Last week I was honored to facilitate a panel of executive communications leaders. The event was designed to share best practices related to executive communications strategies in these challenging times. It was hosted by the Minnesota chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC-MN).
Here are some reoccurring themes that were shared during our discussion. I hope you find them helpful in your own work – whether you work in the field of executive communications or serve as the voice of your own organization.
Speed Over Perfection
History happens and business leaders are called upon to rise to the moment. In recent times, leaders have been put to the test. They are being called to speak on topics they’ve never approached before – from the murder of George Floyd to racial equity, from the pandemic to the rise of the work-from-anywhere era. In the world of corporate communications, we cannot predict when breaking news will happen that warrants an organization-wide or public response. However, we can prepare for likely scenarios. Also, we can put a process in place for pulling together a quick and thoughtful response. Quickly gather the right stakeholders and decision-makers in your organization, discuss the situation and move forward with a response, valuing speed over perfection. Seek to strike a balance between avoiding knee-jerk reactions and waiting too long to respond.
Be Authentic and Accessible
Messages demonstrating compassion and authenticity resonate best. Listening to the internal voices within your organization is an effective approach to strengthening your understanding of different viewpoints and your compassion for those you serve. It not only helps you learn what is important to your team, but it brings forth areas of concern and new perspectives on specific topics. Frequent, regular and transparent communication builds trust and leads to more fulfilling and productive relationships for all.
Follow Up with Action
It can be difficult to have conversations in the workplace about societal issues and the position that your organization will take on these issues. To build trust and credibility within your team and your external audience, whenever possible seek to back up your message with action. Listening to feedback from your team and sharing what you heard builds greater understanding for all involved. Frequent and authentic communication deepens connections and helps your team understand why your organization is taking specific actions.
I hope you find these tips helpful. This panel discussion was refreshing and it offered firsthand perspectives on how to build an employer brand and organizational culture.
At Evo, we wholeheartedly believe that strategic communication builds meaningful connections and drives business results. As you navigate the challenges of today and the future, remember to embrace the values and strengths of your team.
I love connecting and helping people. I would love to add you to my LinkedIn network. Likewise, if you are looking for a thought partner related to communications strategies, feel free to schedule a call on my calendar.
International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Minnesota is dedicated to bringing professionals together, offering professional development and networking opportunities for its members. Learn more about this fantastic group HERE.