sales and marketing

Tear Down This Wall! 3 Effective Ways to Bridge the Gap Between Sales and Marketing.

For as long as there has been a separation between sales and marketing, there has been hand-wringing over successfully transitioning leads from marketing to sales. Especially when things are not going well, the hand-wringing is quickly followed by finger-pointing (and sometimes other not-so-nice gestures).

It doesn’t have to be this way! Sales and Marketing are both more effective when they work together. But while it’s easy to see how the two should work together, it’s far from easy to make this the reality. Let’s discuss some of the more common obstacles and powerful ways to bridge the divide.

My Experience

Having been on both sides of this fence during my career, I understand all too well the obstacles that prevent an integrated approach. But I have also learned along the way that we’re more likely to see success when everyone concentrates on sidestepping the major pitfalls to cooperation.

I started my career embedded with a B2G sales team and I still believe it was the best place for me to get my feet wet because:

1. Selling to government agencies forced me to think externally.

Coming from the private sector, I really had to work to understand our customers’ needs. Because market dynamics among private businesses are so different from market dynamics among government agencies, there was a steep learning curve. I spent a lot of time researching the industry, so that I could understand my customers better.

2. It taught me that the sales process doesn’t happen overnight.

When you first learn the ropes in sales, there’s a lot of talk about human psychology. The “tricks of the trade” are all about learning the right techniques to help you push all the right emotional buttons and close the deal. There’s also a lot of mystique built up around sales phenoms who can “sell sand in the desert” or whatever your preferred euphemism.

I quickly learned to set aside a lot of this conventional wisdom. I learned that sales is more about trust than trickery and that this holds true whether you are selling an aircraft, business software, or laundry detergent. Building trust-based relationships in B2G, B2C, or B2B requires cultivation.

3. I learned that being effective in business takes a team.

Cliche, but true. Not only did our sales team need to cooperate, but we also needed support from finance, pricing, contracts, operations/delivery, and communications/marketing. A successful customer approach requires more than the right technical solution. It also has to be priced correctly, with a mutually beneficial contract, and a solid plan for customer implementation.

Obstacles to Sales and Marketing Integration

Since those early years, I’ve talked with so many colleagues and clients who struggle with implementing an integrated approach to sales and marketing. I’ve noticed a few common patterns as well as a few common solutions.

My observations from the trenches and a few thoughts on what worked to overcome these common obstacles:

1. Silo’d departments.

Sales and marketing too often run on parallel paths. While there may be the occasional shout out across the cavern to make sure the language is consistent, most of the time, corporate marketing messages and tactics seem a world away from the needs of the sales team.

What helps: Share plans and ask for feedback.

While in sales, I spent a lot of time frustrated that my marketing team “didn’t get” what we needed to really sell. The truth was we hadn’t shared what we needed and they hadn’t asked what we were trying to accomplish. We assumed someone else had shared our goals or that they would instinctively know what we needed. They asked specific questions about markets for advertising placements or trade show investments, but not about bigger goals.

Later, when I was leading a marketing team, I spent a lot of time sharing our marketing plan for the year, asking for feedback, and asking “why” to get to the business goals we were trying to accomplish. For example, I would ask, “Why are we going to ABC trade show?” If the answer was, “because that’s what we’ve always done,” that was a red flag to me.

By the way, my team reduced trade show costs by over 30% and improved individual event ROI in 15 months, just by asking this question about every show.

2. Lack of shared goals at the working level.

Generally speaking, leaders have common incentives based on their shared understanding of business success. Generally speaking, leaders do a good job of communicating sales goals too. It’s fairly clear: orders, sales, profit. But communications can break down at the level of aligning marketing and sales to help everyone meet their goals.

What helps: Finding and communicating shared goals.

As a marketing leader, I would sit with our sales team(s) to understand their goals and align my operations and goals to support them. Then, I would communicate those goals to my team. I would also try to draw clear lines from the company’s mission and corporate-wide goals to each individual’s role.

