Speed to Mission - Strategic Communications
National-level mission programs require strategic deployment of flexible, agile, and mobile support teams for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to support its employees and stakeholders. Major public events such as the Super Bowl and the Boston Marathon are complex events that need an intense focus on security and information sharing early in their planning phase.
Protecting the gridiron, supporting the fastest finisher, or assisting with preparations for national disaster recovery efforts all require effective outreach as a key component to the homeland security mission. Outreach and communications support provides situational awareness to the frontline first responders and public in case of a national security incident. Outreach support for the mission goes beyond law enforcement and covers a wide variety of stakeholders including community developers and planners, emergency managers, and the engineering community — all who respond to disaster impact information modeled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazus program.
As a consulting company focused on homeland security, we are not surprised how often strategic communications are the linchpin of our projects — whether they are focused on flood mitigation, information sharing in fusion centers, or complex technology projects to update infrastructure or build identity management and data aggregation platforms. Recognizing this, we launched our Speed to Mission capability.
Speed to Mission is a set of building blocks of repeatable processes, templates, tools, and innovation techniques that yield results more quickly than traditional methods used by large, expensive consulting firms and systems’ integrators. Strategic communications, specifically, are critical to educating the public and stakeholders and achieving lasting results on major programs
Great, “fast” communications’ strategies start with a comprehensive identification of stakeholders and their core needs. Often this is identifying the different and sometimes divergent needs of groups involved in the same project. It includes prioritizing stakeholders, developing messages, identifying the most effective channels of communication — both virtual and face-to-face during all phases of a project. Our approach of specific methods, techniques, and project accelerators includes:
- Communications Framework that governs the overall customized outreach approach
- Strategic Outreach Model that identifies stakeholders needs, media, and messages
- Organization Mission and Goal development to prioritize strategic alignment
- Stakeholder Prioritization Matrix which identifies levels of influence
The public eye is the first line of defense against security incidents and the first line of support after a disaster. Effective communications and outreach is a two-way street, so it is critical that we listen (e.g., social media, forums, stakeholder meetings). This “awareness conversation” promotes strong partnerships across the security community, assisting in the identification and mitigation of national threats.
Open and effective lines of communication build trust and promote partnerships among various groups with the same mission… faster and more effectively.