Communicate Better

Being an affective communicator is key to a PR practitioner, just as communication is a key stage in any PR campaign. In order to become a better communicator, it is important to practice.

So how should you practice?

  • Be an active communicator online. Read blogs and be aware of what is going on over social media. Be sure to comment on things and look to comment back in order to maintain a conversation.
  • Always have something to offer people. Be insightful and helpful.
  • Be aware of what is going on in other industries.
  • Have conversations with web experts to gain a better understanding of search engine optimization  (SEO). SEO strategies can be used to improve the visibility of content you produce for the web.
  • Take advantage of classes or seminars offered. Search online for any that may be happening in your area. Also, podcasts are a good alternative.
  • Be a teacher–share your knowledge and experience. “In PR groups, speakers on the topics of social media, measurement, crisis communications, media relations and brand strategy are highly sought after” (Raschanda Hall). Doing so gives you the chance to practice your presentation skills and review the things that you have learned.
  • Get to know some bloggers and learn from them.
  • Make an effort to listen more closely (see previous post “Lousy Listeners“).
  • Make sure your messaging is mobile friendly. This is very important to consider when you go about the communication stage of a PR campaign. Mobile marketing is the new way, and it is important to be on top of it. Download news apps and visit the mobile rendered pages of your favorite brands to see how they get the job done.

(Adapted from “10 ways to sharpen your communication skills“)

25 annoying communication habits—of other people

The communication habits and styles of other people can be awfully irritating. It’s never you and me. It’s always someone else.

That’s the consensus in my training programs when I ask people about communication hang-ups, quirks, and pet peeves. OK, I admit I’m certainly guilty of a few (not saying which ones). How about you?

Complete this sentence: “I get annoyed with other people and their communication habits when they …”

1. Interrupt me.

2. Finish my sentences.

3. Fail to look at me.

4. Chew gum loudly.

5. Type on the computer while we’re on the phone.

6. Mumble on a voicemail message.

7. Lack clarity in project directions.

8. Write their “out of office” message with spelling errors.

9. Complain, criticize, complain, criticize…

10. Say their phone number so fast on a voice mail that I can’t get it after replaying it seven times.

11. Ask me how I am and their facial expression clearly reveals they aren’t listening and don’t truly care.

12. Keep repeating information and making conversations and correspondence painfully long.

13. Inject nervous giggles or laughter into conversations that simply aren’t funny.

14. Forget to say their name in a voice mail message.

15. Try to impress me by “topping” whatever I say.

16. Get distracted with their gadgets and technology in meetings, conversations, and networking events.

17. Talk too fast or too slow.

18. Give wimpy handshakes.

19. Send a three-page email when one paragraph would suffice.

20. Plan lengthy meetings with no agenda, and then order food.

21. Speak louder to people with accents.

22. Deliver presentations in a monotone voice.

23. Eat while on the phone.

24. Call people out (in social media) in public instead of sending a private message.

25. Forget to update their voice mail to let people know they are on vacation for two weeks.

The red flags are up my friend. What can you do to improve your communication?

Susan Young is editor of Ragan’s HR Communication, where this story first appeared.”

I found “25 annoying communication habits–of other people” on PR Daily and thought it would be helpful to others. It was written by Susan Young.