It’s Not Rocket Science

by | Jan 14, 2019

‘It’s not rocket science this comms lark is it? said a CEO to me recently, ‘it’s common sense’. Well, of course, it is not rocket science but common sense is not as common as one thinks.

There is much dabbling in ‘comms’ in the broad sense, all of the time – many becoming instant experts. We all communicate everyday, it is the essence of humanity but family facebook postings are different than acting in a professional capacity. When it all goes pear-shaped then who do you call? Why of course, the Comms Busters.

Professional Comms/PR, is more than crafting clever words to land the messages. It is about understanding different audiences and what makes them tick. It is about advising the CEO and their senior team, how to present effectively and engage their audience. It is about being that critical friend and often offering encouragement – senior leaders need a pat on the back as much as anyone and why not comms giving that? It is about knowing the channels to promote the message. It is about knowing how to react in a crisis – keeping calm but responding with speed and clarity. It is about sniffing out that positive story and placing it in ‘normal’ speak for an internal and external audience. It is about dealing with the traditional media and reacting to the news agenda to get your organisation message out there.

Of course, we comms bods know our worth – or should do – be proud – but because there are rarely enough of us to go around, then we must also know when to release a bit. Yes, everyone does comms but how about us as professionals advising others to do it effectively in a work PR perspective? The best advocates are those who have credibility in their profession and therefore traction with a wider audience, so encouraging and releasing them to engage wider on social media or with traditional media will work wonders. To my mind advising others to get involved and taking a bit of a risk sometimes in that they will not always get it right, is definitely part of the comms role.

To my comms colleagues – my 2019 top 3 tips:

  • Be brave to constructively critique and advise the senior team on delivering key messages.
  • Be out there with the senior team and if it calls for it then boost their confidence – praise goes a long way – up and down.
  • Be brave to release others to do comms under your guidance and tutelage.

No ‘comms’ is not rocket science but expertise, knowledge and understanding in this depth and wide subject is crucial and not all that common.