In most circumstances my first task will be to listen to how you feel that your organisation can improve in terms of public awareness of your brand, product or service.
You will understand the problem – I’m here to help you solve it and move forward. But this won’t mean just talking to the boss.
Where appropriate, I am keen to listen to what your teams think as I’m very much a “bottom-up” communicator and often the MD or CEO is too busy tackling the big blazes to be across some of the minutae that often actually tell you as much about an organisation as the topline figures or the strategic vision document.
Too often organisations have some of the answers to some of their biggest issues right on their doorstep courtesy of their own staff. It’s just that nobody has bothered to ask them for some time or people have become too obsessed with working on the conveyor belt to lift their heads above to see the bigger picture.
I can be the key to unlocking the potential of your teams so that they feel creatively engaged in a process and therefore play a greater role in its success.
I need to get a comprehensive picture of how your organisation works and exactly how I can help. I am particularly keen on troubleshooting – spotting potential obstacles and guiding a path over them to achieve our goals.
Once I understand the issue I will then draw up a plan of action taking into account everything I’ve learned from listening to you and your staff and from the things I’ve learned throughout my career at the BBC.
Crucial to the way I operate is gaining the trust of your teams so we can have an honest dialogue as we plot the way forward.
Depending on our terms of engagement I am keen to become as “hands-on” as possible whether that is by drawing up a media training plan, brainstorming ideas for a creative campaign or by going through all communications with a fine tooth comb to ensure that the corporate messages are clear, consistent and effective.
It is essential in planning corporate campaigns for example that the teams executing the project understand the message and the most effective ways in which the goals can be achieved.
My experience has taught me that the most effective campaigns or strategies are achieved as a result of inclusiveness and mutual trust between managers and teams with a focus of achieving great results rather than doing things simply because “that’s the way we do things around here”.
Involve people creatively and more often than not, we’ll hit the bullseye.