Communication Frameworks, Models, Theories – Just Academic, Right?

by Mary Hills

Communication Frameworks, Models, Theories – Just Academic, Right?

Maybe it’s time to think again! Could they be valuable short-cuts in the real world of constant change and demand for accountability in results?  Might they be the foundation for success in the digital world? 

In 2014, Facebook changed its motto from “move fast and break things” to “move fast with stable infra.” CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated as he released the new motto, “It might not have the same ring to it and might not be as catchy... but it helps us build better experiences for everyone we serve and how we operate now." Recognition of the value of infrastructure in getting things done better the first time became the mark of leadership.

A Short-Cut to “Doing It Better the First Time”

Communication professionals can rely on frameworks, models, theories, standards and best practices to serve as the infrastructure for their work just as the engineers at Facebook. This infrastructure provides a short-cut for doing communication better the first time and delivered with the confidence that things shouldn’t break. How’s your knowledge of communication infrastructure? Are you using:

What infrastructure do you use? What could you be using as a short-cut to enhance your efficiency and effectiveness?

Infrastructure in a Digital World

The digital transformation - the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society- is underway. We use Cvent to handle registrations and evaluations for events. We use GoToMeeting to schedule a meeting, invite participants, record proceedings and deliver follow ups. We use NVivo to conduct content analysis across massive amounts of text. All of these applications are based on a framework, model, theory, standard or practice and offer assurance that if you utilize the infrastructure of the app, you will be able to enjoy success from day one. More important, each frees us up to let go of the time-consuming details surrounding event registrations, meetings logistics and word-crunching to focus on higher value work such as who was interested in an event, what is being discussed at a meeting or what was the #1 word used in analyzing responses to a survey question. 

As we advance with digital transformation in the communication industry, communication infrastructure will continue to guide what is digitized and where communication professionals can contribute at a higher level. Understanding and using frameworks, models, theories, standards and best practices now prepares communication professionals to be the owner of their future work - what they do and how they add value in a changing and fast-paced digital world. Will your future work be spent on time-consuming details or higher value input? Understanding frameworks, models, theories, standards and best practices could be the foundation for your success in a digital workplace and where you add value.

Author Profile(s)

Mary Hills, ABC, Six Sigma, IABC Fellow, business principle of HeimannHills Marketing Group, Chicago, a global consultancy that works with companies to develop, communicate, implement and evaluate change and growth initiatives. Her career has spanned more than 30 years with service at global brand name organizations in marketing, communication and leadership. She serves as Adjunct Graduate Faculty for Loyola University Chicago and as an Educator at the Centre for Strategic Communication Excellence. Mary speaks nationally and internationally about marketing and communication and is published internationally, promoting the use of marketing and communication standards and best practices in business management.