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Advice to Practitioners: A Review of the Popular Press Literature on Planned Change Communication
Unformatted Document Text:  Advice to Practitioners - 19 Krug, 1991; Watkins & Mohr, 2001); and encourage every perspective to be heard –even critiques (Collins, 2001; Heller, 1998). Giving Information Within this general theme, authors focused on advice about how best to disseminate information, provide clarity about roles / tasks /responsibilities and procedures. As Pritchett & Pound (1994) put it, “give it to them straight” (p. 8) was a popular stream of advice. None of these authors argue for withholding or distorting information. As Heller (1998) recommends, “honest is not the best policy, it is the only policy” (p. 42). In general, these books supported the idea of giving all important stakeholders as much information as early as possible. Using multiple methods for communicating the information was also a popular suggested tactic. Duck (1998a) says that repeating the change messages over and over again is important. Beyond these general principles for dissemination of information these books offered few specifics for topics of dissemination, modes for communicating information, or appropriate timing for different types of information. Although, as you’ll see under the next theme, different channels were often viewed as having specific purposes in the general communication campaign of a change implementation. Have a Communication Plan Some of these books lay out grids or guidelines for use of different mediums for communication alongside various purposes for that communication. For example, Akerman Anderson and Anderson (2001) provide advice about different “levels” of communication (e.g., information sharing, building understanding, identifying implications, gaining commitment, altering behavior) and the style of communication and media vehicles appropriate to that level. It is explained that each level of communication needs to be addressed and simply information sharing is inadequate in change implementation. Similarly, Meyerson (2001) claims that there are four mediums for communicating meaning (i.e., informal interactions, formal interactions such as debates, written communication, and symbolic communication such as t-shirts and bumper stickers). Heller (1998) provides guidelines on when to use media (i.e. magazines, newspapers, websites, video) as opposed to presentations, training,

Authors: Lewis, Laurie., Stephens, Keri., Schmisseur, Amy. and Weir, Kathleen.
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Advice to Practitioners - 19
Krug, 1991; Watkins & Mohr, 2001); and encourage every perspective to be heard –even critiques
(Collins, 2001; Heller, 1998).
Giving Information
Within this general theme, authors focused on advice about how best to disseminate information,
provide clarity about roles / tasks /responsibilities and procedures. As Pritchett & Pound (1994) put it,
“give it to them straight” (p. 8) was a popular stream of advice. None of these authors argue for
withholding or distorting information. As Heller (1998) recommends, “honest is not the best policy, it is
the only policy” (p. 42). In general, these books supported the idea of giving all important stakeholders
as much information as early as possible. Using multiple methods for communicating the information
was also a popular suggested tactic. Duck (1998a) says that repeating the change messages over and over
again is important. Beyond these general principles for dissemination of information these books offered
few specifics for topics of dissemination, modes for communicating information, or appropriate timing for
different types of information. Although, as you’ll see under the next theme, different channels were often
viewed as having specific purposes in the general communication campaign of a change implementation.
Have a Communication Plan
Some of these books lay out grids or guidelines for use of different mediums for communication
alongside various purposes for that communication. For example, Akerman Anderson and Anderson
(2001) provide advice about different “levels” of communication (e.g., information sharing, building
understanding, identifying implications, gaining commitment, altering behavior) and the style of
communication and media vehicles appropriate to that level. It is explained that each level of
communication needs to be addressed and simply information sharing is inadequate in change
implementation. Similarly, Meyerson (2001) claims that there are four mediums for communicating
meaning (i.e., informal interactions, formal interactions such as debates, written communication, and
symbolic communication such as t-shirts and bumper stickers). Heller (1998) provides guidelines on
when to use media (i.e. magazines, newspapers, websites, video) as opposed to presentations, training,


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