‘Communication shouldn’t control everything’

The M&C department has to reform and make cuts

  • Interim manager Monique Jipping: ‘’monitoring isn’t a goal of a communication organisation’’.
  • Websites and Sharenet will be ‘opened’ for employees.

A new vision, based on a new philosophy. That is what interim manager Monique Jipping wants to set in motion. ‘’I have started here on the first of June, and I have spoken to a lot of people from the in- and outside of the department. I have presented my findings to the Board and employees after the first half of July.’’
Her starting point was the Strategic Course and its consequences. And then there was an assignment to make budget cuts, which was extremely tough in the case of M&C: ‘’That combination is very annoying of course, but we had no other option’’. Her conclusion: things have to change. ‘’People were constantly keeping tools in mind. Let me give you an example: there’s the annual open day and it looks the same every year. We want to achieve personalised education, which makes it very unfortunate is that you’ll have to give a presentation in front of a full room where there’s no chance to have some personal contact and don’t try to expand other options. You have to ask yourself constantly: what do we want with this? Where do we want to go?’’
Everybody communicates, especially in this age of social media. ‘’A Communications department shouldn’t try to control everything. That happened here.’’ Things are different now: ‘’ If a domain or study programme wants to communicate, we do that in dialogue. Transferring content information is something managers, study programmes, can easily do themselves. This is why we are going to ‘loosen’ some parts of the website and sharenet. Employees will be able to contribute to that themselves. The monitoring, the people in between, that is not a part of a communicative organisation.’’ This is risky. Jipping: ‘’That’s true. So be it. We will keep monitoring what happens. If we see something we find ‘a bit disappointing’, we can offer help.”
The department will also take a more active stance towards ‘Leven Lang Leren’ (life-long learning). ‘’Windesheim has to look differently to this. We still have too little insights of target groups, and companies and organisations that could benefit from this.’’
Even ‘bringing in’ companies and organisations for internships or research is something where Windesheim should take a more pro-active role. ‘’In cooperation with lecturers we will have a look at how we can increase awareness of researches at the right partners and how we can make agreements for stakeholders to find each other and meet up. What is happening? What has the public’s interest? We still capitalize too little on this.’’ The responsibility is not one of M&C though. ‘’Relations management starts in the primary process; we can only support that’’. (MH)


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