Knowing the tactical goals made it easier to help each other. These goals go beyond sales and marketing alignment to internally communicating key metrics to help keep things real. In addition to keeping everyone on the same page and holding them accountable for their roles, sharing metrics that are reflective of goals, provides an effective way to share progress throughout the year.

3. Lack of trust.

This one is a bit soft and squishy, but those trust-based relationships (see above) are just as important to internal communications as they are to external communications. Marketers often view salespeople as “cowboys” shooting from the hip. Salespeople often view marketers as stuffy “PowerPoint junkies,” who can’t have a conversation without pointing to a chart.

What helps: Getting away from your office/cubicle/desk.

I’ve found that regularly attending already scheduled staff meetings is a great way for both sales and marketing to hear about the “real” work, as well as get a better sense for how to support, engage, and share fresh perspectives. It’s always useful to hear a fresh take on the market, your competition, or other issues facing your industry.

It’s human nature. The more you hear from others about their reasoning and approach to a particular challenge, the more you will begin to trust their judgment. Trust is key to figuring out how to work together.

So, invite a coworker in another department to Get coffee… Go to lunch… Go for a walk. And ask what they’re up to, what their biggest challenges are, and how you might be able to help.

With sales and marketing on the same page, you will see the hand-wringing and the finger-pointing put to rest. It’s challenging to find an integrated approach that works, but the results speak for themselves.

We have the experience, the patience, and the audacity to break down unnecessary barriers to business success at Audacia. If your sales and marketing teams could use some fine-tuning, give us a call. We’re always game to Get coffee… Go to lunch… Or Go for a walk!

 

Photo credit: rido / 123RF Stock Photo

communications plan

Does Your Message Actually Connect With Your Audience? — Finding the Right Communications Plan.

Wouldn’t it be nice if a communications plan were as simple as making sure that you have all of the relevant information organized in a way that makes sense? Unfortunately, finding the right package for this information is also important and can be more difficult. Developing an effective message is essential to getting the word out, especially when the information you’re putting out is highly technical or complex.

While there is definitely a time and place for technical information, we can be conditioned to hide behind complexity, rather than thinking more about our audience to clearly and concisely communicate our message. Although it takes some extra effort to determine what will resonate with our customers, investors, board members, regulatory officials, media, etc., the time we put in is well worth it.

Each Industry Has Its Own Language

When I started my career in the Aerospace and Defense industry, I literally worked with rocket scientists, PhD scientists, mathematicians, and other brilliant co-workers. Talk about intimidating! While I do have a few extra letters of my own behind my name, learning how to best communicate with these folks was challenging to say the least.

What made it especially difficult was not as much about the intimidation (I believe in the value of my work!), as it was about figuring out the industry’s language—you know, that jargon that pervades every industry?

I quickly learned how to call a post-meeting review a “hot wash.” I realized that people in A&D often speak using more acronyms than words. But some of the other lessons were learned the hard way.

I distinctly remember sitting in a new employee orientation receiving a detailed overview about my new firm’s products and services and feeling (a) overwhelmed by the amount of technical information, (b) lost in the lingo, and (c) utterly bored to tears.

I knew one thing for sure: If I was bored by our presentation, our customers would be positively comatose, that is, whenever they weren’t frustrated by trying to understand our offerings and why it mattered. This was the first time I realized that a communications plan could make a huge difference.

Don’t Blame Your Audience for Your Failure to Communicate

Now, be careful not to misunderstand the above lesson. Customers (or whoever our audience happens to be) need to clearly understand the technical specifications, features, and benefits of a solution. However, when we hide behind the technical lingo in lieu of focusing on determining the messages that resonate with our customers, that is when communications break down. We then blame the customers for not choosing our product or service saying, “they just don’t get it.” We can do better.

Instead of playing the blame game, wouldn’t it be better if we designed our communications plan around our audiences and took the time to figure out how translate technical language into a message that even those outside of our industries can relate to?

