Many people don’t know what professional communicators actually do? What is ‘communications’ anyway?
Some people reveal their confusion to me like a confession. Others stare quizzically when I tell them I work in comms, half hoping I might fix their phone or upgrade their IT infrastructure.
A good many very enthusiastically confuse communications with marketing (the subject of a future blog!) While others are visibly relieved when I say that I write stuff and manage websites, grateful to have been given an explanation that makes some sort of sense.
Of course, this confusion around ‘communications’ is itself a communications problem.
It’s up to professional communicators to better explain what it is that we do. So what do we do?
According to the Public Relations Institute of Australia, PR – which is another word for communications – is the “deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics”.
Practically this means using a wide variety of tactics – like media relations, social media, meetings, events, newsletters, reports, public forums, emails etc – to convey messages to target audiences to build relationships in pursuit of strategic goals.
For me, however, communications means much more than this.
It’s an opportunity to express our deepest values as a means of building connection and belonging between humans and the world in which we live.
Welcome to the Authenticity Age. Your clients, customers, stakeholders and staff members (and hopefully your friends and families) want you to be a rounded person in an evolved organisation. That means they want you to demonstrate honesty, vulnerability, empathy, trust and respect. Not just drive, dedication and conquering spirit, and certainly not ego.
And communications can help you deliver this. It can help you be this.
Communications is the most effective way to express your deepest values to build your authenticity in order to create belonging and connection with all the people who interact with you and your organisation.
That can deliver greater commitment towards you and your brand by your stakeholders, which means more sales. Practicing open, heartfelt communications leads to expanded innovation as more people bring you their ideas without fear of rejection.
This type of communications helps you to make powerful, positive differences for the people and communities you serve by using your heart, as well as your mind.
And it delivers increased staff motivation with greater retention and improved staff effectiveness by giving voice to the top three things we all want from work: a heart-felt purpose, deep respect and a genuine community of belonging.
If you like the sound of this and want to know more about what Leigh Arnold Communications can do for you and your organisation, call me or email me. Let’s catch up for a coffee and a chat.