If you've been in any enterprise as an owner, a manager, or an employee, then you would be privy to the fact that communication strategies is an integral element of any business.
In fact, it is so significant that any shortcoming or disruption in the communication process could result in problems – internal, external, or even both – that, if not treated with the right remedy, might spiral out of control and lead to the demise of the enterprise.
With communication playing such a huge part in the success or failure of a business, having proper and well-planned strategies is something that business owners and managers should think of investing in.
External Communication Practices That Work
North Carolina State University Poole College of Management's career resources section includes a piece on audience strategy for all professional business communication. The document explained why having a communication strategies is significant in any business venture.
“Communication is the use of language to inform, to persuade, or to change someone,” the piece about audience strategy read. “Using an intelligent audience strategy is the key to successful communication, whether in job-search documents, in academic papers, or on-the-job writing and professional presentations.”
According to the NCSU, a business' audience or target market will respond to communication if one or more of the three given conditions are met: if the audience finds the business' message in its self-interest; if the audience finds the bearer of the message to be someone believable and trust-worthy; or if the audience finds the message to be likable in itself.
Internal Communication Practices for a More Productive Workforce
Aside from external communication strategies, having a thorough set of internal communication practices is integral as well.
Forbes contributor Chuck Cohn, who is also the CEO and founder of online private tutoring technology called Varsity Tutors, explored the many facets of internal communication practices that could help improve the relations between the management and the employees.
“Like many aspects of successful business management, stellar company communication can take months or years to cultivate,” Cohn pointed out in his article. “Whether your business currently has three staff members or 300, strengthening your internal communication at every level can lead to greater operational efficiency, increased sales, and a more satisfying company culture.”
Cohn listed six communication strategies that he said boosts internal communication in a business. They are:
- Video simulcasts
- Group events
- Recurring meetings
- Team lunche
- Internal newsletters, and
- Open-door policies
There are numerous technological advances that could help implement communication practices, internal or external, in a business.
Through emails, teleconferences, video calls and internal communication software, leaders of a business, however big or small, can reach out to the employees, even if they are from different locations such as in the case of the telecommuting workforce.
Pointers in Coming Up With a Great Communication Plan
Matthew Sherrington, strategy director for The Good Agency in London, emphasized good points in laying out good communication strategies.
“People engage best with people, not abstract issues: Single case-study stories done properly can illustrate wider issue in a real, accessible and relevant way,” The Guardian's Anna Scott wrote about the principle behind Sherrington's communication style.
Business owners can also learn a lot from Sherrington's principle about acknowledging how much people can do to address a specific issue. Expressing how big a difference people can do to solve a problem can definitely make them feel useful they are, therefore encouraging action.
Last but not the least, having a good communication strategy means being honest about one's own agenda, and therefore being transparent about it. People – whether customers or employees – are much more comfortable doing something if they know the reason behind it, and if they do not feel that there's something shady about the motivations of the business owner or management.