In today’s workplace, everyone’s a communicator. The flow of information is continuous and multi-channel, encompassing emails, texts, instant chat platforms, social media, and more. The dialogue is constant… with no expertise or experience needed to send a message.
So, if everyone in today’s workplace is communicating, what role does that leave for those typically assigned to manage communications on behalf of a business or organization?
- The non-stop barrage of information makes it more important than ever for leaders to partner with PR and corporate communications professionals to cut through the clutter and ensure company messaging sticks. Consulting a comms pro will ensure you deliver the right message at the right time through the right channels.
- But if you’re only calling on PR/Comms when you have a product to promote or a reputation to protect, you are missing the full value of your professional communications resources.
- Still skeptical? Read this Axios story about the increasing importance of communications in business leadership.
Here are 5 skills PR and Comms pros offer that have nothing to do with crafting messaging:
- Professional communicators are strategic thinkers with strong command of the details. Great communicators ask smart questions, leading them to uncover unique opportunities and anticipate outcomes – good and bad. Want to pressure test a new idea or evaluate a plan to ensure it will work? Tap a comms professional to be your thought partner. We guarantee they’ll discover a few things – large and small – that you hadn’t previously considered.
- Good communicators solve problems. Communications experts have mastered the art of figuring it out. They may not have all the answers, but they know what to ask to get started finding solutions. And because they work across so many different teams and functions, they’re well-connected. They’ll make sure all the right people and perspectives are at the table to look at a project or issue from all possible angles. If you want to problem solve with speed and efficiency, engage a professional communicator.
- The best communicators are thinking about ALL your stakeholders. When people hear PR, they immediately think of the media. While journalists are an important audience, it’s not the only one your PR or Comms partners are considering. They’re also exploring how business decisions and priorities impact employees, customers, investors, regulatory bodies, communities and society. As noted in the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer, businesses are expected to do more than just sell – they must lead by example, communicate their values, and speak up on social issues. The most successful businesses consult communicators before taking action.
- Communications people have high emotional intelligence. Empathy is a communications pro’s superpower. Crafting the right message starts by understanding and anticipating your audience’s needs, preferences and pain points. If you’re curious about the perceived impact of an organizational change or new business strategy, try discussing your plans with a comms partner first. They’ll provide an honest assessment of how your plans will land, as well as offer some steps you can take now to mitigate a negative future impact.
- Communications experts understand change management. Navigating change is never easy, but if there’s one function that’s particularly skilled at charting new territory, it’s Communications. Engage your PR/Comms team as a key partner on organizational change initiatives. They will ensure the messaging meets the moment and that all stakeholders are clear on their roles and what the change is trying to achieve.
Bottom line: Good communicators make leaders more impactful and organizations more effective. Bring the PR/Comms experts at your company into strategic discussions earlier and more often or find a trusted agency partner that can fill that role.
Rachel Withers is president of Tiny Mighty Communications, a strategic public relations agency specializing in corporate and marketing communications for B2B and manufacturing organizations. A trusted communications leader, Rachel works to understand her clients’ business as well as they do to create targeted communications activities that engage stakeholders and enhance reputation in unique and lasting ways.