Every day the communications and press offices are subject to severe judgment by those outside the organization and internal departments. If they pass each test successfully, The people say that they only did their job. If, on the contrary, the result is unfavorable, all the elements that compose it are under question. That produces instability for professionals who know how to do their job but fail in how they face each challenge. , the key is to be efficient in the foundations that support it.
I have always believed that communications offices resemble an oil platform nestled in the middle of the ocean, not only because it is mounting on five pillars but because all the storms and swells of the media climate feel differently. The time is counting for the reaction. Often you work with poor visibility; getting the sniper-style is correct. You have to be very patient to act quickly. The minutes run very fast or very slowly, the media and networks all complicated, and at the end of the day, its members seem more marathoners than office workers. If everything goes well, there is only time to take a breath for the next day; if not, it appears that the end of the world is approaching by the critics magnify the errors..
Those who have been in level one activity offices understand me. Those who do not can intuit it by what they have already seen. For both of them, I want to answer the request of several colleagues asking how to organize the communications office to be efficient?. I believe that it must be mounted over five pillars in which its members should are grouping and engaged in overcoming each storm.
Teamwork: Nothing in communications is achieved alone. As in joint sports, many efforts, personalities, temperaments, and visions are welcome to be strong. I will say that the talents are individual, but the strength is on the group. An office does not need ego performers but team players. As in all groups, they must be commanded by a leader, but a good leader. He inspires, motivates, trusts, takes care of it, and is often recognized by the team without saying a word for his philosophy. Let him know that the losses are his and the victories of the group and not vice versa. The team has to be integrated by professionals from all communication, marketing, advertising, design. A good lawyer and an administrator are a plus. People who know how to follow instructions, be creative only when asked to do so, learn how to be subordinates or leaders if necessary, prudent, loyal to work, who work with little or a lot of supervision as is required, can influence internal or external audiences. The most important thing will always be the human factor.
Challenges and Goals: they should be able to see their work in terms of tactical actions or strategic lines that clearly define the processes to meet each challenge, goals, and the objective is to surpass them not to meet them, that they have indicators, that work to achieve them, that look at the details or small achievements that if these are reached the big ones will come also. Very important will be that they know how to use the budget or the resources because these contrasted with the obtained will give life to the efficiency indicators.
Traditional and social media: Realistically understand the role of conventional media and new media. Do not put each other first. They know how to combine them, learn how to exploit them, stock them, play their game, anticipate them, and be more agile than them. Understand that the information is in their field, not theirs. Knowing how to carry them, confront, delay, negotiate, and that they always owe a favor at the end. It is necessary to have professionals who have been in the media, who know what their inner life is like and how to exploit their weaknesses better, preferably who have had positions of leadership or opinion in the media. The office members have to know very well how the formats, processes, and routines in each newsroom.
Strategic Thinking: this issue and the handling of mathematics may be the two weakest points for journalists. To avoid falling into that trap equation, you have to be strategic all the time. Differentiate very well a strategy from a tactic. Know how to make or interpret a strategic communication plan, and it is crucial to have one updated every three years as a flight plan. You don’t reach a destination if you walk from all sides. Be strategic and tactical in handling each situation as required. Think before doing but don’t do without so much thinking. Understand that all communication is essential. Prepare the team, train it, instruct it in successful cases and satisfactory handling, eliminate surprise and improvisation in each action. All team members should have good communication skills starting with writing and speaking well, that they have prudence and care to handle sensitive facts. An attribute of this pillar that is very important, and I consider it the best start of all, is to have good judgment and judgment to read situations. If the understanding of a fact is goodwill, the second step, that is, the answer is compelling. They are always people who manage their emotions, not that their feelings drive people.
Dealing with different audiences: this deserves to be a pillar of the office because bad experiences show that this element did not exist or is poorly performed in failed cases. It is imperative to know how to communicate with all audiences or interest groups. Of course, have them clear and defined on a map and their risks. Understand very well the role of each of these groups, know them very well, communicate permanently through efficient channels. Do not belittle anyone.
Understand that the crises are incubated, growing, and reproduced (which will be another article that I promise you). Discontent, revenge, and retaliation are increased because all these audiences are made up of people with emotions and egos that wait, at some point, to take advantage of the organization to which we belong.
These five pillars, at first sight, would make you think that the work is very complex. Still, if you stop to look at each one and apply them to your communications office and your team, in the natural proportion of the task they fulfill, you will see that it is an aid to decant your management and take corrective or enhance what you have. The purpose of my writing is no other. Please think when five pillars do not even exist in the essential elements in your communications office, you will be more prone to lose the daily judgment that your work is done by those outside and within your organization.
As the oil platform, everything is doing there has risks; it can produce significant dividends and many losses. Having an office sitting on these five pillars will strengthen it to avoid succumbing to each storm and know how to do its job better. The question I ask is: how many of these pillars is your office supported? Think about it and act. To learn more about this topic or if you need to structure or restructure your communications office, write to me at email@example.com, tell me your project or need, and I can surely help you.