Policy communication: the bite-size approach

A typical policy deployment looks like this: the new policy is added to the manual, it is featured in an article on the intranet, the leader talks about it during a town hall and then… it fizzles.

A typical question from E&C professionals is: how can we create a longer-lasting effect?

One idea is to chop the content of the policy into, say, twelve small bits and use one every month for a year-long communication campaign.

With little effort, we go from one big, loud launch to a sustained effort to educate and send the message that this new policy is important and here to stay.

Take for example a new policy on the FCPA. At a minimum, it will define what a payment is, who are government officials, what a corrupt motive is, what an improper benefit is, and what it means to obtain or retain business. It is not difficult to identify five short articles covering those elements. Each article can follow a simple format:

  • Open with a reminder of the policy: “In this 2nd installment of a series covering our new FCPA policy (available here), we will explain the concept of “foreign government official…”
  • Cut-and-paste the relevant text of our policy
  • Link this text to what actually happens in our business: “Here are examples of foreign government officials that we deal with on a regular basis…”
  • Tell them where to go if they need help: “If you are not sure that you are dealing with a foreign government official, call your legal department…”
  • Announce the next installment: “Come back next month when we’ll discuss…”

And there you have it. Six months of sustained communications, offering bite-size content that everyone can fit in their day.

Do you have other tips on effective policy deployment? Please share them in the comment section below!

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