Step 2: Plan partner communication (strategic outreach)
Effective partner engagement is dependent on tailoring information and the way it is shared to each partner. Just like informaticians need to send the right data to the right person at the right time, partners need the right information in the right way at the right time. Too little information may make them feel out of the loop, but too much information might overwhelm them and cause them to disengage. As the projects for DMI move through each stage (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and closing), consider refining and refocusing the communication accordingly. Information regarding partner communication should be captured in a communication planning matrix.
An example of a high, medium and detailed communication to partners is below.
To gain buy-in on the data modernization venture with leadership and partners, consider using an elevator speech. An elevator speech is a brief, persuasive pitch that data modernization team members can use to spark interest in the DMI venture. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 30 to 60 seconds,
All partners should receive messaging describing the importance of data modernization activities captured in the value case. See Make the Value Case for recommendations on how to build one to include in the data modernization plan. Communication should also include a concrete ask for each partner group. For example, “What the health department needs from organization X is…” For many partners, active participation will be key in data modernization planning and implementation activities.
Once each information partner’s need is identified, consider how the partners want to receive information, in what format and at what frequency. During this phase, leverage existing communications resources at the health department that may already provide guidance on how to communicate with specific audiences.
Complete the Develop a Communications Plan worksheet to create a comprehensive summary of how to communicate with partners about data modernization activities within the health department.