I’ve spent most of my career working on in-house, integrated, communication teams responsible for marketing communications, employee engagement, media relations and advertising.
Early on, I remember concentrating on conceptualizing and developing marketing brochures, crafting advertising copy or writing web content. As each project was completed and well received by my internal client, I felt content and happy to move on to the next item on my to-do list.
After I started attending IABC conferences and professional development events, I realized that if I wanted to enhance my career, I needed to broaden my perspective. This necessitated paying attention to what was going on around me: my company, the clients we served, firms we competed against and markets we worked in. I finally understood that to be successful and add value to an organization, communications must be aligned with business strategy.
Learning the organization, understanding its growth strategy and developing a supportive communications plan and metrics is key. The plan provides a road map for the communications team and sets each member up for success. Once communicators are recognized as valuable business partners, it does wonders for the self-confidence of the team and improves collaboration with business units and leadership.
Moving away from simply delivering tactics to thinking and acting strategically is imperative for all us to succeed as professional business communicators. It allows us to eventually sit on executive management teams and share our expertise on boards.
I’m sure most of you have experienced a similar communications journey. I would love to hear your thoughts on the value of aligning communications with business strategy.