Communication for social security administrations requires establishing policies and practices to carry out the wide spectrum of communication-related activities in support of the overall mandate of the institution and of the specific needs of internal units. Such policies and practices aim to guide the institution to:
- Align its communication strategy with its operational objectives and its business strategy (“doing the right things”);
- Ensure that communication activities are up to standard (“doing things right”).
The effective and efficient management of communication should be based on the governance principles of accountability, transparency, predictability, participation and dynamism.
These principles guide the development of business processes to manage communications in a practical way, in the knowledge that:
- The more complex a subject is, the more communication and more means for communication are needed;
- “Strategy” is top-down, but “tactic” is often bottom-up.
As an indispensable enabler in the building of the reputation of the institution, communication can make a difference between the acceptance or rejection of a new policy direction, or in the successful implementation of a new programme or activities. For this reason, an early factoring of communication aspects of policy or operational changes is highly desirable. It is therefore important that senior management gain an understanding of the role that effective communication can play in supporting the institution’s objectives and operations. Conversely, to play that role, it is important that all communication advice take account of the operational requirements, policy imperatives and capacity of the organization.