In connection with its plans to complete the renovation of a building complex in Zurich’s District 1 (Bahnhofstrasse 75-79) by 2024, Swiss Life commissioned EBP to provide communications consulting services, including workshops, to accompany the project from conception to completion.
The communications concept for this renovation project in the center of Zurich is oriented towards a comprehensive range of stakeholders, or target groups, with different and potentially incompatible interests, including future tenants, construction workers and the occupants of buildings surrounding the construction site. Working in close consultation with our colleagues in our developer support unit, we set out to learn more about the people making up the individual target groups and how best to communicate with them.
To arrive at an accurate assessment of the current-state situation, we first conducted interviews with selected project participants. We then joined our client in the framework of a SWOT workshop to discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with the project. These two steps allowed us to ascertain at an early stage the complex requirements that would need to be met by our communications team and to appropriately prioritize the target groups.
Crazy 8 and user-centered design (UCD)
We then examined the specific needs of the various target groups in a user-centered design workshop. As is typical of UCD approaches, we developed personas, i.e. generalized descriptions representing the requirements, goals and behavioral patterns of the respective groups. Personas help one to better understand abstract target groups and to communicate with them more effectively. In our workshop, we also sought to determine the communication measures (e.g. videos, events, mega-posters) that were best suited to reaching the target groups. Using a Crazy 8 method, we then assembled a large bouquet of possible measures.
Establishing a communications concept as a basis
We compiled our results in the form of a communications concept. Including the relevant goals, target groups, messages, measures and timepoints, this concept provides a basis for all project-related communications. It also identifies the synergies that are there to be exploited between communications and other activities such as advertising available space in the renovated complex.
The communications concept can also be used as a reference tool by the project-management team during the execution phase, for instance: to compare current states to target states; to assess whether the concerns of the respective target groups are being properly addressed; and to proactively derive any necessary corrective measures.