I remember learning about the word transparency during the first year of my Public Relations studies. Though I initially struggled with the concept and how it applied, I eventually adapted to the know-hows and rules to live by when applying it amongst the buzzing world of communications and media relations. Transparency is not something new. It’s been in place forever. But with the advancements in technology, and online chatter, businesses are finding it crucial to step up and close the communications gap, while keeping their audiences informed and engaged.
Whether it’s dealing with client relationships, social presence, or even within your own business, here are a few key things to remember when looking to get the most out of your communications strategies.
1) Lay it out
When expectations from both sides are clearly established and agreed upon, there is less room for bumps in the communications road. When building a plan with your client, it’s crucial to ask the hard questions up front to make sure both parties are in agreement upon execution. Truth sets the pavement for smooth operations. By clearing the air right from the get go, this ensures both parties have visibility. It’s a win- win for everyone.
2) Speak up
The truth will set you free – to a certain point anyway. The communications game can be a tricky one, as we’ve all had to put blind faith into something or someone in order to get results. Be truthful– stick to what you know, or be honest about what you don’t. The key is to be upfront, good or bad. Reach out if you’re unsure of what is required from you on a task or project, or if you need further direction from your client. Regroup, collaborate, get creative and figure out how to approach the task differently.
3) Don’t over do it
You may have a client that micromanages your projects and wants to know absolutely everything, and though it’s great to be involved, being too transparent can have it’s downfalls. Be prepared to set your boundaries and update your clients within a mutually agreed timeframe. It’s necessary to keep some tricks up your sleeve in order to wow the client in the end. Under promise, over deliver.
4) Timely responses
Time is of the essence. Just like you would expect your time to be respected, always do your best to make a timeline and stick with it. Two -way communications, along with positive engagement is going to save you time and energy in the long run. Whether it’s sending a quick note, following up on a call, or setting a reminder in your calendar, these strategies will keep your punctual game strong.