Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MAHCP)
STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS PLANNING
In the spring of 2012, faced with a disengaged membership, a challenging bargaining environment and larger unions targeting their membership, the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MAHCP) engaged Stratcom to help them develop a strategic communications plan.
Stratcom conducted both qualitative and quantitative opinion research with its key internal stakeholders and the public including key informant interviews, focus groups and online surveys. This research highlighted a number of key issues that required attention prior to the development of a communications plan. An important benefit of the research was that it helped to build a consensus about how to more effectively communicate to MAHCP members, and it identified the opportunity to build the public profile of the union’s membership in the context of favorable and receptive public opinion.
The Key informant interviews identified internal perspectives on the opportunities and challenges facing MAHCP and informed the subsequent steps in the research process. For the focus groups, Stratcom developed the moderator’s guide in consultation with the client, recorded the proceedings and wrote a summary report of key findings. An important factor contributing to the success of all focus groups was a systematic approach to telephone recruitment and follow-up to verify participation, all of which was managed by Stratcom’s in-house interviewers. The Online Member Survey polled members on their impressions of MAHCP and the public opinion survey was fielded through Vision Critical’s Manitoba Public Panel was focused on gaining an understanding of the extent of the public’s support of MAHCP and its members.
Reflecting on the research findings and accompanying recommendations, the leadership of MAHCP undertook a strategic planning process to solidify the internal consensus on the goals of the union and define the priorities that would guide the development of the communications plan. Stratcom designed, facilitated and reported on the strategic planning process.
Systematic research followed by strategic planning has provided a solid basis for development of comprehensive internal and external communications plans. With Stratcom’s support, MAHCP has designed and is currently implementing communications work plans, based on specific measurable objectives and timelines. MAHCP now has a working plan to improve internal and external communications and measure progress at each stage.