Friday, November 12, 2010

Watershed Alliance Communication Survey - Background

Here is some background information on the Communication Survey that the Minnesota River Watershed Alliance is conducting. Please see the next blog post for the survey form.

My name is Jenny Gieseke and I am currently a graduate student at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I am pursuing an MS in Communication Studies, and as part of the coursework for Organizational Communication 512, I am required to complete a communication audit on an organization. I chose the Minnesota River Watershed Alliance for the audit because I thought the voluntary nature of the organization was unique, and I thought the audit would also provide beneficial information to the Alliance. On October 19, 2010, I attended a quarterly meeting of the Alliance, and was given approval by members to complete the audit.

What does a Communication Audit provide?

A communication audit provides an objective picture of what is actually happening in regard to an organization’s communication processes compared to what an organization thinks is happening. It is a diagnostic tool that can be used to pinpoint what is working and what is not working in regard to the communication practices of an organization.

The 21 question survey and instructions are provided in the next blog post. I am requesting that all responses be returned to me by Monday, November 15, 2010. I realize this is a short turn around time and that everyone is busy, but the survey should only take between 5 to 10 minutes to complete. All responses will be treated confidentially. I know how easy it is to just ignore a survey like this, but I'm hoping that the dedication of the Alliance members to improving their organization will prove an exception to the rule.

I will provide a copy of the Audit Report to the Alliance by December 15, 2010.

How will a Communication Audit benefit the Minnesota River Watershed Alliance?

The purpose of this audit is to identify the most commonly utilized channels of communication between Alliance members. The questions chosen for the survey were developed based on input from coordinating team members during a conference call on October 27, 2010. The survey is being sent to all members of the Alliance. Please consider donating 5 to 10 minutes of your time to complete the survey. The reliability of the data collected for the survey is dependent upon a sufficient number of surveys being completed and returned. With enough input from Alliance members, the audit will provide information regarding which channels of communication are successfully utilized, which need additional efforts, and which areas can be eliminated.


I have over 10 years of experience working in the area of Water Resource Management, specifically for the Crow River Organization of Water (CROW) Joint Powers Board. Prior working for the CROW I worked in the area of wetland management in both the private and public sectors. I have a B.S. in Ecology/Environmental Science. My objective in obtaining a MS in Communications is to continue to work in the field of Natural Resources but to focus my efforts in areas such as organizational development and capacity building.

Thank you very much for taking the time to complete the survey, I appreciate your assistance.

Jenny Gieseke