4 Ways Businesses Can Thrive in a Post Pandemic World

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

When it comes to our battle against Covid, we have ways to go. While we are not out of the woods just as yet, and in some places, the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, the post Covid-19 era IS coming. It means that businesses should step up the game and prepare for a post-pandemic future. It is NOT too soon to start pivoting into operating under the new normal.

Keep in mind that it’s the way businesses go about preparing for the future that will determine their success, and I am convinced that a few areas briefly described below, should be prioritized by businesses that hope to thrive post-Covid-19.

1.The importance of convenience cannot be overstated

Without a doubt, consumer habits have changed. It’s highly unlikely they will shift back completely to pre-Covid-19 patterns when we are back to normal (whenever that happens). Customers and clients have already been exposed to all kinds of conveniences creating a new baseline. In other words, certain features (such as online ordering, contactless delivery, mobile apps, etc), were not nearly as common as they are today. It is crucial to keep in mind that during the pandemic, most companies should embrace the aforementioned upgrades, just to survive and remain competitive. By the way, during early stages of Coronavirus, brands that adopted these features were ahead of the game and ahead of their competitors. That said, these days so many other businesses are offering these solutions and conveniences. Therefore, it might be a good time to look beyond the basics and focus on new ways to stand out again.

2.Putting safety and sustainability at the forefront

To stay viable in a post-pandemic market, organizations are tasked with the responsibility of continually improving, upgrading and adapting their operations and processes. Even THAT may not be enough as we move forward into the future. It is essential that you let the world know about your safety and sustainability efforts and are in the process of incorporating innovative technologies to lower resource consumption and reduce the environmental impact. According to experts, this is more than an opportunity to build trust with stakeholders and consumers. It’s a great way to lower your overhead costs and save money.

3.Immediate need to address customer retention challenge

It is time for marketing teams to step up their game and find new, fresh and creative ways to improve the customer experience. There are new consumption patterns, habits and behaviors they need to be aware of – the patterns, habits and behaviors created by Covid-19.

As you can imagine, a robust online presence is a must…even as the world continues to open up and ease the restrictions created by the global health crisis. Competition continues to heat up and is becoming more fierce than ever…simply because most consumers will continue to expect the same or even better levels of online engagement, service or accommodations. In addition, consumers in general are expected to be more loyal to brands that demonstrated some flexibility or made a special effort to accommodate them when things were hectic.

4.The stakes are higher when it comes to vision and values

Now more than ever before, consumers need to know what your brand stands for. In other words, they are more likely to align themselves with brands that have solid core values matching their own. It also means that organizations no longer have the luxury of sitting on the proverbial fence when it comes to social, economic and environmental issues. The want to make sure you are using the weight of your brand’s voice to bring about positive changes to local, regional or international communities.

Final thoughts

The post-pandemic era will look very different from the world we lived in before. But in my professional opinion, this is not necessarily a bad thing for companies. To remain successful after Covid, businesses must remain flexible, agile, creative, connected and plugged into customer needs which may eventually benefit their customer base and employees alike.

Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

How to Build Your Thought Leadership Presence

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

While developing and implementing thought leadership strategies can be overwhelming and time consuming, it’s worth the effort. In fact, it can make a difference between thriving during times of uncertainty or succumbing to challenges created by the prolonged pandemic. As you already know, thought leadership is one of the best ways of establishing your reputation, winning trust, setting yourself apart from your competitors, and solidifying relationships with your prospects and clients.

By the way, becoming a thought leader and developing a meaningful brand not only ensures customer trust, but also leads to repurchase intent. According to Agility PR, 70% of meaningful brands have higher rates or repurchase intention compared to only 30% of brands that are not considered meaningful.

Here is how to start building your thought leadership in a few simple steps:

Tune in to your customers’ rapidly evolving needs

During the pandemic-ridden era, some of the most successful businesses and CMOs will be those who continuously reinvent themselves to fit the emotional, physical, psychological or financial needs of their customers. A savvy thought leader should constantly look for opportunities to lead discussions, provide guidance and demonstrate clarity and vision in times of uncertainty.

