A Year in Project Communication


Communicating Projects – The Series

By Ann Pilkington

The PR Academy

United Kingdom

 During the past year I have been sharing thoughts and ideas about the role of communication in project management. It’s something that I feel really passionate about. We all know that statistic of how many change project fail and it is often said that it is in large part down to poor communication.

The end of 2016 seems like a good opportunity to look back over some of the key themes:

  • It is a myth to say that people don’t like change. If there is one thing that 2016 has taught us is that many people actively seek it! (I am of course referring to Brexit and the US elections.)  The idea that all change is bad and people are going to react negatively to it influences a lot of project communication. We go into it expecting trouble and trying to “sell” the change instead of concentrating on engaging stakeholders.  This was the topic of my July article “Brexit, Football and Project Communication” which you can read at https://pmworldjournal.net/article/brexit-football-and-project-communications/
  • Risk isn’t just about risk to the project.  Projects contain risk, we all learn on our project management courses, and the management of risk is something that project managers excel at. However, as a communicator coming into the project world, a big thing for me is that the identification of risk is often about risk to the project; there isn’t always enough attention paid to potential risks to the wider organisation’s reputation.  This is why it matters to have a communicator involved in risk identification, because he or she will have the reputation of the organisation in mind and may be sighted on issues elsewhere that could combine to make the perfect storm of a crisis.  This was the topic of my May article “Communicating in a Crisis” which you can read here: https://pmworldjournal.net/article/communicating-in-crisis/


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Editor’s note: This series of articles on effective project communications is by Ann Pilkington, founding director of the PR Academy (UK) and author of the book Communicating Projects published by Gower in 2013.  Ann is one of the UK’s leading experts on communications; she shares her knowledge with project managers and teams around the world in this series in the PM World Journal.


About the Author

Ann Pilkington

United Kingdom


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Ann Pilkington
is the author of Communicating Projects published by Gower in 2013.  She is a founding director of the PR Academy which provides qualifications, training and consultancy in all aspects of communication including change project communication and project management.

Information about Ann’s book, Communicating Projects, An End-to-End Guide to Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Effective Communication, can be found at http://www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781409453192.

Ann can be contacted at [email protected]

Website: www.pracademy.co.uk

To see previous articles by Ann Pilkington, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/ann-pilkington/