Improving Your Inter-Company Communications At No Cost
By Martin Bailey
It's all very well having a flashy (and expensive) advertising campaign, backed up by a wealth of positive PR, but if your staff are not all pulling in the same direction this could be the biggest leak in your plan.
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Firstly, everyone need to be able to get accurate information, so ensure that you have a good computer network (or better still, a fully-fledged Intranet) and routinely store the latest versions of documents where everyone can access them.
Keep all staff that have any exposure to customer AT WHATEVER LEVEL aware of new campaigns. Even the Stores Manager might talk with customers on the phone, so make sure that everyone knows what's going on.
As a Marketing Manager you may be paid for your ideas, but it doesn't mean that you're the only one that has them. Listen to others - they may come up with the basis of an idea that you can develop, but ensure you don't steal all the credit - the very fact that you can deliver on the initial idea proves your worth, and nothing is likely to aggravate colleague more than someone stealing their glory.
As email is commonplace in most businesses you can easily keep staff up-to-date with newsletters. It doesn't have to be anything flash - just a short, sweet email with a summary of what's going on. In any case, if you write a long-winded document, chances are it won't get read.
Chat systems can be a good way of hosting online meetings, regardless of the location of staff. Products such as MSN Messenger, Eyeball Chat, ICQ, Skype and Ivisit all offer the ability for users to type, talk and even video-conference with one or sometimes even several people simultaneously.
This subject is covered in greater detail in Martin Bailey's book, Marketing your Business, available from www.marketingyour.biz. Chapter 1.5 within the theoretical sections of 'Marketing your Business' enters into much greater detail about improving communications and internal staff relations. Chapter 1.8 also demonstrates various Internet communication methods.
Since 1992 Martin Bailey has been involved with the marketing activities of small and medium sized companies, either through working directly for the organisation or by assisting friends and colleagues in their own business ventures. Based in the UK he regularly assists companies around the world in creating product and brand awareness for their chosen marketplaces. He has also written a number of IT and technical articles for niche market trade magazines.