We all know that there are so many blogs regularly popping up online, making it so much harder to compete for attention and increase your customer base. So what does it take to stand out from the crowd when competition continues to heat up? Your are facing the challenge of providing meaningful, helpful and high quality content that establishes you as a thought leader and enables you to create a genuine and long-lasting bond with your customers.

Put out educational content to boost your Google ranking

What I want you to know is that search engines rank content-based pages higher than pages offering products and services. Google wants to prioritize content that is not only relevant but is also correct or based on facts. Sharing educational content allows you not only to share your expertise but also increase your online visibility. With such a heavily saturated market, it is important to keep producing and updating your customers with new information and insights which can lead to an increase in traffic gains by over 25%, second only to translational.

Cut to the chase

Let me assure you that one of the most important things you can do when planning your thought leadership strategy is get to the point. Sooner rather than later. Being able to develop brief, captivating bits of insight and sharing them on social media can do the trick and grab your followers’ attention, as opposed to turning them off with too much information, details and nuances.

Social media has taught us the value of brevity. Gone are the days when you had to spill the beans right from the get go and deliver your entire philosophy in one sitting. Most people have a short attention span and may be turned off by every little detail you may want to share online. During digital age, your online content should serve as an opening statement or a beginning of the conversation – just an invitation to get a glimpse of your story. Let your followers get curious about your key messages, offerings or viewpoint. Leave them wanting more or encourage them to ask a follow up question as opposed to overwhelming them with an avalanche of information, details and facts. By the way, a little planning can go a long way in keeping you from over-reaching in your thought leadership efforts.

Put together a tiered list

There is a valuable technique every thought leader could use to develop a compelling content strategy. I am talking about topic clustering where you can brainstorm a variety of topics your prospects, customers or clients care about. Just take a few minutes to jot down some of the topics where your expertise could provide a new and interesting perspective. Developing a tiered list, with topics that you absolutely want to be associated with, would be a great idea and a good way to build or reinforce your credibility. In addition, adhering to this strategy will help you avoid the need to weigh in on everything under the sun and instead, pick the areas where you, your business, brand and team members can provide the most value.

Start following and connecting with your role models

Take the time to clearly identify groups of like-minded individuals or those you look up to and get hold of informative articles, educational resources, or points of view that are in line with your thoughts and your perspective. Alternatively, you should identify those data sources and opinions that are contrary to yours. Read, review and follow. Keep your mind open to an opposing viewpoint which can actually help you expand your horizons and develop a fresh outlook on things. The more your learn, the more likely you are to advance your skills and business to the next level. For example, entrepreneurs should learn about other successful business owners, startups and business growth strategies. If you are a marketing professional, you should find out about issues impacting marketing and PR, as well as new technologies transforming the way you do business.

Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

A Few Reasons Why the Need for Crisis Communications is Rising

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Without a doubt, 2020 was a tough year. We have endured so much…Life-and-death emergencies. Devastating pandemic with no end in sight. Rising unemployment. Not to mention civil unrest unfolding all across the country. All combined, it has been a recipe for disaster.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the need for crisis communications continues to rise. There are so many issues and controversies to address – from the pandemic restrictions, to a staggering death toll, to vaccine controversy…It appears that these days population reacts quickly and strongly to the slightest provocation, with the power of social media adding fuel to fire and potentially making a bad situation worse. That’s the world we are living in right now.

Let’s take a quick look at a few major reasons why the need for crisis communications continues to grow:

Coronavirus turned the whole world upside down disrupting the way we live, do business, socialize and commute. Business leaders are facing the challenge of engaging and communicating with displaced employees. Parents are struggling to manage children who were displaced by schools, and children are struggling with virtual learning.

Rumors, fears and ambiguity surrounding the deadly virus, how it should be treated, where to get tested and whether to get vaccinated, further ignited feelings of uncertainty and confusion.

