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Consulting and communications to help organizations navigate the path to growth

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Building a Communications Function for Organizational Success


the client challenge

Aquinox Pharmaceuticals was preparing to pivot from an early-stage, investor-focused company to a Phase 3 company planning for a potential commercial launch. Aquinox needed to build a communications function and create a plan for engaging in multi-stakeholder communications.

the approach

Aligning on the Role of Communications

The purpose of a communication function is to persuade, inform and motivate. The goal for an internal communication function differs slightly. Successful Internal communication functions provide an efficient method to move information between departments and coworkers within an organization.

Aquinox did not have an internal communications function and had faced challenges aligning on communications strategy in the past. We began by building trust and educating Aquinox about what communications can be achieved. We then agreed on the systems, roles, and responsibilities that were needed to establish a strong communications function for Aquinox.

Building a Communications Function 

With no internal communications staff at Aquinox, Orangefiery knew it would be important to be extra proactive and transparent about communications plans, activities in progress, and activities coming up in the near term. To do this, we established processes to set and communicate expectations for communications goals, content needs, timelines, and roles, and responsibilities early on, so that there were never any surprises for the Aquinox team. We also developed new tools for rigorous planning and project management including:

– A series of workshops with senior leadership to align on communications strategy, goals, target stakeholders and messaging

– Communications content submission briefs to clearly define and set expectations for the purpose, development and review process for each piece of content

– Communications content review sessions via video conferences with screen sharing, scheduled far ahead to allow for expected attendance

the result

A highly effective and efficient communications content development and review process that received extremely positive feedback from all leadership including the CEO.  Looking for similar success with building your communications functions? Check out our public relations offerings to discover how we can help.

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