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Regina Open Door Society: Communications Plan Essay

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Updated: Jun 9th, 2020

Executive summary

The political, economic and social uncertainties characterise many regions of the world. Various circumstances make people to leave their homes and countries in search for peace, harmony and places that will enable them exercise their innate abilities for good causes. The Regina Open Door Society (RODS) is one of the organisations that come in handy when people seek for help as refugees or for asylum. RODS is a non-profit organisation, based in Sasakatchewan, in Canada. It socialises immigrants by training them in a number of aspects such as culture, language and economic opportunities. In this respect, the organisation ensures that the locals understand the challenges that the immigrants encounter.

This is because the locals act as a guide and create a favourable environment that makes the immigrants feel accommodated. There is a need for a peaceful co-existence between the immigrants and the locals and among the immigrants owing to the fact that they come from diverse backgrounds. The organisation also creates an avenue for the extension of community services to refugees and immigrants. While coordinating the different constituents of the organisation, there is need for a good communication model. The communication system should put into consideration the structural aspects of the organisation.

These are administrative issues and organisational components. There must be communication between the management, the immigrants, the Canadian authorities such as the immigration department, those who fund the organisation, and the public. The other level of communication involves the socialization, education and multi cultural dialogue of the immigrant. This is meant to educate the immigrants on their rights, their responsibilities and opportunities that can help them live in the new country comfortably. It also educates the public on its role in creating an accommodative environment for the immigrants and helping them to learn and be part of the system.

The Need

Immigrants who seeking help from RODS come from different countries. Therefore, they make a multicultural unit of different languages, belief systems, traditional practices and different pursuits in life. The organisation must establish a system that will take into account the diversity and integrate the immigrants into the Canadian setting. The system is anchored on a communication plan that will educate the immigrants and facilitate their socialisation. The communication plan will also put into perspective the public and stakeholders.

Background

RODS has served immigrants from over 100 countries (Regina Open Door Society 2). This is because Canada has been experiencing a significant inflow of refugees seeking asylum due to political instability in their home countries and immigrants seeking employment opportunities in a bid to better their lives. The immigrants’ past experiences influence their present psychological and physical conditions. For instance, some refugees arrive in Canada with numerous healthcare problems that require immediate attention.

Some of the problems include physical disabilities, especially for the immigrants from those regions experiencing war (Regina Open Door Society 16). Immigrants usually lack the knowledge on how to access the available opportunities and communicate with professionals with the ability to assist them to achieve their goals. This is done through a system that offers services in line with the languages, employment, newcomers’ orientation, settlement and child care (Regina Open Door Society 2).

It is certain that the immigrants experience a communication challenge fellow immigrants or with the administration. Some of the languages include Arabic, Urdu, Korean, Hindi, English, German, French, Farsi, Nepali, Russian, Romanian, Nepali, Punjabi, Malayalam, Chinese and Bengali (Regina Open Door Society 3). However, the organisation faces a communication challenge because most of the refugees and immigrants cannot express their needs verbally. For this reason, RODS has incorporated the use of translators in its program, although the number of translators is significantly low in comparison to the needs of immigrants and refugees.

Translation during sports and interactive activities is cumbersome and may demand a multiple of translators. Getting translators that correspond with the number of languages of the immigrants is not easy for the organisation. Therefore, the organisation ought to establish a communication plan that will help ease the situation. The communication plan should be able to enhance language training, prepare the immigrants for responsibilities outside the organisation and create employment connections. It was noted that 459 immigrants participated in employment services (Regina Open Door Society 10).

Situational and environmental analysis

Smith observed that organisational environment stems from the purpose of its existence. This is envisaged in vision and the mission statements (Smith 41). The vision of RODS is to create a harmonious environment that caters for the diversities in culture of the people immigrating to Canada. The mission of RODS is to provide modalities of settling the immigrants who come to Regina. This is done by offering strategic services that help the immigrants in meeting their individual goals. The core values of RODS are diversity, respect, dignity, excellence in service partnership and collaboration (Regina Open Door Society 10). Smith also noted that strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the organisation are vital in understanding the situation of the organisation (Smith 43).

