SCMHow good are you at prioritising? Does your ‘to-do’ list change every month, week, day, hour or minute?

It seems that in today’s fast-paced world the amount of people who would like a piece of your time as a communicator can be overwhelming. Making time to effectively plan rather than reactively creating communications campaigns is an ideal situation to be in, but how often do you find yourself devising solutions to complex problems on the hoof?

I’ve been juggling my time and priorities over the past six weeks while settling into my new role at work and have come to realise the importance of managing expectations and being a stickler for deadlines.

Making time to learn is key for communicators – I spend hours each week asking questions of subject matter experts internally. I quiz our employees to gain insight as to what the life of a conductor or driver is like and what impact key performance indicators have on their working lives. Being able to increase my understanding of my target audience is crucial to ensure their needs are being met through relevant communication.

As well as learning internally from inside the organisation I am working in, I place a great deal of importance on increasing my knowledge through networking with communications professionals externally. Making time in your schedule to go to breakfast briefings, training courses or best practice sessions is paramount to ensure you are aware of the latest trends and current thinking.

According to Melcrum, there are just 29 days to go until their Strategic Communication Management Summit. This event is two days out of the office (three if you go to the pre-summit workshops). Topics include “the communication traits of great companies to work for”, “coaching managers to improve communication”, “planning change communication” and the one issue on everyone’s lips… “work smarter to achieve communication goals with fewer resources.”  Who wouldn’t want to know the answer to those topics? It appears to me that it is essential to set aside time and budget to learn and constantly improve, which is why I have signed up to attend.

Communicators globally are tightening their belts alongside every other department. However, I believe there are benefits to be gained from setting time aside to release communications professionals to take part in events like this. Your employees should come back armed with ideas and contacts which will hopefully enhance the communications function in your company and who knows, maybe they will have picked up some cost-saving tips along the way which will recoup the price of their ticket.

Are you going to Melcrum’s Strategic Communication Management Summit from 14-16 October in London? If so I hope to see you there.

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