Transformation Strategy Change Communications Plan Voiced presentation Assessment

By Donna Lindell

My name is Donna Lindell and I am program coordinator and professor for the post graduate Public Relations (PR) program at Story Arts Centre, Centennial College.  

My learners are post graduate students are who committed to their education as they know it is the surest path to employment. They are highly engaged. Many have work experience. They are supportive of one another and are eager for applied opportunities to showcase their learning and present it in their portfolio when seeking employment.  

This strategy was implemented as an evaluation for three modules: change management communications, employee communications and leadership communications, all layered on strategic communications planning was covered in Semester 1.  

Working with the College’s Transformation Strategy liaison, I invited them to come to the class as guest speaker and talk about change management communications principles and best practices and debrief the students on the College’s own Transformation Strategy. Then students developed a client pitch and proposals intended for College Executive to consider for execution. Students’ ideas were presented using the industry formula for strategic planning as five-to-six-minute voiced videos. Students then posted the link to their video on a discussion board and were asked to comment on three of their peer’s submissions.  

The students’ videos were exceptionally well done. Moreover, the peer feedback was constructive, insightful, and respectful. Peer feedback is an important skill in PR as it is a highly collaborative industry. Students were evaluated both for their peer comments and their plans.  

The plans were worthy of forwarding to the College Executive so I sent the following to Centennial’s Transformation Strategy Team: 

Hello. I wanted to let you know that the students have completed their Communications Plans for the College’s Transformation Strategy and I have reviewed and graded them all. … 

A couple of reminders: they are just learning the nuances of employee and change management communications; this was an individual assignment; students had limited access to information about the Strategy itself and of the communications platforms currently employed at the College. That said, they did a very professional job. No one hit it out of the park, so to speak, but I would not expect them to. But what you will find is a collection of terrific research, well thought-out, rationalized ideas and some solid suggestions that we hope you can use, expand upon or think about. 

I had the students fill out this spreadsheet with their topline recommends and links to their video assignment. I hope you take the time to review them. (This is not the complete class list). 

Thank you for this opportunity for the students to work on a real change management initiative. 

Would I change anything? Student feedback was to allow the video to go up to 10 minutes so they could properly present their research, rationale and ideas in a way that the client could best comprehend them.  

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About Donna Lindell

Donna’s wealth of knowledge and insight in corporate communications and public relations includes strategic communications planning, external and internal communications, governance and management of the function, merger communications, change management, corporate citizenship, issues and crisis management. Donna and her team at Manulife won IABC Gold Quill Awards for issues management and employee communication. She was named CPRS Toronto’s PR Educator of the Year in 2019 and one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2003. Donna has her Masters in Public Relations (2017) and Bachelor of Journalism. She has presented her research on paid influencers internationally and nationally at public relations conferences.