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VOL. 133 | NO. 3 | Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Guerrilla Sales & Marketing

Trim the Fat from Communications

By Leslie Graff

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LESLIE GRAFF

While we all try to start the year healthier by substituting celery for cookies, it’s also time to make your internal communications a little leaner with a New Year’s reboot.

Not to sabotage your new diet with a food analogy, but you might say “internal communications” is a smorgasbord of information for your employees, channels for reaching them and company goals to reinforce. It’s easy to let this hefty buffet of messaging weigh you down.

In any plan to get healthy, you have to eat better, get lean with cardio and lift weights to build strength. The same strategies apply to a strong communications plan.

“Eat better” with improved information sharing. Just as you plan your meals for the week, plan the messages you’re sending to your team. Think about what you’re feeding them by providing a healthy blend of information they need to know to do their jobs and be excited about where your company is headed. 

“Get lean” through fast communication channels. On bad days, managing your communication channels can feel like jumping between a spin bike, elliptical and treadmill – lots of effort is going out in all directions but you never go anywhere. 

We send emails and texts, hang notices, make in-person announcements, leave voicemails and set up chat systems to stay in touch, yet we often feel no one hears us. If you’re struggling to send notices through all your channels, your employees are also struggling to stay on top of them all. 

As your company’s chief communicator, it’s your job to be sure your strategy is fast and lean so people can get the information they need without slowing down to learn a new machine. Give employees clear directions on what types of communications go with each channel and how often they should check in. Before you add another cardio machine to your workout plan, think about which ones are actually getting you to your goals. 

“Build strength” by focusing on the heavy weight of major goals. Internal communications can get bloated quickly because you’re often negotiating competing goals. In some messages, you need to share bad news or correct problematic behavior, while elsewhere you want to inspire your team.

By letting company priorities drive the tone, frequency and content of your communications, you’re able to reinforce what should be important for everyone on your team. The more often your employees receive routine messages through the lens of encouragement, they more they are able to recognize the positive company culture you’re building. 

While your new diet and exercise program will make you stronger, strategic internal communications will make your team stronger when you take time to plan healthy messages, share them quickly through effective channels and tie your communications to your goals and priorities.  

Leslie Graff, marketing strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at redrovercompany.com.

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