The Evolution of Communication: Short Message Communication Techniques

The Evolution of Communication: Short Message Communication Techniques

Cincinnati Enquirer (3/30/09)

(Cincinnati Enquirer 3/30/09)

It’s true.  Short message communication is vital in today’s business world thanks to the growing influence of technologies like mobile email and Twitter.  But, shorter messages rarely leads to increased communication efficiency. 

CommuniSkills works with companies such as Procter & Gamble and General Electric to improve their short message communication.   We provide workshops that provide their organization the necessary tools to harness the full power of modern technology. 

We also have consultants that can provide insight into integrating social media as a business communication strategy.

Contact us today: info@communiskills.com or 513-745-2025

A Model Letter of Resignation

Resignation Letter in CakeToday I gave a two week’s notice of my intent to resign. The letter was written in frosting on a full sheet size cake. The cake was delicious and it was well received.

“Dear Mr. Bowers,

During the past three years, my tenure at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has been nothing short of pure excitement, joy and whim. 

However, I have decided to spend more time with my family and attend to health issues that have recently arisen. I am proud to have been part of such an outstanding team and I wish this organization only the finest in future endeavors.

Please accept this cake as notification that I am leaving my position with NWT on March 27.

Sincerely,

W. Neil berrett”

(link)

Marshall McLuhan said “The medium is the message.”  How you say what you say can be just as important what you say.  Resumes not on heavyweight paper send the wrong message about your professionalism and how seriously you take the position you are applying for.

Click here for a free copy of Tom Clark’s book, Power Communication.  There is an entire chapter on model documents, and below is a sample of how to write a thank you letter.

Thank You Letter

Contact CommuniSkills today to get your career and business communication on track.

Keeping Innovation Alive

From:  Companies Corral Staff for In-house Brainstorming

It sounds more like reality TV than a reasoned strategy. Last year, Best Buy picked four groups of salespeople in their 20s and early 30s and asked the strangers to room together for 10 weeks in a Los Angeles apartment complex. On the agenda, besides hanging out at the beach: coming up with businesses the electronics retailer could roll out quickly and cheaply.

There is no doubt that organizations will go to great lengths to find the next great idea.   The best ideas often come from within, and mining every last bit of internal innovation is a challenging task. 

Three important steps:

Foster a culture of innovation In order for innovation to thrive, companies need to let employees know that any and all ideas are welcome from anyone at anytime.  There must be communication channels in place for employee input and feedback, and that feedback needs to be welcomed positively from management.  Locking employees in a cabin in the woods is a pretty extreme approach, considering any ideas that come out in that cabin are probably already in the heads of those exposed to it daily in the company.  The real challenge for the organization is building the systems and culture to bring the ideas to the surface.  

Modern social media tools can be an effective solution for meeting this challenge.  Many organizations are now turning to wikis, blogs, podcasts, message boards and other digital feedback mechanisms to capture staff ideas.  These digital solutions can often be the easiest way, but whatever the channel, ideas must be effectively communicated.

Effectively communicate ideas In addition to a culture of innovation, there must also be a culture of communication.  All staff need to understand the value of creating succinct emails, reports, wiki-entries, message board posts, etc. that communicate key points in a reader-friendly manner.  Managers do not want to leave these “idea diamonds” in the “rough” of a long paragraph, unclear sentence or mismatched subject heading. 

CommuniSkills consultants have spent 30 years helping companies  ensure their best thinking is communicated properly.  Our consultants specialize in improving the communication culture of an organization by offering classes in business writing, scientific writing and oral presentation skills. 

Share ideas across SBUs and across functions  Once organizations take steps to build an organizational culture focused on innovation and communication, it is important to allow the effectively communicated ideas to cross-pollinate.  What may seem like scraps to one project team, may be the exact solution a completely unrelated business function was searching for.  Digital social media solutions allow organizations to build a searchable knowledge base that the entire company can access.

CommuniSkills can also help your organization develop a corporate communications plan that includes the latest digital solutions to the challenges your organization faces.

“When Skittles Met Twitter” Navigating Social Media

Business Week, March 8, 2009: When Skittles Met Twitter

“A new study from San Francisco marketing firm Netpop Research reveals a shift in consumer Internet usage from entertainment toward communication that’s being driven by social media and networking sites. According to Netpop, 105 million Americans use social media sites, spurring a 93% increase in social networking since 2006. Increasingly, consumers are using these sites to comment—sometimes positively and frequently negatively—about brand experiences, products, and services.

That means companies need to find new ways to engage customers via social networking, attendees at the Social Media Influence confab agreed. But participants were divided about the best way to do it. According to Hubert Grealish, senior product marketing manager for Philips consumer and lifestyle unit, Twitter is ‘an inaccurate information medium.’ He believes that for major corporations such as Philips (PHG), the big issue is quality control. With potentially thousands of users tweeting real time, he says, companies will find it difficult to quickly and accurately respond to users.

“‘Twitter is useful for feedback but we’d need a small army of people to jump on every comment or complaint,’ he says. Instead, Grealish thinks it’s better for companies to internalize the insights they glean from social media and use them to make any changes needed to improve products or services.”

Marketing communication has typically been a one-way interaction, now with the meteoric growth of social media (think Twitter and Facebook this week), for-profit and not-for-profit organizations are presented with incredible opportunities to connect directly with micro-niche target groups and individual consumers.  There is just one problem, social media allows the user to talk back.  

In many cases, this direct consumer response is a powerful tool – instant and unprecedented access to the feedback of the average consumer.  As Skittles found out, when social media is not managed properly, this new conversation can quickly degrade to childish and obscene.  

Let the communication and technology consultants at CommuniSkills help your organization develop a communication plan for your organization’s social media campaign.  Our experienced professionals will work with your organization select the channels for your social media initiative, craft the message and create a management and oversight plan.  Overall, CommuniSkills’ goal is to establish a social media presence for your organization that capitalizes on the tremendous potential of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, blogs and anything else yet to come.

Contact us today.

Cover Letters Still a Necessity

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/jobs/15career.html

“Cover letters are still necessary, and in a competitive market they can give you a serious edge if they are written and presented effectively.Cover letters are a graceful way to introduce yourself, to convey your personality and to impress a hiring manager with your experience and your writing skills, said Katy Piotrowski, an author of career books and a career counselor based in Fort Collins, Colo.   You can also tailor them to a specific company in ways that you cannot with a résumé.Ms. Piotrowski recently had a job opening at her small company, Career Solutions Group, and she was dismayed when about a quarter of the 200 applicants did not send cover letters.  Most were within five years of graduating from college, she said, reflecting a more informal mind-set among younger people.”

CommuniSkills has the tools to develop the skills you need to write a cover letter when applying for a job, for your development team when writing grants or for your business team when developing proposals (internally or externally).CommuniSkills Model Letter of Application (downloadable pdf)Interested in more model documents? CommuniSkills has a large inventory of documents that can improve the way you and your organization communicate.  Contact us today for more information.