The Risk You Take By Failing to Collaborate
I recently read a great piece by Nicole Schuman at PR News that covered the fallout from Facebook’s FTC fine earlier this year for failing to protect consumer privacy. The article’s conclusion draws a parallel between Facebook’s handling of the situation and a lesson that all marketing professionals can learn. I wanted to expound on that, but I encourage you to read the full article at the link above for further context.
The basic point is that, just as Facebook suffered from allowing important decisions to be made in a vacuum focused solely on profit goals, so too can those in professional services organizations fail to see important obstacles ahead if decisions are not made in the context of a collaborative environment.
Speaking to Multiple Audiences
The article I linked to above is specifically referring to the context of public relations professionals. In that business, one is always juggling multiple audiences at a time. One potential pitfall is to getting too focused on a single audience at the expense of others. Having a diverse and collaborative team can help you decide which messages will be most impactful for which audiences and ensure that you don’t overlook one audience in pursuit of another.
However, I think the same can be said of professional services organizations. In that regard, there are also internal and external audiences to consider. Arguably the most important audience of all is that of the client.
Client satisfaction should always be a top priority. But a difficulty can arise if you are not clear with your client on how to deliver on their desired goals. Client decision makers are seldom in the actual target market for the campaign or tactics being used. This makes it incumbent on the professional services firm to clearly show how reaching out to a specific market or using a particular tactic will deliver on the goals the client has outlined even if those actions are not obvious to the client.
This juggling act is the reason that it is always important for teams to keep in mind their various audiences and make sure that each audience is receiving the communication and the support that they need.
Professional services is a quickly-changing field. To have success, one needs to stay on the cutting edge and always be looking for new ways to engage specific audiences. Establishing a collaborative atmosphere for your team will help cultivate this creativity. Clients are looking for solutions. At the end of the day, all that matters is whether you can deliver for them on their goals. However, it never hurts to bring an extra measure of creativity and fresh ideas to the table. This will show that you are a proactive business partner rather than a reactive tactician.
Don’t Fall Behind
The risk one takes as a professional services firm by failing to collaborate is that you will likely fall behind and begin delivering subpar work for your clients. This can happen quickly in an environment where decisions are routinely made without collaboration. Don’t let it happen to your team! Make sure you have a team and a plan in place to deliver the best work possible for your clients.
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