As a result, companies are turning to crisis communication experts in an effort to cope with emotional disruption, disenfranchised employees and the need to craft messaging that supports and unifies all parties in times of extreme uncertainty.

Now there is unemployment, wreaking havoc on families and sparking outrage… In April of 2020, the unemployment rate skyrocketed to almost 15% prompting so many individuals to vent and express their discontent on social media. As a result, crisis management professionals are facing the challenge of putting out online fires, soothing nerves and developing alternative solutions. By the way, companies must keep close tabs on their social media accounts so they can monitor posts, online reviews and commentary in order to nip any online attacks in the bud.

Evidence suggests that the frequency with which businesses need to manage crises is on the rise. Crisis communications experts have the knowledge and skills to steer the conversation in a more neutral or even positive direction. While millions of people are frustrated over lost jobs and business opportunities, not to mention politics and race relations, many could benefit significantly from the calming expertise of crisis PR pros to guide them. Remember, all businesses and organizations should be prepared for potential challenges and need a solid crisis communication plan in place. In good times or bad.

Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

3 PR Lessons From the Run up to the Tokyo Olympics

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

It goes without saying that the pandemic still drives important messages, even though some parts of the globe are starting to get back to normal and get back into the swing of things. Keep in mind that timing is of the essence when it comes to crisis communications. Once a crisis occurs, the clarity and speed of your messaging is of paramount importance and can spell the difference between success and failure.

Now let’s take a look the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers who, unfortunately, demonstrated how NOT to manage a highly publicized crisis ahead of the Games. By the way, its inability to adhere to the necessary safety guidelines for such an important and grandiose spectacle is quite shocking, to say the least. Not to mention the enormous backlash against Yashiro Mori, the Japanese Olympics Chief, for his highly inappropriate joke about the inclusion of women in board meetings and how these meetings take too long. I think a lot of organizations could learn from this situation and set the bar higher when it comes handling crisis.

As a matter of fact, there are quite a few blunders savvy business leaders and PR professionals could learn from.

Here are three lessons to consider:

When it comes to the news cycle, the pandemic still reigns supreme

Even though vaccinations are occurring all around the world, just a small percentage of Japanese citizens are fully vaccinated. While a state of emergency has been lifted, the 2021 Olympics has been influenced by Covid-19.

Now it’s crucial that companies keep an eye on the news cycle and make sure their response teams are well-equipped to communicate effectively and get your message across should a need arise or a crisis erupt.

Crisis PR is a critical skill your communications and executive teams should have to be successful

It goes without saying that the Olympics organizers have a history of delaying their responses to crises or scandals. These types of mistakes have a lot to do with poor timing. If a crisis occurs, make sure all your messages and communication materials are well-thought-out. A failure to communicate your activities and progress leaves your audience guessing, and as a result, building a campaign against you. It means that your PR team should be well-versed in crisis communications and make sure they release all information in a timely manner.

Long-term planning is vital to ensuring a large event

The IOC and Tokyo 2020 Olympics teams should have done proper planning, especially given the size and scope of the Games. Everyone would agree that crises like Covid-19 should have been on Tokyo’s radar right from the get go, especially considering how things were unfolding in the neighboring China. While your organization or startup may not be involved in anything remotely resembling the Olympics, you should always consider what small or big crisis could potentially occur and what steps you need to take to win the game. Are you planning to unveil an international product in the next couple of years? Think carefully about and anticipate all the setbacks and challenges that might potentially arise over that period of time. After that, try to determine if you are well-equipped to address them properly and in a timely manner. Are you bracing up for a big convention? Why don’t you take the time to figure out how accommodate the health and safety of your guests in a number of scenarios.

In conclusion, in these circumstances, careful thought and a team of skilled communicators are always your best bet to overcome any crisis and come out on top.

Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

3 Successful Media Relations Strategies for the Summer

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Dear savvy business professional,

When it comes to media relations in the summer, generating publicity can be tough. But after practicing PR for such a long time, I have come to a realization that it doesn’t have to be like that. Just because reporters are on vacation, it doesn’t mean results should suffer.

