Many communicators' networks begin with the best of intentions. But unless you work hard to create value for participants, network meetings can become boring, attendance can dwindle and eventually the network can go up in smoke. To ensure your communicators' network doesn't suffer a similar fate, here are five ways to make network meetings meaningful.

Create value by   Examples
1. Planning:
Help participants gain a clear understanding of overall goals and how to align with them.
One client used the network to build the annual communications plan. By doing so, he gained support for implementation and provided focus for local plans.
2. Solving problems:
Leverage the knowledge of the group to come up with solutions.
During each communicators' network meeting, our client opened the floor to participants so they could share problems they were encountering and brainstorm solutions with the help of colleagues.
3. Making decisions:
Come to a consensus on a question or issue.
Uncertain about which software to use for an upcoming survey, our client turned to the network for input. Members discussed their experiences with different software and eventually selected a standard software for all surveys.
4. Sharing information:
Help participants stay in the loop.
Leading up to a merger, one client used the network to keep participants informed about "Day One" news and events.
5. Coordinating change:
Efficiently execute change projects.
A client at a large corporation with multiple operating companies used her network to coordinate the launch of a new brand identity for the company.