Jo Ann has made my life easier and the wider team are more engaged. They are not whinging about the changes we are introducing and we are not hearing negativity from their leaders.
She has independently reinforced the importance of change and engaged all the key stakeholders, including people we wouldn’t normally engage with. Jo Ann identified them and they are joining in communication activities.
What she managed to do was plug a hole we wouldn’t have realised we had until it was too late. As a matrix organisation, it is critical we get hold of people who control resources so they can send our messages down their lines.
Jo Ann has ensured we have a rigorous approach to engagement, communications and training for this digital transformation programme. She is holding us to account so we don’t fall back into complacency, helping people to squirm so they are open to change and adopt the quite different ways of working we are introducing.
Jo Ann Sweeney developed the process to take our Blueprint for Parking from a strategic document to practical activities we can implement over time. Just putting a framework around the process was very useful.
Jo Ann’s support in setting out the purpose for the blueprint was incredibly important. It was clear from the members’ workshop Jo Ann ran that there were different views on what was most important.
Jo Ann helped us collectively prioritise the objectives and then present them to our board members, so they are in tune with members’ thinking.
Board members better understand the overall challenge and scale of what they’ve asked us to do. We’ve mapped a logical process, are clear about what we are hoping to achieve and what happens next.
Jo Ann became almost a part of the team, grasped what we were trying to achieve and was able to demonstrate this understanding to the boards. She kept us on track and stimulated lots of conversations about our future direction.
Head of Public Affairs & Research
British Parking Association
Jo Ann Sweeney is inspirational and practically helpful. In the stakeholder analysis workshop she delivered for our business unit in 2013, and in conversations since, she has given me knowledge I can apply in practice – and self-confidence.
In the workshop I found absolutely helpful the structure for defining stakeholders and the different ways of conveying messages. Just after the workshop we discussed ideas for being creative and identifying unconventional ways to deliver communication activities.
At the time I was in charge of managing a global PMO in the R&D function for business unit Catalysts with a large army of stakeholders across different regions. One idea was to set a quarterly update on project portfolio status via video and in a news channel style. It grabbed attention; we had a very positive response to opens and people remembered the messages.
Subsequently I’ve been leading other big initiatives with relevant need for effective communication and find myself at ease doing so. I’m comfortable proposing communication plans that won’t be too difficult to make work.
Dr Filippo Larceri
Innovation Master Black Belt
Jo Ann Sweeney is an outstandingly good communicator who brings strength, depth and considerable experience to the internal news channels I run in BT.
Not only is she a good writer, but she appreciates the strategic context in which we operate. She sees the big picture and delivers consistently, reliably and to deadline month after month after month.
I have worked with her for 15 years and have huge respect for the many skills she brings to my team. I recently persuaded CiB to award her a Fellowship, giving her industry-wide recognition for a distinguished career in internal communications.
Editor in Chief, BT Group
I have worked with Jo Ann for more than ten years. She is highly experienced public relations and communications professional who would be an asset to any project or role that needs an experienced communications expert.
In her role as SPARKS communications manager Jo Ann has been able to distil what are often complex legal ideas and terminology into clear, simple and readable language. SPARKS has been a successful campaign due in no small part to her contribution.
I have always found Jo Ann to be hard working, productive and able and willing to meet deadlines. She is pleasant to work with and provides a valuable contribution to our communications strategy.
Programme Manager, the SPARKS Programme
Co-owner of the PEP Partnership LLP
I have known Jo Ann since 2005, principally through a tendering process for a communications audit for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Jo Ann won the work by presenting a clear and cost effective tender and delivering a presentation to Executive board members.
As project manager for the audit I worked closely with Jo Ann over 18 months. Jo Ann ensured a critical path timeline was adhered to, was always accessible by phone, responded to emails promptly, but more importantly was flexible to the demands of the organisation, which were sometimes very immediate. Jo Ann was very easy to work with, her communication skills ensured we achieved our objectives and outcomes.
The significant positive through working with Jo Ann was the amount I learnt about communications and was able to apply in my job after. The organisation has taken on board the project recommendations and is actively seeking to change their internal communications strategy. From the beginning Jo Ann made considerable efforts to understand the nuances and peculiarities of the organisation first, using this knowledge to achieve success.
South West Regional Manager, FSB