Book review by James Kelly - Effective communications in Easy Steps by Nick Vandome and John S C McVey
Published by Easy Steps ISBN: 978-1-84078-448-0
This easy to follow practical guide in a proven and popular series aims to help managers draw up and follow communications strategies to get across their key messages in the workplace and outside. One of the authors has already written over 80 practical guides for the In East Steps series and has clearly honed his skills in effective and clear writing. Aimed at new and middle managers, this text would also be useful to those senior managers who may have missed out first time round on I.T. skills and want to catch up on the web, U-tube and social media.
There are two welcome guidelines from the authors in the contextual introduction, firstly that managers must take an ethical approach, being honest and open, in all communications and secondly that plain English should always be used.
The various channels of communication are reviewed and the following chapters then give step-by-step instructions, with illustrations in colour, on creating a communications strategy and, usefully, guidance on how to evaluate its effectiveness, a key task in the plan-do-review cycle. The plain English message is reinforced in a chapter on avoiding corporate jargon. The authors then move on to specifically electronic communications, with instructions on setting up a website and writing for the web. There is a useful chapter to help managers decide whether to buy in a content management system and if they do so, how to project manage the process and remain in control. Finally two short chapters cover using video in embedded form or via YouTube and how to get the best from social media.
The 'In easy steps' series are clearly printed with icons for hot tips, things to beware of, and things to remember. They are also available to download and further resources are available on the publishers’ website. Although the series is published in England and the majority of the examples and further resources are British, the text uses US spelling, perhaps a reflection of the international distribution of this popular and useful series.
4 stars: Strong, strongly recommended for managers and leaders