By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer
With the inception of the internet, business communication has turned from the back roads onto the Audubon. With the newest and shiniest communication technologies emerging constantly, it seems overwhelming and difficult to manage. The web has created it’s own guidelines and etiquette. Still headlines read of executive communication missteps. Though face-to-face time is critical in a fast-paced world driven by electronic communication, this week’s top five will explore ways to effectively engage your team through business technologies.
How to communicate with your teams
In a global economy, communication is vital. Whether you’re in the same office or halfway around the world, work teams need to meet whether in the real or digital world. For those who can stop by their employees office after lunch for a follow-up, video conferencing is impractical to say the least. But for those working closely in a global network, video conferencing is the closest form of face-to-face time you have. As air and land travel becomes more expensive, particularly in a time when businesses are cost cutting, a webcam can be a viable option to get team updates.
Communication etiquette in the digital world
Who ever said in-person communication was dead? With emergence of new communications technologies, so prevalent in today’s business environment, it might be difficult to remember a time when in-person meetings were the only meetings. There has been a heated debate for some time now about the importance of face time. Though video conferencing is the closest communication tool to face-time, nothing is more effective than one-on-one. The more personal and hard-hitting the news, the more you should lean towards in-person discussions. If however, it is Wednesday and you need a report by Tuesday and it’s not that pressing, send an e-mail.
Communication from the inside out
Brand managers are finding it difficult to claim ownership over their brand in the digital world. As consumers increasingly disseminate their feelings about a certain product or service across networks of users, brands need to be proactive. Executives are pushed to engage with their constituencies outside their company. There is a strong trend for executives to blog or have someone ghostwrite a blog for them. YouTube is also a great way to connect and engage your audiences. Consider the Dominoes CEO after the food sanitation issue the pizza chain faced several months ago. He posted a YouTube video apologizing and ensuring the public it was an isolated incident. Putting a face to the brand and message makes it that more real and tangible for consumers.
Opening that line of communication with those outside your company sheds the cold impression many younger people have of corporate America. Many executives and politicians are using Twitter. ExecTweets aggregates top executives from various fields to give insight into their everyday musings. And have fun with it. A Zappos CEO tweet says: “Dropped my laptop on the floor this morning. I usually drop my phone, so good to know I’m moving onto bigger things.”
Communication from the outside in
Often times we read about ways to communicate from the inside out. Start a blog, join Twitter, LinkedIn and a slew of other networks so you can push your message. What if we look at it from the other way around; what if we see how others can communicate with us beyond the Facebook wall. What about an online actionable suggestion box where consumers leave a note about the company. Then the comment gets voted either up or down. Based on the response from within your consumer community, in essence, you have their priorities your efforts. Therefore, you’re not repeatedly answering questions and you’ve engaged your online community. IdeaScale has developed an online actionable suggestion box that can be embedded into websites, blogs, e-mail or Twitter.
Image by Sanja Gjenero from Stock.Xchng