Let me assure you that there are different ways to combat this publicity summer slump and gain the attention, visibility and media coverage you deserve. I’ll show you how.

Below are a few simple suggestions on how to keep your PR campaign going during the hottest months of the year.

Develop guest articles and bylines to boost your reputation

With so many reporters on vacation, now is the right time to write and pitch bylined articles, which is a great way to share key messages and build your thought leadership. After all, some outlets may not be generating much content internally this time of year.

You have to dig up the outlets that accept bylines and determine whether you do it yourself or have your PR person write and pitch them on your behalf. In addition, this may be a good way to initiate a relationship with editors who not only review submissions but are also in charge of other articles. Therefore, your efforts may eventually result in additional stories or coverage at some point in the future.

Embrace Newsjacking

One of the best ways to ensure you are on top of the news cycle is to consume as much media as possible. If you run into an article or a program pertinent to your area of expertise, products or services, you may want to piggyback on that and offer your insights. By the way, the more time you spend consuming the news, the more opportunities you will have to reach out to reporters, build relationships and position yourself as a subject matter expert. In addition, this will enable you to keep up-to-date on all the new developments in your field and preclude you from falling behind.

Invest time in regular columns

Oftentimes, columns or regular series are overlooked by PR folks or business owners. Fewer staff in the summer means reporters may not have enough time to find new stories. So it goes without saying that writing a compelling pitch to showcase your knowledge and expertise could yield unexpected results as so many media outlets are trying to make it through the slow summer news season.

Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Dear savvy business professional:

Now that 2021 is in full swing, let’s spend some time talking about content marketing. Here is why I decided to devote this article to this particular topic.

Studies show that more than 24% of marketers have increased their investment in content development last year, and with good reason.

Therefore, i thought you could benefit from a few pointers below focusing on the latest content marketing trends. Some of these strategies could transform your marketing campaign and help you generate bigger and better results and take your business to the next level.

1.Putting more emphasis on comprehensive content that supports multiple channels

While repurposing content is not necessarily something new, evidence suggests that there’s been a significant increase in this activity. By the way, instead of a blog, you can run a survey and turn it into a downloadable asset, social media images, an article, podcast mentions or a recap webinar.

2.Increased reliance on independent contractors

We all know that due to uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, a lot of companies had to decrease their budgets. Additionally, many organizations started outsourcing at least one content marketing activity, with large companies being the most likely to outsource. It means that bringing many full time functions back may take some time.

3. Prioritizing original content rather than keywords

Believe it or not, some successful bloggers no longer optimize their content for SEO. It may sound incredible to you at this point, however, this may become the norm in the near future.

Here is why. Readers are usually demanding greater authenticity from content. It is difficult to be authentic and at the same time constantly worry about SEO optimization. Besides, Google should find new ways to give credit to legitimate sources that deliver interesting, compelling and informative content, as well as show their expertise and genuinely help readers. So don’t be shocked if content marketers start focusing more on originality rather than keywords.

4.Increasing expertise with content creation and website enhancements

While there were some budget decreases in 2020, this year companies are increasingly focusing on showcasing their expertise and posting informative content. In fact, many organizations will have to increase their staff to keep up with the demands of the content marketing world. With expanding budgets and growing content marketing teams, companies are becoming more media fluent and are trying to create a media brand in addition to their company brand.

5.Highlighting the importance of digital marketing

While the digital revolution has been happening for the last couple of decades, content marketing itself is really starting to boom. Furthermore, many organizations started using content creation / collaboration / workflow technologies which is not surprising, considering the work-from-home world we now live in. They started putting a lot of effort into building an online community and focusing on virtual events, webinars, online courses, livestreaming, etc. If in the past businesses primarily relied on in-person events and conferences for brand awareness and networking, now they are in the process of expanding out network via digital marketing strategies including podcasts and webinars.

