Why good communication skills are key

Good communication skills are crucial for all types of business but they are especially important in the world of PR.

You may possess brilliant ideas for company growth, development, or innovative messaging, but unless you can convey those ideas to management and the wider world effectively they will not have any impact.

There are two categories of communication within any organisation: external and internal.

Internal communication involves the movement of information between individuals within the company, and its aim is usually to accomplish internal objectives. It is very definite skill in its own right as the message may need to be explained in different ways for different audiences, and it needs to bind employees together so they have an understanding of the direction the company is headed. Good internal communications will contribute to the efficient operation of all levels of an organisation, from high to low.

Good communication is vital in every organisation because it not only connects members within a specific department but also connects them to members from other departments, and potentially from other branches nationally and from around the world. A company which fails to communicate effectively with its staff will logically be less efficient; which may lead to weaker productivity levels and by extension lower profits.

External communication involves the transfer of information either to or from individuals outside the organisation. Communicating externally can often be far more challenging than communicating internally owing to the fact that the target markets are much more varied, and each has its own agenda. Every telephone call, letter, e-mail, or tweet on the organisation’s behalf has potentially significant ramifications. Every communication leaves an imprint of the company which is potentially adding to its success or failure. It is more of a two way street and there will often be enquiries and requests for help and information which need to be dealt with promptly. Proactive communications requires great skill to capture the attention of the right audience in an increasingly crowded market. But reactive communications is just as important as it may be a negative message which needs to be dealt with quickly. In this case having the buy in of senior management is vital as they need to be available to provide information and comment in a timely fashion.

Good communication means also requires having the ability to listen and the ability to tune in to the needs of clients and colleagues. This is just as important as having the ideas and the ability to react quickly to new situations. Without having a solid grasp of the issues and the messages it is impossible to be a great communicator.

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