Here are some ideas for communicating highly complex information:

1. Start with the outcome.

What is the problem that you are solving? How do you help achieve your audience’s goals? In marketing strategy, experts refer to this in terms of “pain points.” The most important reason to start with the outcome when developing a communications plan is that it automatically puts you in an empathetic mindset. Thinking from your buyer’s or investor’s or board member’s perspective makes it more likely that the message you craft will resonate with your audience. My gut check here is: “Would my grandfather understand what we do?”

2. Avoid too much jargon.

A New York University study found that statements written plainly were viewed as more truthful than those that used jargon-y language. The reason? It’s easier for a reader to visualize an outcome expressed in concrete terms and apply it to their situation. Jargon-y language requires abstract thinking and separates the reader from the message.

Even if your audience is well steeped in the language of your industry, jargon is not usually the best way to articulate technical or complex information. Different experts interpret jargon differently based on their backgrounds and how long they’ve been involved in this world. So, if you want to avoid misunderstanding, it’s important to use precise language.

3. Use smart visuals.

While some industries tend to overuse visuals, others seem to forget entirely that they are a valid communications tool. However, a well-placed visual in your presentation will do wonders to make sure your team or investors are on the same page.

Now, it’s important to keep in mind that just as you need to consider what resonates with the verbiage you use, you also need to consider what resonates with the visuals you use. That means, NOT an overly complex, flow chart with super small font. Have you noticed the avalanche of infographics all over the web and in business presentations lately? It’s because a strong picture provides a concrete way to help your audience relate to and remember your message.

According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners. So, take a page from your favorite professor in college and spend some time thinking about the best ways to show, rather than tell about the relationships present in your information.

4. Tell a story.

Storytelling resonates on an emotional level with your audience—making your brand more relatable and memorable. So, no matter how technical or complex the information, putting it into a narrative form will help you communicate.

In a previous blog post, we talked about ways to add storytelling elements to your communications plan. Even if storytelling is not “standard” in your industry, you can use elements of a story to get your point across. Just remember that however you present your narrative, it should relate to the outcome that you are solving for (see #1).

 

If you follow the above 4 tips, your communications plan will be effective, without being overwhelming, too jargon-y, or too boring. Find the right way to organize the information and to convey it in a way that your audience will appreciate and you will no longer be tempted to hide behind complexity.

Audacia Strategies knows how to help you find the message that best resonates with your audience. With our experts working with you, you’ll move from thinking “they just don’t get it” to “they couldn’t be more engaged.” Let’s do this!
Photo credit: pressmaster / 123RF Stock Photo

iconic brand strategy

Don’t Launch Your New Brand Until You Read This!—Everything You Need to Create Your Iconic Brand Strategy

Picture this:

The light bulb suddenly goes off and you have an amazing idea for your next iconic brand strategy. You’re so excited! There are logos and taglines and websites, oh my! There is social media marketing to consider. You have all of your ducks in a row…or at least, you think you do.

You launch your new baby out into the world and prepare for it to become iconic. And, maybe it will be. But it’s probably going to take a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make that happen. There is a good reason seasoned entrepreneurs often say, “It only took me 10 years to become an overnight success.”

The problem is that it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of creating something new and to forget that becoming an iconic brand requires a lot more than a great logo, tagline, and website. All of that shiny stuff is really just window-dressing. The research, positioning, and messaging are the real nuts and bolts behind an iconic brand strategy.

So how do find the discipline to lay the groundwork for success before you let yourself get swept up in the more glamorous side of launching your new brand?

First, it’s important to keep in mind that just because you need to do the hard groundwork, that doesn’t mean you can’t also reward yourself by working on the fun stuff, like planning the huge launch party you’re going to throw when you’re ready to announce.

As you read through the below list, it’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed. But rest assured that if you take your time and insist on being intentional as you work through this process, you will be overwhelmed (in a good way!) by the end result.

Key Considerations for Launching Your Next Iconic Brand Strategy:

1. Start with the basics: Is there a market? AKA look both ways before you cross that street.

Whether you are creating a brand strategy for a new product or for an extension of an existing product line, it’s important to do some serious research into the potential market that you will want to tap into. There are three important areas to consider here.

