Using effective communications A UNISON case study
Page 4: Benefits of effective communication
Everyone in the country is touched in one way or another by topics that are related to energy, the public services, local government, schools and hospitals. Many issues and disputes arise that are based upon ethics and beliefs about what is right or what is wrong.
Effective communication helps to give:
a direction for those involved in a dispute or issue
an understanding to the varying groups of what these issues involve
help and support for those who need it
the ability to change opinion about a dispute in a way that leads to it being resolved.
Communication in action
UNISON recently co-ordinated a National Health Service day of action. It was held to support hospitals and secure the future of the NHS by influencing government policy. The campaign involved writing to local newspapers and providing leaflets for people that described some of the problems in their local hospitals. UNISON also needed to be in touch with the media. This included newspapers as well as television and radio stations.
The website was used to manage activities. It encouraged members of UNISON to lobby their MPs. On the day of action, an open-top bus was driven around Parliament Square in London. The day got huge coverage across the media. The campaign was supported by several unions and other key bodies including the British Medical Association the professional association for doctors. Public meetings helped to provide awareness for the campaign. Balloons, hats and other forms of promotional items helped to advertise the event and offer publicity.
All of this enables a dispute to become visible. It means that members feel they are being truly supported by their union and that they are all contributing together to resolve something they feel strongly about.