Figure 1 below is a schematic representation of the SWOT analysis of RODS

A schematic representation of the SWOT analysis of RODS
Figure 1

Strengths

RODS has served immigrants to Canada since 1969 building a great reputation of service in cultural integration and settlement. This explains its strength in experience and the image of service in excellence over the years. The financial statements indicate that the organisation has a budget surplus of $ 263, 550. It also indicates a 12% increase in revenue between 2012 and 2013 (Regina Open Door Society 17). A great brand is advantageous to an organisation seeking to achieve its objectives. There exist structures of communication as implied in the large number of sponsors and the increase in the number of people seeking the services of RODS. An audit of the performance of RODS shows indicators that are positive on strength.

Weaknesses

The weakness of RODS is the insufficient channels and systems of communication. This is especially, those that relate to building the capacity of the immigrants. Few translators in an organisation that serves people of many languages may hinder excellence in service delivery. The qualitative determination of an organisation is spelt in the variety and depth of the abilities of its staff (American Society of Clinical Oncology 141; Cornelissen 183).

Opportunities

Technology offers a wide range of channels and formats in which the organisation develops and delivers information to the clients. RODS can use this opportunity to enhance its communication system in culturing the newcomers to the Regina community. Both online and offline channels of communication can facilitate the activities of the organisation. RODS can use DVDs and other formats to present information to the thousands of the immigrants who seek its services (Harrington 5).

Therefore, it would be easier to ask for more funding and enable the organisation to expand its network of donors through relations with the current donors (Regina Open Door Society 5). RODS has an increasing number of volunteers who are willing to serve at different capacities. This is advantageous and an opportunity that the organisation can use to foster its objectives (Regina Open Door Society 5).

Threats

Inculcating many people from all regions of the world comes with the threat of home grown terrorists. It is not easy to determine the motives of all the immigrants. In case of any acts of terrorism linked to the immigrants associated with the organisation, this becomes a potential threat. The organisation focussed on employability of the immigrants, enhancing the language training and creating connections with the locals. This may be detrimental over time, especially if the organisation fails to institute measures of monitoring the integration of the immigrants (Regina Open Door Society 10).

Stakeholder and publics analysis

According to Smith, publics are a set of components associated with an organisation (Smith 15). Therefore while designing a communication plan, one must factor in all the stake holders and link their role to the benefit of the client and the society. The main stakeholders involved include the organisation’s clients, the management and the staff. The government and donors may also experience effects of the plan, although at a lower magnitude than those mentioned above. The main effect the plan will have on the clients is the creation of good quality services and possible opportunities to earn an income.

The management would have to restructure the organisation in a way that allows for the implementation of the plan, including financial support. The staff would need to embrace the new requirement of learning new languages in a bid to accomplish the organisation’s goals, while donors would have part of their funding for other projects diverted to actualise the communications plan. The government’s involvement occurs when implementing the service-for-service plan (Regina Open Door Society 8).

Information at the organizational level

Stratified sampling provides every stage of delivering information, and the staff should be involved. This is critical, especially for RODS where the staff directly participates in multicultural training. Therefore, they access both filtered and unfiltered information. In fact, for this plan, the staff plays a vital role in determining the specific information to be filtered or classified and presented to a specific audience (Adrian & Downs 28).

To determine critical organisational stake holders, the communication plan considers three factors. The first factor to consider is the representation. It is observed that the staff, the immigrants and the public are considered at every stage of disseminating information. The second consideration is the information sampling. Most of the information in the organisation is either directed to the staff, the public or the immigrants. The third consideration is the inclusion of all the organisational components and establishing the most representative (Adrian & Downs 28).

The republics’ analysis is critical in showing the level of the complexity of the plan. According to Karimnia and Zade, the definition of a strategic communication plan is highly contested (Karimnia and Zade 288). However, a communication plan should enable learners to develop their cognitive constructs and bridge the knowledge gap. It should also help the learner to understand the fundamental principle of the language they are interested in learning (Karimnia and Zade 288).

