Personalised communication seems to be waning. Interestingly when you do a search there is not much around to even define it. We are in an age of ‘social media’ where it seems to many it is ok to send group based messages. Sure they can sometimes give the illusion of being personal (“Dear Anthony”), but we all know what we are getting when another Mailchimp newsletter arrives.
Personalised communication is not posting a status update on Facebook to your friends. Personalised communication is most certainly not letting the world know what you had for dinner on Twitter. Personalised communication is also not posting information on LinkedIn or a picture on Instagram. Personalised communication is old fashioned. Personalised communication is about making an effort to reach out to an individual and relate to them on some level. It requires building relationships and spending a moment to think about what you are saying.
Coming off the holidays we have all spent time catching up with friends and family where personalised communication is what it is all about, yet somehow when we drift back into the office it all goes astray.
I am of the theory that there are two types of CEO’s – those with an open door and those with a closed door. I have worked with both. Those with the open door in my experience tend to be more successful. One of the keys to the success of the open door policy is personalised communication. On the one hand there is the CEO who heads straight into their corner office in the morning and you don’t get as much as ‘hello’ from them. I recall one CEO I worked with, who made an effort to wonder around the office at least once a week. He took an active interest in things outside of work remembering the names of your partner and children. Personalised communication. His easy quick conversation not only served to make him approachable, but it motivated the staff because we felt he understood our personal circumstances and cared.
You can use a personalised communication approach in emails. Just offer something a little extra to show relationships are important and that you are listening to them. Ultimately though, personalised communication is at its best when you go and see someone face to face. As good as jumping on Skype can be, it is not the same. There is so much more you can get out of an actual physical meeting. Seems logical but in a world of social media and fast paced living the simple things can sometimes be lost.
By the same token let’s not pretend you can adopt this kind of approach with everyone, particularly if your organisation is large. That is why you also need to surround yourself with people who can continue this process down the line. You also need to recognise where it is important for others to manage relationships for your organisation. For example the Chief Financial Officer is better placed to be talking to the Bank. It is the same with different groupings of suppliers. It can be easier to mange a relationship with one supplier who has their own list of suppliers that will help complete a task. For example, when you work with CommTogether we can produce a brochure, newsletter or annual report because we have a graphic design agency, photographer and printer who we can rely on. We manage those relationships and pass on the benefits.