A COMMUNICATIONS PHILOSOPHY
"Our job is to make change . . . to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go."
- Seth Godin
Whether for marketing, shareholder, or internal communications, managing communications requires a combination of strategic thinking, extreme versatility, creativity tempered by deadline and budget management. It’s a lot of left brain – right brain balance.
It also requires:
Lots of experience
The ability to be effective both within a team and alone
The ability to manage internal and external resources
Diplomacy with a sense of humor
I have more than twenty-five years experience in communications management and business-to-business writing, ranging from working within large corporations and large and small professional services firms to communications consulting.
How we communicate says so much about us. Through our words we convey our understanding, our trustworthiness, our empathy, and so much more.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING
I believe that communicating in business means - first and foremost - listening and understanding. whether you're trying to convince a sales prospect that your service or product requires serious consideration or just trying to convince internal resources of the importance of your project, listening to their needs and their priorities has to be part of the process. The 80/20 rule is generally applicable: listen 80% of the time, and talk 20%.
GETTING TO THE POINT
More than ever before, people today are flooded with messages, yours, mine and everyone else's. Few of us have the luxury to spend the day reading meandering text about a product or service, especially if they haven't requested it and it comes in the form of an email. We need to get to the point quickly and effectively. Words can be very hard workers if we choose them wisely. Yes, the word "clarity" also comes to mind.
WORDS DON'T EXIST ALONE
Writers love words. I do. But how we present ideas plays a huge role in how they are received. A marketing communications professional must:
Understand visual design
Be able to manipulate photos and other forms of imagery
Be competent in the diverse and dynamic world of digital communications
Still understand the process of traditional print
Be aware of cultural differences in how words and images are perceived
And a whole lot more