Final words:

In short, if you are not investing in content creation, you are missing out on an opportunity to bolster your visibility, build your reputation and build your company. So if you didn’t have a chance to revisit or amplify your content marketing efforts, now may be a good time to bolster your strategy and further your goals in 2021. Good luck with your endeavors.

Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

How to Build Your Communications Plan During the Pandemic

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Now that we are marking a sad one-year anniversary of the pandemic, a lot of businesses are trying to assess the impact of the global disaster and turning a hopeful eye to the future.

Does Your Small Business Have A Back-Up Plan? - Tweak Your Biz

One thing is for sure: When it comes to communications, having a weak plan is similar to having no plan at all. In other words, the past year felt like an ongoing crisis and business professionals should think along those lines going forward.

In my experience, most plans have essentially been “best-case scenarios” where you identify and outline everything you need to do – from launching a new product to introducing a new service or organizing an event. From now on, businesses should be more proactive and ensure that their plans emulate crisis plans. In fact, they should take the time to come up with all kinds of potentially dreadful scenarios and prepare for the worst. In other words, in addition to Plan A, all organizations should develop a backup strategy which will enable them to deal with unexpected circumstances or potential disruption. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. These are the times we live in.

As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, there are so many unanswered questions about the new normal that it seems a bit silly to start plotting out best-case-scenarios for PR and marketing, as if it’s business as usual. We all know it’s not.

As I stated above, every plan needs Plan B. The goal is to be flexible enough to change your course of action should a need arise…and as quickly as possible. You may even have to develop Plan C or Plan D, just to be on the safe side and cover all your bases. While most things remain in a state of flux, you may have to quickly change venues, recalculate your budget or alter your top-level messaging if it doesn’t resonate with your audience. Anything can happen and you have to be prepared to shift gears.

Final thoughts:

Yes, there is palpable excitement right now and we started seeing some good signs on the pandemic and the economic front. That being said, we have ways to go and we are not going to return to normalcy in the foreseeable future. It will take some time to get back on track and restore normalcy. We have to be patient. Persistent. And do whatever it takes to alleviate unexpected challenges and overcome potential issues. Our communication strategies and planning should reflect that.

Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

3 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Let’s face it: 2020 caught even the most seasoned and well-established marketing professionals off guard. For obvious reasons…As you can imagine, advertising budgets have been slashed, sales have decreased dramatically, and the fight for brand loyalty has become so much more intense. Without a doubt, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses of all sizes to get creative, revamp their communication strategies and develop a new perspective on things. In addition, there is a need for brands to build a community of loyal fans who will be happy to spread the word and enable companies to forego pricey advertising strategies.

Let’s take a look at the major trends marketing pros should incorporate into their services this year and beyond:

  1. Putting More Emphasis on Brand Building Rather Than Advertising

When it comes to advertising, it still works. If done correctly of course…That being said, things have changed. While digital advertising and performance marketing have dominated marketing strategies worldwide, advertising spend plummeted at the beginning of the lockdown and, as a result, exposed some fundamental flaws in the system. Competition for clicks and impressions has been fierce for the last few years leading to skyrocketing customer acquisition costs. Besides, many brands no longer see the same results for their investment anymore. Don’t forget about millennial and Gen Z consumers…They tend to be so much more skeptical about standard marketing practices including paid advertising or influencer promotions. Today’s consumers are more focused on meaning and purpose from the brands they buy from – something that has only been accelerated by the global economic, social and health crisis inflicted by the global pandemic.

Trust, credibility and authenticity are more important now than ever before; long-term brand and reputation building have certainly become more impactful than expensive advertising. Let me assure you that the aforementioned trend is here to stay.

2. Embracing Brand Advocacy as a Powerful Marketing Tool

With reduced budgets and a strong need to build a loyal network of fans, the pandemic has led to the rise of “brand advocacy”, a popular form of modern marketing where happy customers recommend a brand they love and drive growth. In other words, savvy businesses that fully embrace this concept and cultivate relationships with every advocate, are more likely to get ahead this year. In other words, if your customers believe in your vision, understand your purpose and share stories about your brand with friends, family or colleagues, they will be instrumental in helping you expand your outreach, propel your business forward and achieve greater success.