A. Market/situational awareness:

Research the current tools, technologies, services, and work-arounds. Positioning your brand in the market requires extensive understanding of what else is available. You will be looking to gain a share of these markets.

Ask the following questions about existing brands and peers:

  • What works/doesn’t work?
  • What’s the broader discussion? Are companies/thought leaders talking about this capability?
  • Where is the solution on the technology cycle (cutting edge vs. mature)?
  • Is there pending legislation or regulation that may shift the market dynamics?

B. Market segmentation and prioritization:

Once you have a handle on what the market looks like, dig deeper. Get as specific as you can about what your real target market looks like. Segment different target groups in the way that makes the most sense for your brand. Prioritize, i.e., figure out which of these groups to target first, second, third, and when. Finally, determine each segment’s pain points and specific challenges.

Ask yourself:

  • Who is my specific target market? How do the buy? When? Why?
  • Where are these customers? Consider industry, customer size, geography, innovation requirements, you get the idea.
  • What are the customer pain points our product solves?

C. Competitive analysis

The last piece in the market puzzle of your iconic brand strategy is doing a thorough competitive analysis. This will help determine how to position your brand both in terms of the current market landscape and projecting into the future potential shifts.

Ask the following about your competition:

  • Who are they?
  • Where are they (physical locations, virtual locations, operational status)?
  • How big are they?
  • Market share (try to get at least a notional sense)?

2. Now, go deep inside your business. How will your new brand change your operations?

Depending on how much of a transformation you plan to make as you build your iconic brand strategy, this will take a good mix of pragmatism, creativity, and a bit of speculation. It helps to bring in your team to get a full picture of potential business impacts.

As an example, you might consider if you need to make changes to your business structure.

  • How will you need to structure your current business to accommodate the new brand?
  • Or is this really a new business/company? A spin-off? A joint venture? A product extension?

3. Prepare your brand messaging–this is huge!

Messaging can be the difference between launching a successful brand and launching an iconic brand. It’s the difference between a basically reliable casual shoe and a Nike. Try to figure out what unique value your brand offers and more importantly, how to get the word out. This may take some trial and error. Above all, make sure your messaging reflects your brand promise.

Here consider:

A. Value Proposition

  • Why us?
  • Why now?
  • What problem do we solve?
  • What pains do we alleviate?

B. Brand promise

  • What are you offering your buyers? Why is it important? What does your brand stand for and why?

C. Positioning Statements

  • How do our priority market segments prefer to receive information?
  • What is the tone they prefer?
  • How can we signal social proof?

D. Message Architecture

Think of message architecture as scaffolding for all of your marketing content. Your message architecture or framework will support and shape all the content you produce going forward. When marketers and communications pros talk about messaging, they are talking about the general impression they want customers to take away from the content itself.

When it comes to designing the message architecture, a good rule of thumb is to keep it simple. This article from some content experts is a good place to start and it offers a number of useful examples.

E. Elevator pitch – you have 15 seconds in an elevator with your dream client – what do you say?

Every new brand needs a catchy elevator pitch. This should be easy once you’ve done all of the research and analysis above.

4. Brand Identity — most people skip directly to this step, but putting in the upfront work is critical to developing an iconic brand strategy.

This goes beyond the broader messaging to even less tangible elements. Your brand’s identity is really the public perception of the brand. A lot more than words on your website goes into your brand identity. Unfortunately, some of this is out of your control, but you can learn to influence this if you really study corporate communications or find someone else who has done so.

Here the following are crucial:

A. Is this a stand-alone solution or does is it part of a family/suite of products/solutions?

B. Reflect on your market research and align to your aspirational positioning.

C. Consider whether you need/want a tagline — a tagline can be a powerful brand discriminator and shorthand for what’s unique about your brand.

D. Don’t forget to reserve your URLs!

5. Launch Strategy — get ready to be big!

Yay! Now that you’ve put in the real grunt work, you can start to plan the launch strategy for your new brand. I offered some good tips here in a recent blog post. And just imagine how much confidence you’ll have gained once you’ve completed the list above.

