit gates etc.
  • Article to be posted on intranet; with an option to comment anonymously (comments should be moderated).
  • The short video to be posted on the intranet, with a view to give the viewers a realistic perception of the terrible evils of consuming tobacco.

Strategic internal communication plan anti tobacco campaign 2

Week 3 – 5: Period of continuation

  • New desktop wallpaper to be continued to be flashed on employee’s PC for the remaining weeks.
  • New article to be continued to be posted on intranet for the remaining weeks.
  • The short video should continue to be present on the intranet until the last day.

Week 5: Period of introspection

  • An online survey to be conducted to measure the efficacy of this anti-tobacco awareness campaign. However, expecting overnight results among employees will be an utopian thought, hence expectations should be kept minimal. The result should be duly communicated to the senior management for their perusal.

Ending thoughts

Please note, the above mentioned strategic communication plan will definitely need to be tweaked according to your organization; however, I believe it would have given you enough ideas to succeed in this noble endeavor to run an anti-tobacco campaign on your own in your organization.

Precautions for writing allegations in India

Right to Freedom is one of the 6 fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of India. Article 19 of the constitution provides freedom of speech which is the right to express one’s opinion freely without any fear through oral, written, electronic, broadcasting or print medium.

Precautions for writing allegations in India

However, this freedom of expression should be exercised with utmost maturity and care. Cases on abuse of this freedom are plenty; often used to hurl allegations on one’s opponent with ulterior motives.

In India if you decide to write a story containing allegations on an individual, you should try to avoid committing an offence of ‘libel’ (written defamation). Your story should not by any means come under the purview of Criminal law of defamation contained in sections 499 to 502 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Legal precautions

Following are few exceptions to Sec. 499 which can be effective journalistic defence for you against any probable legal hassle which may occur:

Legal precautions for writing allegations

  • You should have enough proof to establish the truth of this allegation and also that it was made for the public good.
  • If your allegation is regarding the conduct of a public servant in the discharge of his public functions, it shouldn’t go beyond that. Also, you should express the allegation as an opinion and not a statement of fact with sufficient ground to prove that it was expressed in good faith and in public interest.
  • It will not amount to defamation if your story publishes a true report of the court proceedings or the result of any such proceedings, which is known as absolute privilege. However, you should ensure that this report is based on absolute truth and devoid of any unnecessary comments.

 

Precautions in general

Apart from the above mentioned legal precautions for writing allegations in India, here are some general precautions as well:

Precautions for writing allegations

  • Choice of words:  Utmost care should be taken while choosing words to be used for reporting facts and allegations.  Usage of words which might land you in trouble or question the legitimacy of the story should be avoided at all cost. Also, it is wise to evade from using homonyms i.e. words with more than one meaning.
  • Avoiding ambiguity: When it is necessary to report unpleasant allegations, avoiding ambiguity is the way to go. This will minimise chances of confusion or misinterpretation arising out of the story. Also, being upfront and honest in letting the audience know of possible ambiguity in particular instances clears one’s stance; even if audience are jumping into any wrong conclusions.
  • Usage of the words “accused” or “alleged”: Understand the clear difference in meaning between “accused” and “alleged.” Although, it is best to avoid these words altogether, should the need arise it is vital to use the right word. “Alleged” is used when someone  is a suspect in a crime but has not been proven as guilty, whereas “accuse” can be used to  forcefully assert something onto someone, whether it be true or not. The word “accuse” is also used when someone is charged with committing a crime based on reasonable proof.
  • Giving attribution: Avoid reporting on information you are not certain to be true. As a rule of thumb, any information originating from sources other than your own first-hand observations should be attributed. This will insulate you from unnecessary trouble which might occur at a later stage.

 

Conclusion

Media’s power in influencing public opinion is immense; however, this power should be exercised responsibly and with restraint. When writing an allegation about an individual to be published on media, any mistake on the author’s part will most certainly invite trouble. Therefore, one must present the information in its truest form, devoid of prejudice and supposition.

Importance of internal communication in an organization

Internal communication is the lifeline of an organization. It is the communication which happens between employer and employee and more importantly among employees themselves.