Please keep in mind that it’s not only the customers who could serve as brand ambassadors. LinkedIn recently found that the employees of a company tend to have 10 times more followers than the company itself. While only about 2% of employees reshare their company’s social posts, these posts are responsible for 20% of overall engagement.

By the way, you don’t have to limit your brand advocacy initiative to customers or employees. You can also take into account business partners and influencers who could make a difference and help you become more visible to your ideal audiences.

3. Creating Brand Networks

It appears that this year we’ll see more and more brands going beyond building relationships with customers. Savvy business owners form relationships with suppliers, vendors, industry professionals, employees and others and find ways to capitalize on these relationships. They leverage their networks to drive organic word-of-mouth growth, generate new leads and even attract strong job candidates without spending a fortune on advertising. Not only do they focus on rewarding loyal customers, but also benefit tremendously from collaborating with other brands and even competitors. Long story short, the significance of brand networks cannot be overstated and we should definitely see more companies go down that road in 2021.

Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

Law Firm Marketing & PR in 2021

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

If you came out of 2020 without any lessons, you weren’t paying attention. Like those in many other industries, law firm marketing and PR professionals rolled up their sleeves and quickly reacted to the global pandemic, social unrest and a tumultuous election season. So what lessons can we take from 2020 into 2021. Please take a look at a few suggestions below and see how it is going to effect your business.

Keep your marketing campaign going and maintain your visibility, no matter what

While in-person networking and conferences have long been a staple of legal marketing and business development, the global pandemic has transformed the way legal professionals are doing business and staying visible with clients. Let’s face it: attorneys have to pivot and find new ways to maintain top-of-mind visibility, no matter how bad things are. It may take a while for the pandemic to fade away, therefore, legal pros should invest as much time as possible into thought leadership that involves blogging, by-lined articles, e-books, webinars and podcasting among other things.

Engage in social listening

Keep in mind that those who are actively engaged in social listening (i.e. using digital tools to understand public sentiment) are much better equipped to tweak, shift and adjust their messaging and respond to current events, whether that means pausing planned social media posts or postponing certain public announcements that may appear to be tone deaf. In other words, make sure you regularly keep track of online mentions of your brand, as well as general client sentiment to ensure your messaging is timely, relevant and appropriate (given the circumstances).

Launch your own podcast

I am sure that you are well aware that these days podcasting is a valuable strategy allowing you to build relationships, expand your network and increase visibility while creating compelling content, all from the comfort of your home. Let’s face it, when face-to-face meetings are out of question, asking someone to chat with you for your podcast is a phenomenal way to initiate professional relationships and in-depth conversations. By the way, if you are unwilling to launch your own podcast, you should definitely target them in your PR campaign. Keep in mind that podcasts continue to rise in popularity, with many traditional media outlets adding podcasts to their mix of media platforms. You may appear as a guest on smaller, newer or less well-known podcasts, then work your way up to those with bigger audiences.

Keep in mind that brand activism is her to stay

Law firms must be clear about their values and ensure they are walking their talk. If your firm has already addressed diversity issues, you are way ahead of the game. Let 2020 be a lesson that you can’t ignore this anymore. After all…silence is now considered a statement on its own.

I hope the aforementioned tips and insights will inspire you to adjust your marketing and PR strategies, upgrade your approach and propel your business forward, despite all the setbacks.

Ready to to start the year off on the right foot and reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!

A Few Smart Ways to Improve Executive Communications in 2021

By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Let’s face it: In addition to encouraging a strong work ethic, team work, and smart problem solving, today’s executives should make an effort to break out of their silos and engage with their teams. In fact, savvy executives should PURPOSEFULLY create opportunities for their employees to voice a candid opinion, make suggestions or express discontent about a particular issue. After all, who do you think may have the answers to some of the most crucial questions in the workplace?

