How to get on in Communications: Be nice

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How to get on in Communications: Be nice

Do you have enlightened self interest? I’d not thought about that question before until Zude PR’s David Sawyer approached me to contribute to an article he was writing called How to get on in Communications: Be nice.

It’s hot off the press and, in his words, features 36 of the world’s leading communication experts sharing their top tips and thoughts on sharing content.

My thanks to David for asking me to participate, I found it riveting to read through the other answers.

We were all asked the same questions:

1. Why do you “give it all away for free”? Was there a specific lightbulb moment when your mindset shifted?

2. What are the benefits and disbenefits to you of enlightened self-interest? How long did it take before it started paying off for you?

3. Where, if anywhere, do you draw the full disclosure line?

In alphabetical order, the contributors were:

Richard BaileyRyan BiddulphDeirdre BreakenridgeMichael BrennerPhilippe BorremansStuart BruceMike Carhart-HarrisAdam ConnellAndy CrestodinaGini DietrichJeff DomanskyJudy GombitaScott GuthrieSarah Hall, Ann HandleyArik HansonDerek HowieDoug KesslerLarry KimGlenn LeibowitzRich LeighJulia McCoyMike McGrailRachel MillerSarah MoretonNeil PatelSarah PinchTed RubinDavid Meerman ScottCyrus ShepardDan SleeAndrew Bruce SmithPaul SuttonStephen WaddingtonAngharad Welsh and Alex Yong.

36_experts_communications_zudepr_nice-compressor
My answers were:

1. Why do you “give it all away for free”? Was there a specific lightbulb moment when your mindset shifted?

Blogging for free is a pleasure, and has enabled me to be paid to do work I love.

I created my blog in 2009 because I wanted to connect, learn and communicate with like-minded comms pros. That remains its ethos.

Clients say the 600 articles I’ve published save them time, money and effort. They then hire me to benefit from a tailored approach and deeper insight. The free articles are the start of working relationships and mean I’ve never had to pitch for work, so are worth my time.

Search internal communication jobsThe more knowledge I publish about internal communication, the more readers I attract, and, therefore, the larger my business becomes.

The hundred or so comms pros I’ve featured via guest posts tell me it’s benefited them too.

Impartiality is important to me, so I’ve chosen not to have advertising. The only paid content is job ads to enable my network to find and advertise comms roles.

I guide people through how to work in internal communication, but it’s my clients who I save the really good stuff for.

2. What are the benefits and disbenefits to you of enlightened self-interest? How long did it take before it started paying off for you?

I’ve not thought of it in those terms (the benefits of enlightened self-interest)! The personal rewards started immediately because I discovered a whole world of comms pros and built my network.

I launched All Things IC consultancy in 2013 because readers kept asking if I could translate my free articles into work they could pay for. I waited until then so I could launch my business to coincide with motherhood.

The blog is my shop window, as clients know how I think and what’s important to me. That’s invaluable to get our relationship off to a strong start.

3. Where, if anywhere, do you draw the full disclosure line?

Due to its sensitive nature, I rarely write about my clients’ work. I respect their wishes, and if they’re happy for me to share, I do.

QuoteI find the world of internal communication colourful, interesting and fascinating. But it also requires commercial astuteness, sensitivity and knowing when and if the time is right to communicate.

Integrity is important to me, I honour clients’ non-disclosure agreements and am clear with my blog readers about the way I write.

My How I blog page removes ambiguity.

Thanks again to David Sawyer @zudepr for asking me to contribute to his article.

You can read the whole piece online here: How To Get On In Communications: Be Nice.

What do you give away for free? How does it benefit you?

Feel free to comment below, or you can Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Rachel

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on All Things IC blog 1 June 2015.

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