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Why are communications essential?

Written by on 18 October 2010

Although this seems pretty self-explanatory, it’s important to assess how good your business is at communicating. If we stand back and think about how we communicate across our businesses, the answer may become a little clearer.

Communication is often a little haphazard, and email is largely responsible for this. Any individual within a business can receive hundreds, if not thousands of electronic communications, and this does not always lend to succinct and clear communication.

Structure and process

Individuals need to be directed to important communications and communication channels need to be clearly defined and maintained in order to build an understanding of relevance. If this is not maintained, valuable information can be buried within inappropriate communications channels.

Defining communications channels

There are a growing number of information channels available to businesses - both internally and externally. Twitter and Facebook for example, are both providing us with new ways of communicating. Whilst many organisations are using these tools effectively, they can also be disruptive and difficult to control. An organisation needs to understand its target audience, what channels they use and how they use them.

Getting the message right

Once the communication channels have been identified the organisation needs to build a presence, a personality and above all, credibility within the channel. Individuals will only reference valuable communications within a channel if they perceive your information to be of value. So, it’s essential that you never communicate for the sake of it and always produce information in a style that is appropriate for the channel!

Keeping people informed

Once you have established a communications channel, it’s suggested that a ‘dripping tap approach’ is used, whereby information is fed out to your audience in bite-size, easy to understand chunks. Never expect individuals to work out your message!

Importance of language and meaning

Use language that is easily understood. Avoid use of acronyms or abbreviations. If you have a very specific term, use brackets to explain the meaning behind it. Never presume that everyone understands your language.

Building trust and commitment

Having spent time defining your priority communication channels, you should use them to communicate appropriately and effectively. If your communications are valued, you will build respect, an understanding and commitment through your target community/recipients.

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