What Makes Business Communication a Success
Business communication is vital for success in all business. Success in this context means, being able to accomplish a particular task or to achieve a specific objective. Good business communications in relationships either with fellow staffs or customers is needed in order to prosper. Business success can be measured in terms of the practicability of business relationships which is directly proportional to the quality of communication (Harvard Business School Press, 2003:122). In this paper I will look at the ways of achieving successful communication, the difference between slogans and media sound bites and how slogans are used to draw audience attention.
Steps in Achieving Successful Business Communication
The first step in successful business communication is to identify the communication weaknesses in a business. This can be through brainstorming where challenges facing the business can be identified. Such challenges can be obtained through reviewing the day to day activities of the business (Guffer & Almonte, 2009:4). Some questions may serve as a guideline, these include: Have employees been provided with a good working environment? Are they happy with what they are doing? Has the business been able to satisfy all the clients? Is proper information provided to all stakeholders? Is there good flow of conversations?
After reviewing the above issues, then the business has to address these challenges giving the first priority to the most troublesome. By addressing the challenges one by one the relationship in general is strengthened. There is need to develop proactive and constructive communication skills in order to tackle these challenges. Once a challenge is chosen, one has to consider the issues that make it a challenge then address them systematically. For example, a business may be faced by a challenge of unsatisfied employees; issues causing this may be inadequate communication, lack of a safe working environment or poor organization structure. If such issues are addressed, then that challenge will be tackled.
Communication means more than just giving out messages; it involves speaking, listening, sending, and receiving messages (Guffey, Rogin and Rhodes, 2009: 4). In communication, listening is the key to success and most of the time listening gets people into problems because they do not practice it. For business communication to be successful, listening has to be proficient. Listening simply means holding back one's judgment and allowing answers to come from outside. When a business is faced with challenges, there are people who already know what the problem is. Allowing them to give their ideas concerning that particular problem really helps. It is not always easy to hold back and allow others to give their opinion but if this is practiced it results in business communication success (Krizan et al 2007:82).
After listening and taking notes from the suggested solutions, a business can now move forward and define what it wants to achieve. This is a very critical stage and one has to be proactive in order to achieve success. One has to think about the benefits to be achieved and how they will affect the success of the business. A suggested solution may be to improve the business's relationship with its customers. Strategies to achieve this includes but not limited to answering calls in a polite manner, addressing all concerns, listening to customers, responding to complains, providing information, and thanking customers for their support (Stone & Jacobs, 2007:179). This helps in earning customers' confidence.
The next step is to prepare a communication plan that is proactive. This is a plan that is prepared after defining a business success and getting solution from the listening activities. Things to be included in the plan include: taking employees to seminars that cover topics such as customer care, organizing get together between employers and employees, rewarding employees, holding regular meetings, including major stakeholders in business decision, assurance to personal service among others. This plan does not concentrate in solving past troubles but in laying down a good foundation that guarantees business future success (Pride et al 2009:169). A communication plan should take into consideration the availability of resources and whether the business aims at a long term or short term objective.
Once a communication plan has been prepared, the business now focuses on the implementation. The expected result should be kept in mind and the main constitute of the plan reviewed to make sure they are in line with the expected result. The implementation process should involve as many people as possible but it should have one person who is accountable to it. Once the implementation process is complete, the business should take time to reflect on what it has just done and consider whether it has been able to meet the objective of the plan.
The final step of a successful business communication is evaluation of the results. One should go back two steps and review what was the objective and aim of carrying out the plan. The results should be evaluated to make sure that they are in line with the expectation. Once the business is satisfied with the result, it should take time to thank everyone who participated in the whole process and reward itself.
Sound bites are brief statements that clearly state the aims, purpose, or nature of a certain product. They are taken from an interview of a person with authority such as a politician, a director, or a marketing manager of a certain company. Sound bites are considered to be the most important point from the interview by the people responsible for editing it and they are inserted into the news broadcast (Whitaker et al 2004: 289). For them to be effective they must use vivid self-motivated language, be brief and clear, outstanding and easy to repeat (Mclean, 2010:2).
Slogans are short and memorable phrases that are used in advertising movements. They are aimed at drawing people's attention to particular features of a product. The main purpose of a slogan is to emphasize an aspect that a company may wish to be remembered such as marketing its corporate image, product, or its consumer foundation. An effective slogan should give an overview of the benefits of a certain product, it should be direct and brief, give an implausible notion about the product or brand, and it should make the consumer feel a need for the product (Shimp, 2008:220).
A slogan portrays the best image of a product. It should make a product appear as the best in the market. Examples of such slogans include: Guinness is good for you, Gillette- “the best a man can get”, Persil -“washes whiter”. Some slogans used in water conservation include “conserve water and conserve life”, “cut one tree, plant two”, “rainwater tank, won't break the bank”. The message in slogans is aimed for a specific purpose and for specific audience. An example of a reproductive slogan is “keep that school girl completion” Palmolive soap. For survival “obey your thirst” spirit, for a specific audience “choosy mother choose Jif” Jif peanuts butter (Saad, 2007:156).
Business communication is vital in business success. For communication to be effective it should embrace good relationships with major stakeholders of a business. One has to establish the weakness in business communication, address these weaknesses and allow room for listening. Communication means more than just giving out messages; it involves speaking, listening, sending and receiving messages. Listening simply means holding back one's judgment and allowing answers to come from outside. The next step is to prepare a communication plan that is proactive. This is a plan that is prepared after defining a business's success and getting solution from the listening activities then evaluate the results of the plan.
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