In this day and age of electronic communications, it is easy to lose touch with good old-fashioned communications techniques. Talking with a colleague face-to-face, meeting with a customer at a trade show, and answering the telephone may be even more important to your organization than the ease of use of your website.
With the rise of social media, face-to-face communications is becoming a lost art, but it is more important than ever. People want to know that there is a real human being within your organization who understands their needs.
Many people love to vent their frustrations at big companies, big organizations, and big government. One reason people often feel frustrated is that they feel powerless when dealing with these organizations. They associate them with bureaucracy and red tape, and they do not feel like their voice is heard.
One solution for your organization – big or small – is to make people identify with your organization. People identify with other people, so put a human face on your organization. Get out there and tell your story. Get away from your mobile phone, your laptop, and get out of your office. Go meet your customers. Talk with your employees. Make sure your stakeholders know that there is a real person behind those Twitter and Facebook posts. Communicate with your customers, your shareholders, your distributors, and most importantly, with your employees. Make them feel valued. Talk with them so that they have their voices heard.
The role of communications is to put a human face on an organization. However, putting a human face on your organization is not just the job of your communications manager; it is the job of everyone in your C-Suite. As a leader, you must be telling your story and listening to your stakeholders.
Talking with the people you serve will help you understand your organization better, and it will re-energize you.
Even when others are negative, be positive. Energy powers more than homes and vehicles; it powers people and companies. If you are positive, others will be positive. If you are negative, others will be negative. Being positive not only fuels others, it provides you with energy. Focus on solutions, not problems.
Great leaders are effective communicators. Organizations that communicate with their stakeholders are organizations that are well thought of and have great reputations. Companies that have great reputations have high stock valuations and high sales.
So the next time a reporter calls or you are invited to speak at a trade show, do not ignore the opportunity. Use it as an opportunity to put human face on your organization and to tell your story.
About the author: Joe Koenig is president of Make Ideas Reality Communications, a public relations firm based in Oak Park, Ill.