A solid communications team is made up of a number of dedicated individuals, each working toward the common goal of delivering a coherent, unified brand message to the public. When a PR team is working well, the proof is in the results: new customers, higher engagement with existing customers and maybe even a few good media mentions. When a PR team is not gelling, the results can look something like a slow-motion train wreck.
The decisions made by leadership play a large role in whether a PR team is productive, creative and cohesive. With that in mind, here are some tips from Michelle Meadows, a director of internal communications at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Develop a positive relationship with each team member. Organizations are made up of individuals who want to be heard, valued, appreciated and treated with respect. At the heart of effective leadership is the ability to build and maintain positive relations with staff at all levels.
- Include team members in decision-making. Giving everyone a chance to weigh in and participate in problem-solving shows team members that their opinions matter, which is empowering. It ultimately leads to a “we” and “us” team mentality. This can make the difference between a committed employee who goes the extra mile and a complacent one who just goes through the motions.
- Identify and Reinforce Team Members' Strengths. Bring out the best in people by engaging team members in discussions about their passions and let them know where you think their strengths lie. Then, together, you can assign tasks to their areas of strength as you manage the team's workload.
- Give team members real responsibility. Encourage team members to adopt leadership characteristics and to build relationships with others, pursue independent projects and suggest ideas. Remember, true leaders create more leaders, not more followers.
For more information on better employee communications, see PR News' PR News' Book of Employee Communications Strategies & Tactics Vol. 5.
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