In the view of Smith, strategic communication should be information centred while at the same time arousing the interest of the learner (Smith 5). The plan should be able to meet all the components of the organisation such as diplomacy, business, public relations, the employees, the managers and the government (Smith 5). The following communication plan will be able to culture the newcomers into the RODS system and ultimately socialize them into the Canadian society. It will also inform all the stakeholders on the progress of the organisation and the specific benefits that the immigrants derive out of their services.

Goals and Objectives

The communication plan derives its goals from the RODS mission and vision (Regina Open Door Society 1).

The plan sets the following goals:

  1. To ensure that the organisation is able to deliver reliable information to the right groups of people at the right time. This goal is informed by the republic analysis that presented the staff, the immigrants, the public and the donors as fundamental components of the organisation.
  2. To ensure that the information delivered to the public represents the true image of the organisation while at the same time building the confidence of the public and the donors.
  3. To ensure that the immigrants find settlement and possible economic assistance.
  4. The communication plan should ensure that the immigrants are served without regard to their background or culture.

The plan will observe the following objectives:

  1. To determine the specific channels of communication with the immigrants including the internet, books, and conventional media.
  2. The plan will ensure that the message delivered to any of the above publics has specific number of words, duration of presentation and typographical settings.
  3. The plan will ensure that written messages are translated to the languages of the immigrants in the organisation at the orientation level. If at a given time there are 10 immigrants speaking ten different languages, the content will be translated in the ten languages.
  4. The plan ensures that communication is done in the following formats: text, still images, motion images, audio and a combination of audio and visual.

The objectives of the plan are formulated with the interests of the immigrants in mind. For instance, apart from helping the immigrants to access healthcare and employment opportunities, RODS aims at assisting them to adjust to the new environment culturally and through access to community facilities. Such facilities include the sports grounds and other recreational facilities (Regina Open Door Society 12). 20 percent of the immigrants participate in community activities, 18% in cultural events, 9% in employment related activities, 145 in the public libraries, 20% shopping and the rest in activities tailored to their special interest (Regina Open Door Society 12).

Objectivity table

Objective characteristic Quantitative aspect Write the number
Channels of communication Books
Other forms of textsInternetConventional mediaMobile phone
Write the number of books
Specify the type and the number for example Brochures, 1000.
State the number of the emails
Books in the data base
Accessed content in YouTube
Other forms of internet communication.
State the number of communication via newspaper, TV, Radio
Number of messages sent via mobile phone
Words
Duration
typography
Write the number
Write the time
State the points and the front size.
Still images Format eg. JEPG, Mural, print Write the number
Video Format eg AVI Write the number

Key messages

Key messages are formulated in line with the objectives of the plan. The following is a key message formulated in line with the (Regina Open Door Society 4)

REGINA OPEN DOOR SOCIETY.
Enabling the immigrants achieve their goals
2013
IMMIGRANTS RECEIVED IN CANADA Canada 257, 515
Saskatchewan 11,182
Regina 3,952
SERVING Countries 100
Languages Arabic, Arabic
• Bengali, Chinese, Creole, English, Farsi, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean, Malayalam, Mandarin, Nepali, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu
Communication plan key message.

Implementation (tools & tactics)

Structural paradigm

The model will be implemented in the perspective of the organisational paradigm (UNICEF 3). The plan should be designed in schematic representations of the goal and objectives. This will help in monitoring and evaluation. It will also ensure that all the components are considered.

Classification of responsibilities

It is not easy to carry out the plan without involving the staff and the clients. It is important to inform the staff of every development of the plan so that it is easy to implement.The rationale behind specialisation is that it allows staff in organisations to accomplish multiple tasks at once in the achievement of the company’s goals. Additionally, application of the concept ensures that every individual gives his or her best towards the achievement of their tasks without risk of distraction (Smith 45).

Relating the plan with the organisational policy

This is a critical consideration since it will anchor the plan in the policy framework of the organisation. It also establishes the legality of plan in the organisation in relation to the state authorities (UNICEF 13).

