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Looking To Boost Your Communication? Think About These 5 Categories

4 minute read

By Lucy Rowell, Founder of Impactful Authority

I love it when I hear from employees that they think their company's communication is amazing. How often do I hear this you may ask. The answer is not often! Instead, the feedback is usually that communication is not timed correctly, never at the right level of detail and often creates more confusion than clarification. Typically, this is because teams/functions within a company don’t have a clear communication framework that they follow, which would enable the employees within those teams to know where to go to get the right information.

So before looking at how to boost your communications, you must ensure that you have a framework – or at least a willingness to develop a plan/guideline/framework, whatever your favourite description might be. You can also use the 5 categories of communication that I share below as a way to think about building this framework or evolving a current one.



  • What needs to be communicated? (e.g., company vision, team goals, personnel updates, events, lessons learnt, priorities … with clarity on why it is being communicated.) We also encourage you to think about the depth of detail that needs to be covered within the communication.
  • How are you going to communicate? This can include a variety of formats: email, messaging services (teams/slack/gchat, etc.), face-to-face, all hands, videos or other.
  • Where will key communication be stored? With the option for so many ways to communicate, knowing where critical information is accessible to individuals in the short/long term is important. Also, this really helps new people being onboarded getting up to speed.

If you’re feeling stuck with this starter part, I’d encourage you to put something down, get started and evolve it over time as you start to implement.



  1. Immediate and Urgent: Hopefully these don’t come often but these are communications that have both an immediate timestamp on them and a level of urgency to people receiving the message. For example, this may be around a local/global disaster, the company being bought/sold, or the CEO leaving.
  2. Critical and consistent: This covers the areas of communication that everyone needs to fully understand to enable them to do their jobs successfully. These could be company missions or goals as well as the team goals for the year. For these areas, communication should be continually given to the team, so it’s front of mind and reiterates its importance. As you go through the other buckets, linking their communication with topics in this bucket can also be hugely beneficial.
  3. Essential and short-term: This is information everyone needs but has a shorter timeframe for action (e.g., end-of-year reviews, promotion rounds, upcoming internal events, change in senior leaders). Given the timeline on this type of communication, how you communicate becomes critically important.
  4. Awareness: The next two buckets are going to be very nuanced for your team and what they want to be aware of or not. Often, we see in the awareness category topics like promotions, new hires/leavers, recent publications, external speakers/leaders visiting, or events from other parts of the company not directly linked.
  5. Optional: Often, social updates are put into this category – these include births, marriages, charity events completed, and social events.

The five categories linked to the 3 starter steps can provide a lot of clarity for both people developing the communication as well as for those receiving it. You can create a nice table or short document to capture these which can be linked to your overarching communication strategy and provide clarity to all.

Good luck!



Lucy Rowell is a certified executive coach, consultant and podcast host. She loves working with motivated leaders who want to increase business performance and employee engagement through times of disruptive change. Please reach out if this sounds like you.

Lucy has over 20 years in senior leadership roles within the area of Data Science, Commercial and Research & Development in global corporate organisations. She was previously the chairwoman for a large non-profit company, PSI. She has designed and implemented a number of innovative large team/organisational transformations and enjoys the challenges transformation brings.

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