Centre for Institutional Partnerships & Corporate Communications

Institutional Partnerships and Corporate Communications are cross-cutting services across and within the IICA verticals. The Centre facilitates collaboration and communication for all IICA Schools and Centres and also serves as the external interface of the institution. Engagement with external institutions; building up of strategic partnerships; creating national and international platforms for exchange of experience and ideas; stimulating dialogue; event planning; notification and promotion; communications regarding opportunities and dissemination of information are the major activities of the Centre.

The Centre is responsible for all internal and external communication requirements of IICA, the projection of the IICA brand and the documentation and preservation of IICA history in print and audio/visual formats. While each School and Centre engages in interaction with external institutions at a certain level, all formalized communications and dissemination of information that emanates from the Institution as well as its verticals, is generated from the Corporate Communications vertical.

The Centre’s activities include forging of Institutional Partnerships- both national and international and collaboration with partners for exchange of knowledge and information, joint research, development and execution of Training Programmes, seminars and conferences. Such partnerships work towards reinforcing the Institution’s presence through proactive and strategic collaborations that are inclusive and reflective of the national and global corporate governance, and more responsive to the need for greater accountability and responsibility.

The Centre also anchors all activities under the International cooperation segment and also is responsible for all reporting and coordination requirements. The Centre provides the requisite support for such cooperation and seeks to assist international cooperative structures, through its activities

The cross functional strategy of the IP&CC consists of the following interventions and activities:

Intervention 1: BRANDING (With all Schools/ Centres)

i.     Develop marketing collaterals (digital and print) in consultation with Schools and Centres.

ii.    Develop School/ Centre specific fact-sheets for general marketing.

iii.    Editorial inputs on all Schools/ Centres messaging.

iv.    Packaging partnership proposals (domestic and international).

v.    Establishing annual programme calendar in consultation with Schools/ Centres (segmented).

vi.    Responsible for deploying marketing campaigns for Schools and Centres thereby reducing the burden of
        customer acquisition and campaigning on academic staff.

vii.    Work in concert with the IT Department on the IICA Website update and design choices.

viii.    Adopt best practices in IR when developing IICA Annual Report.

Intervention 2: COMMUNICATING POLICY & RESEARCH (With all Schools/ Centres)

i.    Packaging policy insights from IICA for public consumption (data visualisation, editorial control).

ii.    Maintaining a Database of influencers and Journalists with credible online presence.

iii.    Developing long form articles on IICA research.

iv.    Maintain important information and documents to disseminate appropriately.

v.    FY 2020-21 Target: An IICA modular content management system -

        (a) Write, edit, and approve a single source of content (modular).

        (b) Developing different combinations of modules suited for the target publishing platform.

            (i)     STEP ONE: Develop a set of key messages,

            (ii)    STEP TWO: Develop a set of content that illustrates and supports those messages. This can be infographics,
                    videos, case studies, and photos, audio,

            (iii)    STEP THREE: GOING BEYOND: Exhibition, Microsite (Refer below: Structure output around campaigns).

Intervention 3: RECRUITMENT (With H.R. Department)

i.    Develop the “Careers/ Work for us” section of the IICA webpage.

ii.    Create an alumni network of former staff members and encourage them to serve as IICA ambassadors.

iii.    Develop standardised Job Descriptions.

iv.    Develop a policy towards attracting and retaining specialized professionals in the gig economy (entry, project
       development, quality of deliverables, asset management/ handover, exit and handover).

v.    Researchers as representatives: Identify opportunities for IICA research staff to represent the institution as delegates to
       international conferences – happening locally or abroad.

vi.    Offer help to young researchers who seek to pursue postgraduate studies: Facilitate information and offer assistance
       for instance by hosting guests from universities, offering talks about the senior researchers’ own alma matters, providing
       grants for one or more research assistants you are accepted to leading universities, etc.

vii.    Moving beyond academic publications to communicate research and programme outcomes.

viii.   Identify and institutionalise exchange spaces where IICA can mingle and converse with senior staff and partner
       academic institutions.

ix.    Create special research or innovation awards for research assistants and performance awards for non-technical staff.

x.    Promote the participation of RA/SRA in the courses IICA offers to external stakeholders.

        (a) The attraction of earning specialised certifications validating continued professional development.

        (b) Developing and alumni network that could potentially lead to new areas of work through partnerships and serve as
              potential re-hires as per institutional requirements.

