Have You Developed A Communications Strategy For Your Business Yet?
As a small business owner, you face many challenges if you want to compete in today’s marketplace. On top of battling through the reams of red tape to ensure compliance with the latest government regulations and standards, you also have to find ways to adapt your practices so you stand out in an always connected and very competitive world.
Why Does Effective Communication Matter?
Having a sound communications strategy in place will make your business stronger. Your strategy will enable you to hone your policies and internal procedures, as well as allow you to develop powerful marketing messages that resonate with prospective customers. You’ll also gain the necessary insights to set up a customer retention program so you can build up a loyal customer base.
Your communications strategy will help you to keep staff happy and productive, avoid discrimination or harassment complaints from employees, reach the right audience with the right message, project a professional image to the media and potential joint venture partners, manage your social media and other online presence, and much more.
How To Find People With The Right Communication Skills
For job applicants, listing strong communication skills on their resume is as common as stating that they’re a team player and a self starter. In other words, it’s just standard resume speak and it won’t help you find the right candidate. If your business has the funds, you really want to specify that applicants for the position should hold a master in communications degree. Holders of this degree are highly skilled in developing and implementing strong data driven communications strategies.
Some of areas covered in-depth include:
- Developing a workplace culture that encourages employee engagement and discourages bullying and harassment
- Leadership and delegation
- Online marketing development and analysis
- Communication research
- Audience analysis
- Stakeholder communication
- Global marketing communication
- Social influence processes and persuasion
How To Train An Existing Employee
You may not want to hire an extra employee to deal with your communications on a full-time basis. If this is the case, you can train a current member of your team to take on the role. The University of Southern California offers an online master of communication management degree program, which teaches all of the essential, cutting edge communication skills necessary to help your business succeed.
The online MCM program is conducted entirely online so your location isn’t important and the course can be studied in the student’s spare time, allowing them to continue working for you full-time in their current role. You could also choose to have them study as part of their working day and move some of their responsibilities onto another staff member; which you’ll need to do eventually once your communications manager is ready to start developing your strategy.
Whether you hire an experienced manager, train an existing employee or even take a degree yourself, you can’t afford to wing it when it comes to your communication strategy. As awareness of the importance of effective communication grows within the small business community, you can be sure that your competitors will be looking to develop strategies of their own.