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[Your Business Name] – Powered by Communication

[Your Business Name] – Powered by Communication

We’ve always heard that communication is key, but in today’s world it’s not only key – it can make or break a business.

Nearly every minute of every workday we are communicating – whether it’s internally with coworkers or trying to close the next big deal with a business prospect. We now have more communication vehicles than one could imagine. It’s becoming rare that people pick up a phone, much less engage in face-to-face meetings. Rather, most businesses rely on email, social media, media outlets, mobile apps, chat boxes, and texts.

Communication by the Numbers

According to one report, the costs of poor communication has hit $37 billion annually with large organizations (over 100,000 employees) reporting losses in productivity of $62.4 million per year. For a company with fewer than 100 employees, studies show a loss of $420,000 annually due to miscommunications.

Think what your company could achieve with $420,000 more a year.

While communication has always been a challenge for businesses, these astonishing statistics show just how much more an employee is overloaded in today’s workplace.

  • Every day, 205.6 billion emails are sent; only one-third are opened1
  • Americans spend 26 minutes a day texting and send 5.3 more texts than phone calls they make2
  • 46% of employees leave a meeting not sure of what they are supposed to do next2
  • 57% of projects fail due to breakdown in communications3
  • 11 hours a week are wasted on poor email communications3

To make matters worse, studies have shown that different generations have different communication preferences. If you’re a millennial, you may be thinking IKR – “send me a text, forget emails.” (That’s “I know, right?” for those of you who don’t speak text.) If you’re a baby boomer, you may just want to talk via phone or face-to-face.

So, how can you use the tools and methods available to you to better communication to co-workers and future partners or clients?

How to Succeed at Business Communications

Today everyone is bombarded with messages from social media, emails, and texts. To get the next deal or partnership for your company, it’s important to make every message count. How can you make sure your message is heard above the noise?

To succeed in today’s art of Business Communication, follow these simple steps:

  1. Actively ‘listen’ and pay attention. Ignore the next email that just came in or the text that just appeared on your phone.
  2. Be empathetic and understanding. Everyone is managing multiple tasks and fires each day. Be aware that people aren’t starting their days from the same place every day.
  3. Assume good intent. Clients and prospects are busy – just like you. Most people are focused on getting work done and doing what’s best. A brief response or delayed response does not mean that person is angry or ignoring you – they are likely buried in priorities.
  4. Don’t make assumptions. You know what they say when you assume. With much communication happening in writing, it is easy to misread a comma or a text message gone bad.
  5. Be self-aware. Know your own emotions and if you have a reaction that you feel strongly about, double check where you are mentally and what you have going on around you before you respond.
  6. Ask questions. Work under the guidance that there are no dumb questions. If you don’t know what the person is communicating or you are confused, ask for clarification. Asking questions will ensure that you and the other person/s are on the same page.

In summary, communication takes practice. No one will ever get it right all the time. We leave you with these pearls of wisdom.

[1] https://www.bluesource.co.uk/knowledge-hub/20-astonishing-stats-business-communications/
[2] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/280301
[3] http://blog.twoodo.com/1088/snackable-stats-about-company-communication-and-collaboration-today/
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work – and Delivers Results

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work – and Delivers Results

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.

Shared Goals

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.

Complementary Strengths

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.

Communication

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.

Transparency

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.