Strategic Two-Way Communication - Theory and Practice
Organizational communication can be political and complicated. As such, understanding the collective voice of specific organizational stakeholders, via research and measurement, requires resource commitment and consistency. As I write this, and even though social media has been in place for some years, there are still organizations that don't understand the value of having resources committed to online dialogue. Others are finding that the return on investment is focused and relevant messaging which can be instrumental in building long-term relationships and creating organizational evangelists within and outside of the organization.
This OneAirSpace page contains research, theories and models that I found helpful in measuring communication program effectiveness, stakeholder relationship to organization, and behavior. The latter is especially helpful in determining whether people have the attitude, intention and self-efficacy to get involved in organizational two-way communication and whether they understand what is required to act on communication.
I believe it is the communication practitioner's role to remove barriers to communication for more productive and effective dialogue to occur between parties and thus, for communication programs to be successful. For example, communication "interventions" (think doctor talking effectively, allowing for dialogue, with a patient who has just learned s/he has diabetes) can lead to productive conversations (the patient asks questions and offers concerns that the doctor addresses and helps with the patient's ability to manage his/her diabetes) and all parties have a greater chance of success (the patient has a greater chance of a positive health outcome).
Effective two-way communication leads to shared decision-making and can help organizations and constituencies achieve win-win results.
Although it seems strange to put theory and measurement around such personalized and poetic communication such as dialogue, story-telling and other communication choices that people chose when offering feedback, it is important to recognize the wide levels of capability people have in communications about their work, technology, other people and so on. Just think about cultural differences, widely differing levels of education about complicated issues, such as healthcare, contracts and environmental technology, and the diverse voices that speak to and back about those issues.
If creating effective communication programs were simple, capable PR practitioners, advertisers and marketers wouldn't be needed ...
*The writing in orange indicates a link to another page to give recognition to a source or a site that offers much more information than you'd want here. I tried to keep to original sources.
Theory and Models
1. Public Relations
- Press Agentry/Publicity (one-way model)
- Public Information (one-way model)
- One-Way Asymmetrical (one-way model)
- Two-Way Symmetrical (two-way model) - Uses communication to negotiate with publics, resolve conflict, and promote mutual understanding and respect between the organization and its publics. Is considered the ethical communication choice.
Research and Measurements
- Behavioral Beliefs. These are beliefs about the likely consequences of the behavior.
- Normative Beliefs. These are beliefs about the normative expectations of others
- Control Beliefs. These are beliefs about the presence of factors that may facilitate, or may impede, the performance of the behavior.
3. Communication Program Effectiveness