Importance of internal communication in an organization

The recent economic downturn has been very harsh on the corporate world with many organizations resorting to extreme measures to survive; the worst being downsizing. This has created an atmosphere of doubt and fear among employees leading to high attrition levels and lack of loyalty towards their organization.

internal communication importanceThis is where internal communication has an important role to play. A dedicated team of internal communication experts can ensure that employees remain motivated and inspired enough to improve their overall productivity and hence help their organization sail through tough times.

As a matter of fact, an effective internal communications program can also provide much needed support to external communication efforts in communicating to various stakeholders like media entities, government agencies, shareholders and more importantly customers.

Following are 4 points accentuating the importance of internal communication in an organization:

Professional handling of top-bottom and bottom-top communication: It is often a challenge for the management to convey the right kind of message to its employees and vice versa. This gives rise to grapevine and rumors, which can easily derail any meaningful communication effort. Acting as a bridge between senior management and employees, internal communication pros can help the dissemination of right message through tools like intranet, newsletters, department meetings etc. They can ensure that the right messages reach the right recipients and also near predict the communication outcome too.

internal communication expertDriving co-ordination: Efficient co-ordination among various departments is fundamental for an organization’s business success. Though some sort of internal communication might have already existed in organizations, an expert internal communication professional can make the whole communication process more organized, effective and goal oriented.

Fueling motivation: One of the most important benefits of effective internal communication is its ability to fuel motivation among employees. Fostering a clear and honest communication process in a corporate environment can go a long way in ensuring that employees are motivated and loyal towards their organization. Involving employees in decision-making process or at least keeping them informed on the organization’s activities, will encourage loyalty, as well as build mutual trust, leading to increased job satisfaction and customer service levels.

Handling crisis communication: Crises seems to occur when it is least expected, and also this is the time when the importance of internal communication in an organization is most strongly felt. Even a small piece of seemingly irrelevant communication can wreak havoc and can make the already tense situation worse. Internal communication pros facilitate fast and effective decisions and ensure easy access to the right information for stakeholders to arrest rumors and grapevine; hence effectively minimize the negative impact of a crisis.Crisis communication

To conclude, I believe that, if you don’t control the internal communication of your organization, someone else will and that might lead to an undesirable outcome.

Review of an educational television program (ETV)

Television programs as a medium for education in distance learning courses have not only been an effective tool but have turned out to be very popular too.

Educational Television ProgramI have decided to review one such education program being aired on in India and following are the details:

  • Educational Channel: Gyan Darshan
  • Educational TV program: Motivating people
  • Program aired on: 27 April 2014
  • Conducted by: National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training & Research, Kolkata, India
  • Classroom instructor: Professor B. C. Das

The plus points

Education Television Programs BenefitsThe classroom instructor Professor B. C. Das appeared to be very knowledgeable and expert on his subject; so in this regard, television has made it possible to harness the talents of the best teachers in their field for the greater good of students.

The viewing experience of watching the program was very close to actually sit inside a classroom. With the kind of quality video and audio being displayed, taking down notes weren’t too difficult.

Instructor Professor B. C. Das was very organized and to the point in his teaching methodology. His citing of real life examples also helped in gaining a closer understanding of the points he was teaching. Also his choices of words were very simple and understandable; these factors could be very effective for viewers or students from diverse background with varying level of understanding.

 

The minus points

Education Television program disadvantage

Since the teaching was being imparted on a TV, no further action was possible other than viewing and listening. There was absence of learner participation during the program. It is just one way communication. If a student misses a point, he or she doesn’t have the means to request the teacher to repeat the point, which is a major drawback of such educational TV programs.

Although, the usage of words by the instructor while conducting the programmed were simple in general, there were few jargon used which were not explained. This again can be a roadblock for students who are trying to gain a better understanding of the topic.

The biggest criticism of the program could be its failure to employ supporting audio and visual aids apart from the texts written on the green board and vocal explanation of the teacher. Pictures, charts, short video clips, graphs could have been employed which could have made the learning experience more understandable and enjoyable.

 

Conclusion

ETV

Although, this particular educational TV program had its limitations, the importance of such a medium cannot be diminished. Educational tv programmes in India such as this, provide easy accessibility to classroom kind of teachings with just a push of a button on remote and thus are boon for the masses and can go a long way in increasing the literacy level of the country.