What do I do for a living? I am a public relations practitioner, a marketing consultant, and a writer and editor. I meet sales goals, write advertisements, and train customer service staffers. I structure and evaluate websites, supervise social media, and write and design marketing materials. I'm a fundraiser, an education and nonprofit organization manager, and a valiant advocate of the 1st Amendment. What it all comes down to is...I am in the business of relationships.
In my business, it's my job to connect businesses and organizations with their public. That includes customers, clients, and the community. I also strive to connect management with their internal audiences of employees, directors, and investors. An organization's public also extends to government and municipal leaders. All these individuals and groups play an integral role in business operation, making smooth communication even more necessary.
As technology and commerce continues to evolve with increasing velocity, the way we communicate should also change concurrently. Facebook, YouTube, and the Huffington Post, for example, have changed the way we...aka everyone...communicate. Gone are the days of merely a monthly newsletter in the mail and a press release to the newspaper; these tools are valuable, but cannot stand alone.
Is there a foolproof recipe for good communications? Beyond the rule 'do no harm,' no; each communication plan should be tailor-fit to your organization. With so many media vehicles and a wide variety of stakeholders, it's important to pay attention to their concerns and their interests to actively seek them, rather than hope they see you.
As we embark in the future, don't hope for the best...plan for the best. Don't underestimate the worth of professional communications, and the value it can add to your company.