If you are anything like me, you probably deal with all the project communications yourself. That’s because it’s a rare (and large) project that has a full-time communications professional seconded to the team. It is far more likely that you have no communications budget and are expected to tell everyone about the project, create buy in and manage the communications on top of managing the project. And as the person who knows the most about the project, it is usually the project manager who takes on this role.



But you don’t have to be responsible for communicating everything or doing all the project comms work yourself. Part of your communication strategy and plan should be to work out who is going to do what on the project – the roles and responsibilities. You’d do this for other areas of the project so why not communications?



Here is a starter for 10 about who should be doing what on the project. Of course, you’ll need to adapt this to your own team and make it suitable for your project, but it might help you get started and prompt a discussion with your colleagues.

 

 

The project manager is responsible for:

 

 

 

 





     
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  • Stakeholder analysis, involving the rest of the project team as appropriate




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  • Managing relationships with stakeholders




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  • Communications planning – preparing the plan with input from the rest of the team and communication experts such as your internal Marketing or PR department as required




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  • Setting the project’s key messages that need communicating, in conjunction with the sponsor




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  • Preparing communication materials (depends on your project, but it is likely that the project manager will end up preparing some if not all of the communication materials such as newsletters, email bulletins, etc). My latest ebook can help you prepare good project status reports, which are another form of communication, if you need any guidance on how to get your message across.




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The project sponsor is responsible for:

 

 

 

 





     
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  • Communications strategy: while the project manager might actually document this, the sponsor should set the overall strategic approach for the project and ensure it is in line with the business case and benefits




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  • Setting the project’s key messages that need communicating, in conjunction with the project manager




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  • Managing stakeholder relationships with the senior, C-suite or executive stakeholders, plus any relevant external groups




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  • Signing off or approving communication materials before they are used.




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The Project Management Office is responsible for:

 

 

 

 





     
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  • Sourcing and sharing templates for communication work e.g. comms strategy, comms plan, newsletter template in standard corporate format etc




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  • Ensuring communications stick to corporate or departmental guidelines about style, brand etc.




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  • Being a sounding board if the project manager needs any advice on best practice for project communications planning




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  • Sharing lessons learned of what worked on other projects so the project manager can adopt or avoid these practices




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  • Supporting the tools used for communication planning such as DropMind for preparing mindmaps of your communication approach and plans.




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