Brunnen Communications – viestintätoimisto

Business and communication – higher performance through better leadership and strategic communication

What role does communication play in your business? Do your executives know how to use comms to really promote your organization? Has all its potential been harnessed in the pursuit of a common vision, or are you stuck in the rut of routines?

As well as making your strategy clearer and more influential, communication can be a valuable leadership tool. Leadership can be promoted by agreeing on clear processes for internal communication across the organization. This will help employees to identify the most important tools and channels for communication and interaction. Clear processes also make it easier for employees to get actively involved in communication.

Another way to boost leadership is to invest in managers’ communication skills. Communication plays a crucial role in allowing managers to identify and make the most out of their strengths. This can entail, for example, group training sessions or one-on-one coaching. Lowering the communication threshold can make managers more willing to communicate.

Communication priorities derived from the organization’s strategy

The best way to incorporate comms into your business is to choose communication priorities based on the organization’s strategy. This also creates a solid foundation for a systematic and strategic approach and therefore more influential communication. With a clear communication strategy in place, the available resources can be allocated based on impact, making life easier for everyone. Identifying priorities together gives everyone in the organization a better understanding of the objectives of communication and each unit a clearer picture of the resources available.

This ensures that the investment in comms delivers maximum value (1) strategically, (2) tactically and (3) operationally. If the strategic level is absent or weak, communication can be seen as an expense rather than an investment. In such scenario, resources are allocated based on the highest demands. When comms is seen as a strategic investment, its objectives are based on strategy and measured using key performance indicators (KPIs). Progress towards the objectives is reviewed systematically, at regular intervals.

A good rule of thumb when choosing performance indicators is that they need to be SMART. A SMART indicator is one that is

  1. Specific: explains what is being measured and why
  2. Measurable: can be verified reliably
  3. Time-bound: has a clear deadline
  4. Relevant: measures the right thing and improves performance
  5. Achievable: can be attained.

The relationship between business and communication can – and should – be reinforced. Doing so benefits not only the communication team but also the business as a whole. This unleashes the full potential of communication and allows for a more controlled and consistent approach.

Five tips for communication managers

Below I have compiled my top tips for communication managers regarding how to build a stronger link between business and communication and learn to speak the language of business:

  1. Familiarize yourself with your organization’s business and strategy.
  2. Get involved in strategic planning or at least in strategy formulation.
  3. Contribute to the implementation of the strategy and leadership.
  4. Choose communication priorities based on the organization’s strategy.
  5. Identify KPIs for your communication priorities and make sure that they are SMART.
Terttu Sopanen

Terttu Sopanen

Brand builder and developer of communications and marketing, with more than 20 years of consultancy and managerial experience in comms and marketing.

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