Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

3 tips to ensure your communication objectives are aligned with your business vision

 
By Ronell Swartbooi - DUO Marketing + Communications  

I’ve seen technology companies shifting their business goals three to four times within an eighteen-month period. This is understandable, as economies change, markets become more competitive or are disrupted by startups, new investors coming on board or target audiences changing. No matter the reason, being forced to shift business goals can be taxing on your business.

While you are focusing on business strategy and product enhancements or new product developments, consider how your communications team can support this process? How can they back the product and sales team and provide peace of mind when you are ready to go to market?

Here are a few key points to consider:

Ensure that your communications team fully understands current business shifts. The value of monthly business updates to your communications team goes a long way, if your goal is to ensure that all your stakeholders are in the know, and that potential customers reading any news updates about your business - across all available platforms - understand your current offering and value proposition.  

To avoid being on the backfoot: 

Encourage engagement between your developer / product teams and the communications team. Make this a fun exercise and use gamification tools if you need to in order to bridge the conversation between the geeks and the creatives. Why? This allows two very distinct teams to provide clarity on how they support each other, how their work complements another team’s results and very importantly, it avoids miscommunication to external audiences. The worst is reading an article that needs correction when you have already done the work to put it out there. 

Do a Google search to see if news online reflects the messages you want your audiences to see. If you are not impressed by what you see, it’s time to beef up your communication outputs. Review your content marketing , have a chat with your SEO person (if you don’t have one, aim to get a once-off analysis). All I’m saying is, do not underestimate the harmful influence outdated online content can have on your business. It has the potential to counter the hard work of your sales team and executives travelling to expos.

“In the absence of clear communication that satisfies the urgent desire to know what the boss is really thinking, people imagine all kinds of motives. The result is often sloppy behavior and misalignment that can cost a company dearly. Precious time is wasted, rumors abound, talented people lose their focus, big projects fail.” Harvard Business Review, The Five MessagesLeaders Must Manage (2006) 

Tips: 

Every company with or without a dedicated communications team, needs to have the following documents at hand. By developing and updating these quarterly, your communications team stays on top of specific business changes, and management gets into the habit of sharing relevant shifts that impact external communications.

  1. Company fact sheet (for the media and stakeholders): Similar to the About section on your website. An updated, one-pager that your team can easily attach or paste into an email. This comes in handy and saves times when stakeholders or the media have quick questions and no time to search your website.
  2. Key messaging / keywords/ quotes (for spokespersons): This one-pager provides executives and your communications team with a golden thread to keep all communications aligned with business goals. Never underestimate the value of making your executive team feel confident that they are sharing the right message. By also providing your communications team with well-researched keywords, they can ensure that your SEO ranking is on point when developing blogs, thought leadership and case studies etc.
  3. Updated executive bios, including high resolution photos and updated LinkedIn profiles: Often these tools are underrated. The worst is when media decide to Google and use a 5 year old photo of an executive at a conference in bad lighting. This is a once off annual exercise that can save you time in the long term, and could potentially make or break a feature opportunity in a business print publication.

Watch this space for Part 2: How to shift from startup to enterprise messaging.

About Ronell Swartbooi:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronellswartbooi 

Ronell Swartbooi, currently works as a Tech PR Account Manager at DUO Marketing + Communications. Her passion for communications and networking with entrepreneurs is what inspired her to change careers to technology PR. Africa’s rapid growth in technology is what has fueled her interest to communicate innovation out of Africa. 

Prior to tech PR, Ronell worked in the nonprofit sector as a project manager for seven years, facilitating a youth media & leadership project. She dabbled in blogging and website admin/ basic HTML before blogger influencers were a thing. 

Ronell has attained a degree in Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, as well as short course diplomas in Marketing and Public Relations at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Innovation hub

Story

Hot startup of the month: SA's FlexClub

South African startup FlexClub has launched a managed marketplace that helps independent drivers on digital platforms become vehicle owners.

Story

Econet and X's Project Taara join forces to connect Africa

Econet Group and Google X's Project Taara are teaming up to deploy new high-speed Internet technology to communities across sub-Saharan Africa.

More Innovation hub

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Latest video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

AfricaCom Interview: Onica Makwakwa on closing the digital gender gap

The Alliance for Affordable Internet's head of Africa, Onica Makwakwa, shares her views on how to narrow the digital gender gap and the challenges keeping women offline on the continent.

Story

AfricaCom Interview: Tunde Fafunwa on how the ACIP is fighting COVID-19

Tunde Fafunwa from the UN Economic Commission for Africa explains how the Africa Communication and Information Platform (ACIP) is helping Africa's battle against COVID-19.

Story

AfricaCom Interview: Temidayo Oniosun on Africa's space and satellite industry

Space in Africa founder, Temidayo Oniosun, shares his views on the challenges and opportunities in the African space and satellite industry.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Partner perspectives

SD-WAN and satellite – how MNOs and telcos can enjoy the best of both worlds
By Ofer Asif, SVP BizDev, marketing and strategy at Spacecom

Africa's mobile operators need better roaming monetization for growth
By Damion Rose, product manager for Mobile Signaling and Roaming Solutions at BICS

How Africa's operators are driving socio-economic development
By Clémentine Fournier, VP Sales Africa at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Infographics

Safaricom Spark Fund Portfolio

Infographics archive

Slideshows

AfricaCom 2019 Preview

Slideshow archive

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up