Communications management

I manage communication and engagement activities for complex projects.

Much of my time is spent contributing to business change, service design and sustainability initiatives – helping to engage staff, students, participants, neighbours, supporters and other stakeholders.

What do I actually do?

  • Research – I meet with stakeholders, audit existing communications and make pragmatic recommendations.
  • Planning – I ask questions, learn quickly and develop plans and messaging to engage diverse audiences.
  • Management – I collaborate across organisations to project manage campaigns and develop simple content to explain complex ideas.
  • Capacity building – I help teams to implement new channels and increase capacity, making their work more sustainable in the future.

Some examples can be found at the bottom of this page.

I really can’t emphasise enough how much your skill and effort has carried the initiative to this point.

— COVID-19 testing programme colleague

While my background is in communications, I’m an organiser at heart and bring project management skills to all of my work. I am in my element contributing to fast-moving initiatives and am relied on to deliver with minimal fuss, which gives busy leaders one less thing to worry about.

Unlike a full-time contractor, I work flexibly and at short notice. This is often of use to:

  • Internal communications managers who are already stretched but frequently called on to support new initiatives in their organisations.
  • Change programme leaders who are under pressure to engage their colleagues but don’t have anyone looking after their communications.
  • Sustainability managers who are eager to communicate environmental objectives and improvements, especially before external audits.
  • Service design teams that are looking to improve the way they talk to their participants and stakeholders.

You’ve made a huge difference to the way that we talk about sustainability. Everything is so much more understandable.

— University environment manager

Ultimately, how does this help organisations?

  • Well-managed communications increase the effectiveness of projects, ensuring that stakeholders are engaged, better informed and less anxious about change.
  • Proper planning helps teams to do more with limited time and budgets, getting clear messages out to the right people, at the right time and in the right way.
  • Having a trusted adviser who’s a quick learner and strong organiser reduces pressure on local teams, freeing them up to focus on what they do best.

You have been an essential member of the project team. Your ideas, enthusiasm and commitment have been integral to the success of our work.

— Business improvement project colleague

I’m available for flexible assignments – long and short term – either to manage one-off pieces of work or to add extra capacity to teams. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss something you’re working on.

Greg Sandford communications - landscape

My recent communications experience includes:

Managing communications for a groundbreaking COVID-19 saliva testing trial, collaborating at pace with NHS, local government, public health, school and university teams to build a new service from the ground up, engage participants and share lessons for wider rollouts.
Increased participation  Kept diverse stakeholders up to date

Working with an MBA leadership team to research, prioritise and then project manage a number of improvements to their internal and external communications.
Reduced team workload  Improved student and alumni engagement

Collaborating across an organisation to find new and innovative ways to celebrate investments in carbon reduction, using the communications to positively influence behaviours. This work was subsequently commended by ISO 14001 auditors.
Engaged students, staff and visitors Celebrated changes

Managing a campaign to celebrate investments in the student experience at a Russell Group university, including generating initial ideas, coordinating external designers and planning its roll-out across the institution.
Highlighted investments Demonstrated value for money

Leading a number of engagement projects for a social enterprise facilitating education exchange opportunities between the UK and China.
Improved community engagement  Simplified communications

Managing the communications for a university faculty restructuring, working with multiple teams and senior leaders to produce simple, accurate content about the complex changes.
Explained complex information Reduced anxiety about change

Auditing communications for a group of archaeologists using new technology to preserve important historical data, including suggesting improvements to keep the team’s diverse and demanding stakeholders engaged.
Clarified key messages  Helped plan for the future

Managing internal communications for a process improvement unit within a university, taking an active role as it grew from just one programme manager to a fully-staffed and in-demand office. (Read a case study on this work.)
Demonstrated improvements Engaged staff

Reviewing communications for a community trust tasked with engaging residents on two new housing developments in the south east, including making a number of pragmatic recommendations for how they could do more with their limited time and resource.
Engaged a community  Planned pragmatic improvements

Do get in touch if I can be of assistance with a project that you’re working on.