I know that this all sounds like a ton of work and it is! But this is your baby. What could be more rewarding and satisfying than watching your idea grow from a thought bubble into a household name?

New brands are exciting and can be overwhelming. We get it. Audacia Strategies has been there. Let us be your guide through launching your next iconic brand.

Photo credit: auremar / 123RF Stock Photo

investor relations’ relevance

From Niche to Necessity: 3 Tips for Increasing Investor Relations’ Relevance in Your Firm

Today’s, investor relations pros do a lot more than just talk to the Street. We serve as a critical conduit for information between the Street and internal business channels AND as a connector of information within companies. Everywhere we look, investor relations’ relevance is rising.

It’s more important than ever for organizations to find IR experts who can wear multiple hats and deliver value across the organization. Let’s discuss the drivers of change and how modern investor relations pros are adding value.

Drivers of Change in Investor Relations’ Relevance

While there has always been (and still remains) a bit of a mystique around investor relations experts, that mystique is beginning to fade and make way for more of an MVP role in companies.

Historically, IR as a function was considered mainly for big companies and primarily to communicate with investors about big events that could affect a company’s stock valuation. As a result, traditionally, investor relations’ relevance was seen as more of a back-office function, which involved responding to queries from private investors about non-receipt of dividends, annual reports, share certificates, or legal cases about ownership of shares. Institutional investors interested in contacting the company would meet directly with the CFO or CEO.

But times have changed. The demands from both the sell side and the buy side have intensified because of less reliance on expert networks, increased regulations, the pace of communications, and technological advancements. Additionally, increasing numbers of startups, especially in the software sector, has led to increased investment opportunities.

3 Ways Successful IR Professionals Provide Value:

What used to be purely a communications and public relations role has quickly evolved into a specialized blend of key front-office responsibilities. Today’s Investor Relations Officers (IROs) are responsible for conducting competitive analyses; supporting corporate portfolio-shaping activities (AKA M&A, divestitures, etc.); ensuring regulatory compliance; engaging in corporate sustainability efforts; and acting as in-house market structure experts.

Let’s look at just a few of the ways IR adds value:

1. Playing a more direct role in business strategy formation.

According to the most recent Korn-Ferry survey, 67% of Fortune 500 executives rate having a strategic mindset as the most important leadership characteristic for CCOs. But we didn’t need a survey to tell us that IR professionals are taking on more leadership roles within companies.

Taking the lead on communicating and positioning naturally means deeper knowledge of business operations—such as budgets and forecasts, financial planning and analyses, IT systems, risk assessments, and other facets of the enterprise.

2. Dissecting the financial analysis of peer companies.

Successful IR professionals not only have a deep understanding their own firm’s business operations, but they also research the finances of their peers. Modern IR pros are especially well-situated to do this work because they increasingly come from finance or analyst backgrounds and 72% have worked for three to six companies over the course of their careers. Companies are smart to use this institutional knowledge to their advantage.

3. Communicating the company’s position in highly tailored ways.

Yes, communications is still a big part of the work that IR professionals do. But even this traditional role has evolved. Communicating with stakeholders is more complicated than ever. As investor populations become increasingly diverse, there are more complicated market forces to take into account. It makes perfect sense that IR experts rely upon their comprehensive understanding of the company when communicating with investors and other stakeholders.

Lessons and Recommendations:

So what does all of this change mean for individual IR pros and their corporate partners?

First and foremost, valuable information needs to be shared. The relationship with the Street means that IR pros get a candid (often unfiltered) view of the company, the market and the competitive environment. Investor relations’ relevance has grown largely because sharing this information with the rest of the company is easier than ever.

This information needs to be shared:

1. With the C-suite for situational awareness, strategy development, market approach, messaging, and as fodder for future investor meetings. Obviously. Depending on how your C-suite likes to receive info, this may take the form of a quick email or text or conversation; an end-of-day update from a conference; or a weekly/monthly update on the state of the firm’s communications and/or market movement.

