Reading Time: 2 minutes

Communicating challenging transitions

Client name and details removed due to confidentiality agreement.


A national non-profit organisation faced the complex challenge of selling two assets within the same community. The decision to sell the assets came after the board deemed them to be outside the client’s strategic core business. The goals were to ensure seamless transitions for service users and staff, manage stakeholder expectations and safeguard the organisation’s reputation.

I was brought in to support the communications manager in fine-tuning the messaging and plans, as well as developing a suite of stakeholder communications.


The project presented several challenges. The need for confidentiality made it difficult at times to get timely information. Changes of direction at the executive level as the organisation sought to secure ideal buyers resulted in communication materials needing frequent reworking. The risk of information leaks to the media added pressure to the planned announcements.

Strategy and delivery 

As communication specialist I was engaged to give advice and feedback on the existing communication plans for both projects. Working with the client’s communications manager, I supported their work with the executive team by providing insights to help fine-tune the strategy. The primary deliverables included a suite of communication pieces explaining the two announcements to various stakeholders, ensuring consistency and clarity. In the fast-moving landscape of these projects, I needed to remain responsive. I needed to be aware of potential stakeholder issues and able to quickly deliver accurate, on-message communications.

Mitigating risks

Preserving confidentiality, I worked with the communications manager to develop a comprehensive source of truth document, which was regularly updated. Different versions of communication materials were prepared to accommodate varying scenarios, allowing for fluid transitions as the situation evolved. To mitigate the risk of media leaks, we drafted a range of statements and responses, enabling swift and considered communication should the need arise.

Engaging stakeholders

Identifying the broad range of stakeholders was crucial, including staff members, current and prospective users of the services, suppliers, local media, government bodies, buyers and internal stakeholders across the organisation. Anticipating potential reactions and preparing helpful resources and FAQs ensured the client was prepared to address stakeholder concerns effectively.


Both assets found quality, well-respected buyers, alleviating concerns among staff and service users. The suite of communication pieces was well-received and provided essential information during the transitions to all relevant stakeholders. As a result, the media coverage maintained balance and effectively conveyed the key messages the client wanted to communicate. Following the announcement, I developed further communications as required during the assets transition from the client to the new buyers.


Through collaborative support, offering advice, feedback and delivering a suite of effective communication pieces, I proved my value and earned the trust of the communications manager. My contribution to the successful projects highlights the importance of adaptable strategies to communicate complex transitions.