Everyone knows that success is not created in a vacuum. Teamwork permeates everything we do. In sports, we know the names of some standout players, but it is how they work together that delivers wins.
In public relations and marketing agencies, clients depend on team members to not only know their craft but serve as an extension of the marketing teams. How individual stars execute as part of a larger, cross-functional team is where you will really see results.
What do you need to build a great team? Some of the best groups share a few key elements.
Being part of a team is entering into a relationship, so remember your parents’ advice – find people with similar goals. Working toward the same objectives builds comradery as well as teamwork. Clearly stating those goals ensures everyone is on the same page.
Having a group of people who are carbon copies of each other, for those of you that remember print forms, is not only boring. It stifles innovation. Remember what Winston Churchill said: “If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.”
You want people with different experiences and assets to round out your team and bring ideas that you may not have come up with on your own. Identify what characteristics are needed to succeed. Know your strengths and recruit people that have different ones. Then, offer enough autonomy to let each member’s expertise shine.
Proper communication is the backbone of every good collaboration, so it must take into account people’s personal preferences. Colleagues can each react differently to how information is presented, so it is important to understand the nuances of your team.
Proactive feedback is also important to keeping the team on track. Don’t wait until there is a problem – keep responses consistent to prevent issues. The ability to brainstorm, strategize and work through challenges is the result of good team communication. There is also an added bonus created from this – trust.
This takes communication to the next level. For teamwork to thrive, each member needs to execute off of the same playbook. Ensure your PR and marketing teams are in the know about your organization – functionality in development, your key drivers, business decisions motivators, and the skinny on your customers’ favorite features. This enables teams to proactively act in your best interest and deliver real results.
Individuals can certainly accomplish many tasks from the outside; however, it is like passing to the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski – the ball will be caught, but maybe not as gracefully. Expertise is not always enough. Transparency removes the handicap and creates synergies that deliver above and beyond your expectations, tapping into resources that will best guide your programs to reach your business goals.
Public relations and marketing are about building your brand in a way that supports overarching business goals – creating thought leadership, increasing brand awareness, motivating behavior from select groups. Don’t get lost chasing tactics. Keep your objectives in sight and build the team that will get you there.