Blogroll Internal Communication

Delight Your Clients. Enhance Their Effectiveness

If internal communicators were to participate in a companywide popularity contest chances are they may end up unsuccessful.  Amy realizes that when Julie wanted her article included in the internal communications newsletter. Read my earlier post on ‘Are Internal Communicators in the Business of Keeping Stakeholders Happy?’.

Not because we don’t try hard enough. It isn’t really what internal communicators were meant to do – ‘please’ stakeholders. From our vantage point we are in a position to objectively assess what our clients need to be successful, how an organization needs to craft its communication and what will make audiences sit up and take notice.

That doesn’t always go well with stakeholders who very often believe they ‘know internal communications’.  When internal communicators aren’t able to establish their credentials and build credibility about what they do and can achieve as an entity the gap is often filled by stakeholders who know a thing or two about ‘creating taglines’ or ‘writing articles’ or ‘designing ads’ or ‘suggesting the right vehicle’ to share information.

If you clearly articulate your agenda, how you value add and demonstrate impact the chances of clients listening to you is greater.  You can ‘delight’ your clients by going beyond the brief, thinking on their behalf, sharing best practices and connecting the dots. You can delight your clients by pre-empting potential gaps in the campaign, partnering with the team on championing standards and removing roadblocks in the process.

However, delighting your stakeholders isn’t about ‘doing what they expect you to do’ but clarifying why one approach works best in their interest. Make clients ‘happy’ not by ‘pleasing’ them but by elevating their thinking about the function.

Lastly, making clients ‘happy’ by avoiding confrontations or not clearly defining roles and responsibilities can result in angst as your internal communications programming matures. Internal communicators aren’t meant to be ‘taking orders’ from clients but are expected to listen, evaluate and recommend suitable solutions that makes stakeholders effective in their effort.

What do you think?

One thought on “Delight Your Clients. Enhance Their Effectiveness

  1. Hi Aniisu,

    Reading through your blog post today i remember an incident that took place a few weeks back.

    A colleague approached me and asked me to design an emailer for her new HR campaign. I took the time to explain to her that as an internal communicator I could help her with the designs (communication part of it) but that she would have to approach the web design team to actually work on the flyer. I gave her a couple of ideas for the flyer as well.

    Once i was done, i thought i would really add value by asking her about the communication part of her campaign. I did a rough SWOT analysis of the campaign and pointed out gaps in the communication with various stakeholders. I also suggested a few solutions. She nodded and agreed.

    Later on, when the campaign ran i noticed that none of the changes suggested were used. (This part does not hurt as much) and she has commented to a mutual friend that i tried to interfere in her planning and shrugged my responsibilities. 🙂

    So I guess there are situations when you just need to do what you are expected and not any more.

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