Sometimes we do things that get in the way of what we are really trying to accomplish. Communicators are no exception. Here are three things I have seen that are getting in the way of effectively doing our jobs.
Losing Sight of Relationships
Strip away all the descriptors and lists of duties and, at the core, the skill that communicators bring to organizations is the ability to develop long-term, productive relationships. It’s not about saying the right thing to get someone to act on the most expedient need; it’s not about selling or — even worse — spin.
In this age of measurable results, communication pros are often urged to define immediate action-impact results. Short term results are only okay of there is equal or greater emphasis on building long-term, sustainable relationships that will have many benefits over the course of time.
Building long-term relationships differentiates the work of public relations from that of sales, advertising, and marketing. Keep your eye on what needs to be done to develop relationships with staying power.
Wanting Everyone to Love You
The most common answer I get when I ask a client who they want to reach is “everyone.” Wrong!
Every organization and every message has a target audience. Smart communicators help their organizations to keep a focus on the actions that will connect with that audience and don’t dilute their efforts by trying to reach and please everyone.
Being Busy with Busy-ness
The communication function can be a bit of an organizational dumping ground. Any task that seems to need doing and that does not clearly fall under another function can be labeled as a PR department task. As a result, communicators can wind up with so many tasks that there’s no line of sight to the strategy.
Communicators should be able to connect every item they spend time on to an underlying business goal. Activity with no strategy is just keeping busy. And being busy rather than strategic is one way to lose the credibility of the work you were hired to do.