        Future course of action – Reward entrepreneurship: Offer lower overheads for young researchers that develop their
        own research projects and find funding for them. This creates an interesting line of work for the IICA and awards
        ownership of short and long-term projects to young researchers, which can be a key motivational tool.

Intervention 4: TARGETED MARKETING (With all Schools/ Centres)

Campaign specific: for MDPS.

Define product or service purchase cycle.

Define high-level marketing objectives, channel selection, role allocation and specific campaign goals one month prior to programme deployment.

Prospecting new audience.

Returning audience.

Intervention 5: TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT (With H.R. Department)

i.    Develop Standards & Guidelines and templates for several outputs and conduct periodic training to familiarise the
      researchers with the importance and usefulness of using these in their writing.

ii.    Introduce an orientation programme for research and support staff (IICA campus, facilities, awareness of opportunities
      for continued growth, office policies and procedures, induction, etc).

iii.    Introduce a “Review Process” for communications deliverables from Schools/ Centres.

iv.    Content edit – the document is checked for grammatical errors and the soundness of the flow of thoughts.

v.    Technical review – the document is checked by a subject expert to ensure factual accuracy.

vi.    Final proof and aesthetic checks – the document is checked for visual and formatting consistency, and a final high-level
        content review is conducted.

In the future IP&CC will explore the possible of instituting a Document Tracking System. The key objective is to create a central repository, which will allow authors track the progress of any piece of writing.

This way different versions of one article, comments provided at different stages of the Review Process and collation of recurring errors will all be captured; an important instrument of constructive feedback to help researchers improve their writing skills. The system will also include a pre-submission announcement option – researchers will be encouraged to plan their writing in advance – to help the editor plan a structured editorial schedule.

Intervention 6: Public Relations MANAGEMENT (With all Schools/ Centres and Administration Department)

i.    Becoming a knowledge partner for the news media to turn to when they need detailed information about certain technical aspects of public policy.

ii.    Encourage Schools/ Centres to adopt a story telling approach to communicating IICA interventions.

iii.    Introduce standard digital multimedia package for all IICA interventions:

    Blogs (posts created in WordPress).

    Videos (listed in Youtube).

    Photos or photo stories (featured on Flickr).

    Powerpoint presentations (from Slideshare).

    Infographics.

    Include stakeholder insights and opinions when collating programme specific packages.

iii.    Key Aspects when packaging for news media:

    Novelty factor of the information that is being mentioned in the article.

    Topicality of the information.

    Relevance of the information – to the news media, policy makers, collaborators and funders, and most importantly the
      general public.

Intervention 7: MAXIMIZING VALUE (With all Schools/ Centres)

i.    IP&CC support to programme reporting and post event dissemination activity.

ii.    Develop policy and work plan to cover IICA events from a reporting perspective with the objective of creating a post event ‘insights’ publication.

iii.    Institute a two day turnaround time for post event reporting aligned with a new ‘reporting framework’.

iv.    Link new events to past events and initiatives. Build a narrative.

v.    Use technology platforms for invitations and ticketing.

vi.    Generate new content by:

        (a) Web-streaming (to upload right away) and recording (to produce short films later on) the event.

        (b) Filming the speakers and participants to produce short clips (e.g. talking heads).

        (c) Tweeting, tweeting, and tweeting and encouraging others to tweet (using a predefined hashtag), too.

        (d) Collecting and sharing the presentations.

        (e) Producing blog posts or opinion pieces on the event or on each of the presentations (they do not need to be long).

        (f) Registering new contacts for future research and dissemination efforts.

        (g) Producing an Event Reports, or an Event Series Report if the event is part of a series.

Intervention 8: MONITORING IMPACT(With Social Media Entity)

Develop a framework to benchmark and monitor our communications efforts. Performance metrics.

Developing Questions towards developing a framework:

What percentage of stakeholders can accurately associate our brand name with our value proposition?

What percentage of a particular target market have we reached?

How many citations does our output in a particular research activity or policy debate generate?

How many people took a particular action as a result of our campaign?

Questions to generate actionable insights:

Communications that build trust in IICA by reinforcing our value, and positioning.

Communications that connect with their intended audience, or even better, are co-produced with the intended audience.

Communications that contribute or assemble knowledge, ideas and opinions in ways that are useful and positive.

Communications that are efficient and adaptable.

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