Systematic analysis of behaviour

This mainly refers to the social and cognitive behaviour of the immigrants from the time they join RODS. The special features associated with each language may be systemized and studied in relation to other languages. This will help the organisation in grouping the learners with the aim of sharing positive behaviours within the immigrant community (Karimnia and Zade 289).

In-country training

In-country multicultural training will facilitate faster integration of the immigrants with the locals. This will also help RODS to delink the clients with the past events that may not be desirable. The focus of the in-country multicultural training would be the language aspect, including behavioural patterns surrounding various languages. Such training takes various formats including lectures. Lectures and seminars are the best way for the staff and management of RODS to learn other languages, albeit in theory. The organisation would need to sort out the languages that most immigrants and refugees use.

Budget timeline

The budget timeline of the plan indicates the financial management of the organisation in implementing the plan.

Time Communication plan activity, 2013/2014
28,November Initial funding for the inception and design of the plan
5December Review of the plan and funding for the external consultations, adjustments and finalization
15 December Analysis of the organisational media of communication
20 December Presentation of the needed media and upgrade of the existing media.
1 January, 2014 Purchase of media equipment, and related software and configuration
15 January Funding for the piloting project- print outs, airtime, internet connectivity and miscellaneous for sampling.
21 January Evaluation and analysis of the model
1 February Implementation of the plan

The expenditure plan ought to be presented to the finance and relevant departments for verification and funding. The budget timeline must state the nature of the activity and the time of funding. In most cases, the first time a model is funded, the funds are released in bits as relevant testing occurs at each stage (Blondal & Bergvall 9-10).

Measurement and Evaluation

Measurement and evaluation will be done at three levels. The first level will involve the development of the content. Content must meet the threshold set in the objectivity table. The second level of measurement and evaluation will involve the timeline of implementation. This helps in determining the degree of success of the plan. The third level is the qualitative aspects enshrined in the goals of the plan. Qualitative factors are used to show the general characteristics of the immigrants over a given period.

The quantitative aspects that relate to the language and culture can determine the level of multicultural training. If the immigrants use one language, say English while retaining their original language, this will foster intercultural relations. In 2012 to 2013, 459 clients received the employment services and the level of connections with the natives was at 84% (Regina Open Door Society 10). Rates of integration can serve as a tool of measure for the level of multicultural training. Increased rates of integration are a sign of success of the communication plan. It also shows that the communication did not only focus on the immigrants but to the locals.

Works Cited

Adrian, Allyson & Downs, Cal. Assessing Organisational Communication: Strategic Communication Audits, New York: Guilford Publications, 2004. Print.

American Society of Clinical Oncology “Strategic Planning: Why it Makes a difference, and How to Do it.” Journal of Oncology Practice 5.3(2009): 139-143. Print.

Blondal, Jon & Bergvall, Daniel ‘’Budgeting in Austria.’’ OECD Journal on Budgeting 7.3(2007): 1-37. Print.

Cornelissen, Joep. Corporate communication: A guide to theory and practice, thousand Oaks, California: sage publications, 2011. Print.

Deng, Tianbai. “McDonald’s New Communication Strategy on Changing Attitudes and Lifestyle.” International journal of marketing studies 1.1(2009): 37-42. Print.

Harrington, Grant. “Introduction to the special Issue: Communication Strategies to Reduce Health Disparities.” Journal of Communication 63.10 (2013): 1- 7. Print.

Karimnia, Amin and Zade, Shahram “Communication Strategies: English language departments in Iran” Iranian Journal of Language Studies 1.4(2007): 287- 300. Print.

Regina Open Door Society. Building a Welcoming Community: Annual report, Saskatchewan: Regina Open Door Society, Inc. 2013. Print.

Smith, Ronald. Strategic Planning for Public relations, London: Routledge Publisher, 2012. Print.

UNICEF. Strategic Communication – For behavior and social change in South Asia, Kathmandu: United Nations children’s Fund. 2005. Print.

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