Freebies

I came across this in my LinkedIn network this week and av just completed reading this inspiring little book of about 97 pages. Its free to download and read and I must say, It has a lot of  simple truths that communication experts sometimes forget to mentor about. But I guess, some of these truths totally depend on the personality of a person; or just when someone gets a reality check on how they have been living and need a 180 degree change. I think its more than just reading to learn how to self promote, its all about growing yourself as a person and getting to understand the intricacies of social contact (and am not talking about smart phones and all these apps we are forever glued to). Get to know people more and excercise the power of encouraging others.

Grab your copy here for free.

http://view.orangedox.com/Freebook

Stand on Your Guard

I sure do hope that this message will be advise to someone someday. You are not weak to stand on your ground and fight for progressive growth in your department for the good of the organisation. It’s not easy. You may gain more enemies than anything but again….why should people fight you within if the organisation’s foundation and profit margin will grow firmer? Just like Winston Churchill said one time: You have enemies? Good. It means you have stood up for something, sometime in your life.

Due to the fact that corporate communication is currently experiencing a paradigm shift in roles i.e. moving from the technical jobs into more strategic and management like jobs, its paramount to show the same when making decisions that have future to it. Leadership is a powerful trait needed for this shift in corporate roles and goals. Sometimes, as leaders in this profession, we just have to stand our ground (witfully) on certain issues and make your case known.

Even the good book does advice us to stand our ground and not be lukewarm in our decision making. Trully, this elevates into a matter of arbitration, God always reminds us: Present your case, set forth your argument (Isaiah 41:21). I have a colleague who keeps reminding me that to get things moving you sometimes have to be like that flea that doesnt want to leave the dogs fur. Keep trying over and over until you get somewhere.

Just stand your ground and present the facts. Hope this encourages some of my friends who have been going through some tough times at their places of work and with their thesis defenses.

Complexity or complicated

I joined an online course in Futurelearn.com that is trying to unravel the difference between complexity and complicated. I decided to take up that course because I needed to understand where, within my work environment, was I standing? Complicated or complex?

You see when you are are given a less than 10% of your original operational budget to carry out all tasks within a year….it somewhat becomes complicated. Or is it a complex situation to be in?

Well,am well into week two of this course and so far am just reading complicated in everything….why? Be ause I think we allow compliciations where there shouldn’t be.

Complexity simply means that different elements operate together correlatedly but not under a central command. In todays society, social media can be termed as complexity. The interface between using various means and websites to achieve the sole purpose of communicating effectivley to your various audiences brings without necessarily having a central command or control over what outcome to expect is a complex issue. A 90% budget cut to deliver this outcome is, well, complicated. And that is where I am.
Top management is normally quick to cut communication budgets when times are tough ( or when they feel communication isnt an impòrtant component to organisatiins growth) ; but in essence its the opposite. You need to feed that function of the organisation to remain relevant, promote your reputation positively, enhance transparency in your activities especially in that uncertain time. I always say, you would rather get a sponsor, or partner to support your corporate communication activites.

Its complicated when the communication officer has to keep stalling media activities due to an insufficient budget. Good news that is just a complication, which ooften times than not, is temporary. To uncomplicate this….seek a partnership in an event to get your publicity going.

This becomes the best time to rekindle that friendship with that newspaper or magazine editor or appropriate blogger to make some beautiful noise about your product or service. I know this has worked for me well with inter-minìsterial magazines. I send them updates of our accreditation activites for every issue and this helps with awareness creation of our brand withn the government.

Oh, but not to worry…..anything is possible and from what I gather about social media, a good well thought out idea and strategy is often the key. Always remember that. See what Kenya Bankers Association did to penetrate into the market…..used social media wisely- Chat with CEO platform. Another good strategiser is GT Bank Nigeria who created a market hub to encourage their clients to use their social banking platform while shopping or doing business.

This is where diversity and a new level of thinking is required to sell your services and products.

Maybe think of reinventing your wheel. That is where you uñravel complexity…..look at the correlated elements to achieve your goal and seek it as a positive thing not negative.

In this Profession, We Relate

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“PR starts and ends with the relationship.”
-PR News’ Best PR Advice Book

There is an annual event that I have participated in, in the last 3 years. This event is actually the backbone of the vision of the orgnanisation I work for. But from the moment I joined to date, we seem to always battle with one thing….invitations. We just never get enough (relevant) people to attend in as much as we try all methods possible within a minimal budget.

So, I did a small analysis on the way things were done and realised that only at one time in the three years did we get a good relevant number of guests attending. And the realisation pointed towards our senior managers and their networks. Being a diversely faced non-profit organisation, each of our senior managers deals with specific people in different industries e.g. food, laboratories, inspection firm etc. This means that the relationships that the senior managers had created in their day to day professional network somewhat influenced the decision of those invited to attend- It’s all about relations. And not just relations, but good, profitable and relevant relations to the organisation.

The relationship is in all spheres : media relations, employee relations, client relations, government relations, public affairs, etc. From this framework, coordination and decision-making take place between the organisation and the audience target group.

Often times, I have found myself calling in a favour with a journalist to do a post event article, when journalists dont show up for event. Recall the time when Kenya was at a crisis with the Westgate Shopping Mall ordeal, no media station was covering any other event and we had a major International meeting happening that same week. We got no coverage. But somehow, we got online presence after making a few phone calls as well as got a free newspaper article in that week on that event. This came about due to relations.

Now, there are more structured relations in other fields e.g. during a crisis, to both the employees and to the media. you may need guided material on what to do in order to relay a unified message to the public. And yet again, if you have cultivated good relationship with reporters…its easy to get a heads up on matters before they rock the boat and save face for the organisation.

I never really understood what my former bosses used to say when they would tell me, ” Never burn your bridges. ” Its because at one time in the near or far future, you might need that relationship to get your job done.

Now you know.

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE FOR GROWTH IN MANY COMPANIES

” Either you use corporate communication or you don’t get success,”. These are the words of Emanuele Invernizzi, President of EUPRERA/IULM University in Italy as he illustratively brings out the evolution, and thus the need, for corporate communication today. Of much importance too is the historical blend that shows the emergence of new trends in communication such as globalisation and technology shapers in this industry; and of course, this means we are in perpetual movement to diversifying communication in the world.

Its interesting fact to note that we communicate in everything we do, not only write or speak hence communication holds a foundation of creating understanding in people’s minds. Today’s economy and technology advances demand for consistency of messages  that increase the impact of building good relationships with our clients and customers. In every reasonable sense, most companies, whether corporate, civic, non-governmental or governmental seek to satisfy the growing demands of their stakeholders but unfortunately, in my view, using the wrong strategies to address these demands and that is why most organizations are not achieving their optimum business aspirations.

The result-oriented framework for corporate communication is that it allows the organization to strengthen its corporate – stakeholder relationships. This is because one is able not only to identify who fits in to be a much useful and needed stakeholder but also what messages to send to that stakeholder. There is order in communication – order that produces results.

Richard Dolphin (1999) sums up corporate communications into two:

a) An approach – it sets out to ensure the consistency of the corporate message and the transparency of the organization.

b) A function of management – it anticipates issues, crises and events before they occur.

Hence, this well describes the fact that corporate communication is the fresh perspective for growth in companies in Kenya today. Which organization wouldn’t want to be warned or for the better part, plan for any incidences? Which organization wouldn’t want a good reputation with its publics ? Not any that i know of. And for the most part, the fundamental management function lies in the role of corporate communication that helps bring credibility to your organization and your business objectives.

So, why do we ignore the essentials of this profession? Food for thought.