Tag Archives: Business

Never hire the wrong person again

In the world of communications consultancy at least, you just can’t find good staff any more.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

When I’m recruiting, I’m usually trying to hire into roles where people are tasked with creating intellectual value (producers, creatives, planners, consultants). The ones that really get it? They’re few and far between. Even when there’s a recession raging, the fight for talent is raging along too.

Then, once they’re on board, they might perform beautifully for a while, but it can be patchy. And clients expect flawless service – that’s the so-called hygiene level. Nothing less will do.

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Being real – equipping employees for social media communications

Reading through a global FMCG brand’s social media crisis communications guidelines this week I noted first that this mighty tome ran to 30 odd pages. Next that practically every other page exhorted the reader to ‘be real’.

In the old days of PR, before social, we media trained our executives to stay on message. We drafted up soundbites that pithily encapsulated our corporate story. We drilled the classic Paxman-facing-politician’s techniques of ‘managing’ a question, bridging back to the core point they wanted to deliver, no matter what the question (or how often they were asked it). “Of course you’re right that XYZ is important but not as important as the key corporate message I need to deliver here,” etc.

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Breathlessly evangelical

At the risk of sounding breathlessly evangelical, I believe in the evolution of more authentic democratic businesses, driven by the power of today’s empowered and enfranchised customers.

The relationships between businesses and their stakeholders – customers, employees, partners – are continually transforming, primed by an environment marked by the proliferation of choice, disintegration of trust and the powerful ever-developing agency, opportunity and access that social media represents.

This blog is intended to examine this business evolution. I’m interested in how that change comes about. How will inspirational theory be translated into the daily nitty gritty of running a business? What are the organisational changes that will be demanded? How will companies manage those changes. Who will drive and champion this? What will be the structures? How will working practices alter? And what of stakeholder trust, engagement and motivation?

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