Strategic communication is essential to an organization’s long-term success. It helps organizations focus on and live their purpose, mission and values by aligning expectations, actions and behaviors to business objectives. Employees at strategic communication firms are experts in communication strategy, planning and implementation.
Organizations often turn to strategic communication firms when they face significant challenges or need to revitalize their communication strategies. Here are four benefits of partnering with a strategic communication firm.
1. Gain deep expertise in a specific subject matter
Effective strategic communication firms focus on core service offerings and bring deep expertise in those offerings to their clients. You will find when evaluating firms some specialize in everything from media relations to crisis management to social media and internal communication.
Hiring a strategic communication firm with expertise in a particular area is a more effective and efficient way to tackle a communication problem. The right firm knows what questions to ask, how to approach the problem and how to partner with the executive team. The firm’s people should also be skilled at empowering and coaching internal resources to contribute and eventually lead communications efforts, increasing the likelihood of long-term success.
When hiring a strategic communication firm, look for a partner with proven experience in the type of work you need and a track record of strong, collaborative relationships with internal teams.
Organizations often don’t have the internal resources and tools needed to accomplish all their goals and objectives. When organizations undergo significant strategic initiatives, added communication resources can support both day-to-day communication challenges and the work that stems from the strategic plan. A benefit of partnering with a strategic communication firm is your organization’s ability to supplement internal resources so each communication challenge gets the right resources where and when they’re needed.
Adequate resourcing of communication teams matters for more than just effectively tackling a communication challenge. When organizations are understaffed, particularly during times of organizational change, it can lead to employee burn-out. Burn-out is a driver of employee turnover and can disrupt effective communication planning and implementation. Resource-strapped environments cause stress and a decline in performance, engagement and productivity. Hiring a strategic communication firm will help your organization supplement internal resources without adding additional headcount or straining your existing staff.
3. Get a fresh, neutral, third-party perspective
Strategic communication firms bring something no internal resource can — a fresh, neutral perspective. Rather than continuing to grind your wheels on the same problem, consider hiring a strategic communication firm for a new perspective. Strategic communication firms approach problems with big-picture thinking and often bring the inspiration needed to move the organization to the next level. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes, ears and outside-in thinking is required to reach an agreement or develop a new solution.
When hiring a strategic communication firm for a fresh perspective, look for a firm with deep strategic expertise and impeccable consulting skills. Consulting teams should be skilled at working with employees across all levels of the organization — from line workers to middle managers to senior executives and boards of directors. Ask yourself if the firm feels like a good fit and whether you trust the consulting team to successfully navigate your organization. Ask for client references and take the time to check with two or three contacts. This is one of the best ways to validate your decision about a consulting partner. Some key questions to ask references include:
- Did the firm meet expectations — strategy, implementation and results? Was the work excellent, on time and on budget?
- Was the firm successful working up, down and across the organization? Did the consulting team build strong, trusted relationships?
- What makes this firm stand out from other consulting relationships? What is one area of improvement you would recommend?
4. Bring in trends from other markets and industries
Strategic communication firms often work across industries. The benefit of partnering with a strategic communication firm that works with different business types is that it will bring trends and insights from other industries that, when applied to your business, can result in fresh, differentiated thinking and ideas.
This cross-industry experience is especially relevant in highly regulated businesses. Take health care, for example, where process, rules and regulations are a constant focus. Bringing in trends from retail or consumer industries can inject health care organizations with forward-thinking creativity to advance an organization.
Strategic communication firms bring insights and connections from other industries and projects that fuel creativity and innovation.
Good strategic communication firms know how to help organizations change and grow. The right partner helps the organization acknowledge its weaknesses and leverage its strengths. Strategic communication firms should offer experienced consultants who can partner, coach and support internal resources on communication strategy, planning and activation, all designed to drive long-term success.
Learn how Beehive Strategic Communication can help your organization clarify and aligns its purpose, mission and values with strategies and bold actions that build trust and drive growth.
About Lisa Hannum, Founder, CEO
Lisa Hannum is founder and CEO of Beehive Strategic Communication. She is a purpose-driven leader who believes in the power of communication to build better businesses for a better world and has the vision to see what’s possible, even when the page is blank. Lisa has more than 30 years of experience in brand positioning, change management, culture transformation, crisis management, marketing and public relations. Her ability to turn fresh insights into meaningful connections strengthens businesses in ways that create enduring value. CEOs call her for new perspectives and trust her when the stakes are high.