I hope you will take the time to review a few suggestions below briefly explaining how business leaders should connect with their team members on a deeper level, establish impactful communication channels, and create a healthy, highly productive and successful work environment.

What is internal communication? – Dora in the Communications World

Put Knowledge, Hard Work and Creativity Over Hierarchy

Smart and savvy executives are well aware that the team member with the “right” answers may not work in the C-suite…or anywhere near it. In most cases, it’s usually those closest to the process or project that have all the critical details at their fingertips. Interestingly, these folks may not be invited to weekly status meetings or feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their thoughts – even if they are in the room. Pretty astonishing, isn’t it? If you think that’s the way it is in your organization, it’s time to change this unhealthy dynamic and put everyone on an equal footing.

Ideally, when executives pose questions to the entire team, the right person should provide her or his perspective, without any inhibitors and without feeling intimidated by a higher up. It means that breaking away from the hierarchy may result in increased transparency, better initiatives, and a deeper commitment from employees. In other words, every team member should be encouraged to speak up, share information and voice their point of view which may boost morale and significantly improve team productivity.

Consider Launching an Executive ‘Ask Me Anything (AMA) Channel

In my professional opinion, every executive should establish some sort of an open forum where she or he could field questions from employees. Recently I have read an article about an executive heading a fast-growing medium size company who implemented the aforementioned suggestion and was very impressed by the employees’ willingness to step out from behind the curtain of anonymity, go for hard-hitting questions and ask something they really wanted to know…not something they thought was politically correct at the moment.

Take the Time to Clearly Articulate Your Expectations

An executive who wants to see results, should invest an adequate amount of time and effort into outlining her or his expectations. Some communication experts maintain that setting expectations is key to effective communication. You certainly don’t have to respond to all messages coming your way. Well…you don’t really have the time, do you? What you can do is ask employees to bring some of the most urgent and critical issues to your attention and tag you in the channel. If and when you are tagged, you can jump in to help. You can also set a deadline for addressing employee questions. More likely than not, you will be pleased to find out that their inquiries may be very well thought-out, so in order to thoroughly answer the questions, you need to let them know that a complete response will arrive in 72 hours or so.

Encourage Transparency

Contrary to popular belief, workplace conflict may not necessarily be a bad thing…if handled the right way of course. Disagreements and debates may be a sign that employees have the confidence to express their point of view and speak up their minds without fear of being penalized. That can be accomplished when executives put a lot of emphasis on building trust among their team members.

When an executive communicates via direct messages or through various channels, it legitimizes the form of communication and signals to employees that they don’t necessarily need to request a formal meeting to ask questions. The more emphasis executives place on open communication, the greater the trust they will build with employees.

Create ‘Employee Personas

Creating personas for employees is common practice in marketing and Public Relations, but should be part of every internal communication toolbox. Here is why. By creating personas, you begin to understand who your employees are. What do they value the most? How do they contribute to the success of the organization? How do they receive information? And what type of content they have access to? Keep in mind that personas should be created for all levels of employees and across different departments.

Results Matter

When you spend a great deal of time and effort learning what your employees want and need from their leaders, you should take the time to measure and evaluate results. It is crucial that you measure the success of your strategy and find out if you are achieving your goals. If your communication channels allow you to evaluate engagement, analyze the data and see if more employees are reacting to your content. In case you can’t see open / watch rates, I suggest you conduct pulse surveys to understand if your team members have really noticed the change in leadership communication and if the messages are truly making an impact. You may also ask frontline managers if they feel the effect of frequent and intentional communication from leaders.

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, the global pandemic has changed the world we are living in, creating a great deal of stress and anxiety for so many people. Therefore, in my opinion, 2020 should be defined by the word “humanity”- it’s power, its fragility, its impact. Leaders, executives and communication professionals should step up their game and explore the behavioral sciences (i.e. psychology, sociology, behavioral economics, etc.) to ensure their actions, strategies, decisions and messages remain as humane as possible in 2021 and beyond.

Ready to to start the year off on the right foot and reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: angela@kambarian.com, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!