How to Prioritize Communication Planning

LCAN Spotlight: Jackson County Cradle 2 Career Network

Through MCAN's blog and LCAN Spotlights, we've stressed the importance of communication. However, as many of you may 
In today's LCAN Spotlight we look to Jackson County Cradle 2 Career Network. While the C2C Network has had a strong network in place for some time, the leadership team recognized the need for a communications strategy while it was preparing to re-brand the network as Cradle 2 Career. find, it can be hard to prioritize the time to plan a communications strategy.

There are a number of ways an LCAN can tackle the development and execution of a communications plan, and they don't require hiring a full-time communications director.

“The reality was as network coordinator, I did not have the time or strong skill set to manage a communications strategy,” said Irene LeCrone, Jackson County C2C network coordinator. “The leadership team got creative and leveraged existing community resources to get the job done.”  

First, a consultant hired by United Way was utilized to draft the plan. Next, the Intermediate School District committed to providing time from their communications staff to help execute the strategy. Initially, the ISD committed 20 hours per week of their communications coordinator’s time to support the C2C Network. Once the plan was established and moving forward, the allotted time dropped to 5 hours per week.

Utilizing ISD Communications Coordinator Kim Medlock’s expertise was truly a win for the network and the ISD. At the time, Kim was new to her role at the ISD so it provided solid training ground for her to get to know the community and educational partners outside of the school district. Kim now serves on the C2C Community Engagement Team, ensuring the LCAN has a strong brand and voice.

“This level of involvement and creativity from the leadership team members was crucial,” said Irene. “We encourage other LCAN leadership teams to consider what talent and resources you have internally that can better support your growing network to improve college access and success.”

To learn more about Jackson County Cradle 2 Career, click here

Lisa KingAuthor: Lisa King, public relations consultant for Michigan College Access Network

Posted: January 21, 2015

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