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4 tips to provide effective counsel on business communications

Every day internal communicators write, review, edit or re-write content pieces that business teams use to communicate at work. Be it the launch of a campaign, reiterating a policy or an employee event, helping business teams achieve success is a priority for communicators. To be a respected communication counsel, the internal communicator must be able to help teams effectively communicate their messages.

While style guides and writing handbooks are helpful, for every day communication they may prove to be cumbersome for internal teams to comprehend and put in action. How can internal communicators provide effective guidance for business teams?

·      Context: The proximity of the communications team to business events and news (hopefully that is the case in most progressive organizations), allows them to provide the most appropriate context for messages. Importantly, the role of internal communication is to help staff understand where the organization is heading and what it means for them. Consider the following: Why are your staff receiving the communication? Why must they care? What makes this piece of communication the most appropriate for them to consume?

·      Tone: Since your staff can choose to spend their time elsewhere instead of reading your content, directing your energy to pitch messages right can make a significant difference. Based on your intent, and through the power of writing, you can raise awareness, build pride, improve recall, enhance recognition and drive engagement. Consider the following: Is your message positive, upbeat, honest or direct? How will your employees ‘feel’ after reading your content?

·      Connection: Your staff is engaged most when they receive communication that directly links to their work. The role of the internal communicator is to help business teams build those connections and provide line of sight on initiatives. Share inputs on ‘where’ the communication features in the broader plan. Help your staff retrace the evolution of messages in case they want to go back and refer. Consider the following: will your employees appreciate the linkages your messages have to the ‘big picture’? Can they accept their part in the journey?

·      Inclusion: Help business teams be inclusive in their communication. Not just by understanding audiences but also in appreciating the mindset of readers. Some readers prefer to know the specifics while others may want to get a high level summary. A few need proof to ‘believe’ messages and then there are skeptics who need to be convinced with strong arguments.Consider the following:will readers ‘trust’ the source of your content? Is the sender of the message credible enough? Does it include all staff – desk-based, onsite and offsite? Have you sought feedback? Is there an option for staff to connect and learn more?

With business teams spending a significant amount of time writing and reviewing content, the role of the communicator is very crucial in improving understanding, connecting staff to organizational goals and making communication simple and inclusive.

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