2. With the broader leadership team – trends in investor/analyst comments must be shared with the extended team. This is valuable information about our market and competitive environment. It also provides real-time feedback on strategy… are we hitting our milestones (and communicating that we do so)? What do investors like about our competitors? What do they see as our key discriminator? (Sometimes that’s different than what we might think!) What are they watching in the industry? What do they ask about most? (Think: interest rates, low barriers to entry, regulations, pricing pressure, etc.).

The key is to offer trends in feedback combined with insight about your company’s competitive positioning, trading dynamics, and market conditions. The goal is to provide unique insight that business leaders can use as they assess their operations, competitive strategy, and markets. Often, this takes the form of a weekly/monthly or even quarterly updates as part of your quarterly business review process.

3. With employees – this is both outside in AND inside out. As important as it is to spend time with investors, analysts and other financial stakeholders it’s equally important to spend time learning more about your company.

Personally, I have found it incredibly helpful to make it a point to visit distributed corporate locations regularly. This serves two functions. First, it gives me the opportunity to get a better understanding of the operations of the business, check out a manufacturing line, spend time with the local sales team, get a demonstration of the latest R&D projects, etc. All of this is important to being able to discuss the depth and breadth of our business initiatives.

Second, I recommend returning the hospitality by holding an open discussion about how your company is traded and viewed by Wall Street. Discuss what it means to be a “deep value” or “growth” stock. Discuss what your institutional holders look like and why. Discuss your peers institutional profile and any similarities/differences. And, share some of those key trends in Street feedback.

Among distributed sites/field sites there sometimes is a perception that HQ roles are disconnected from the realities of the business operations. By sharing the Street perspective, you can make a more direct connection to an employee’s day-to-day work and the company’s performance and public perception.

Conclusion

Increasing regulatory, technological, and investor demands have profoundly altered investor relations’ relevance. What was once primarily a communications function has been transformed into a leadership position requiring economics, finance, and business operations expertise.

The evolution in investor relations’ relevance provides an opportunity to share critical market feedback more broadly and strengthen the connection between internal and external operations. It’s also an optimal moment to engage partner firms that are prepared to embrace the expertise of their IR professionals and showcase it as a differentiating factor.

Audacia Strategies has been evolving right alongside this new era in IR. Isn’t it time that we talk with you about your investor relations goals?

Photo credit: pressmaster / 123RF Stock Photo

authentic leadership

Authentic Leadership: Save the “Game Face” for the Squash Court

One of the best-kept secrets in the corporate communications world is that you can’t teach great leadership—not really. But you can coach leaders to be more authentic and authentic leadership is one of the hallmarks of being great.

Part of the reason you can’t teach leaders to be great, is that there is a big difference between communicating and “messaging.” Yes, I can help a new CEO walk her company through a complicated reorg with beautifully timed and carefully worded messages. But it’s not all about the message.  

It’s the way you deliver the message that makes the difference between communicating and “messaging.” And delivery falls into the category of authentic leadership. So, let’s get real.

Authenticity: The Magic

Authentic. Authenticity. Such an important part of communicating and it pains me to see it recently hijacked to become one of the most overused “woo woo” terms. It’s right up there next to “organic” (and no, I’m not talking about the organic tomato variety).  

What does authentic even mean? Quick. Take 15 seconds to think about what it looks, sounds, and feels like when you engage in an “authentic” conversation. Step outside of the corporate context for a moment. Maybe you see yourself chatting casually with friends; watching a captivating TV or political or entertainment personality; reading a really inspiring OpEd; or listening to someone tell an important story. What makes that discussion—regardless of the venue or channel—feel “authentic?”

Off the top of my head (no thesaurus.com today!)—when I think of authentic leadership, I think: Real. Genuine. Not fake. True. Natural. Honest. Direct. Candid. Connected.

Authenticity: Unlocking the Magic

That feeling that we just identified? The “realness” that makes you sit up and engage? That’s the magic in true communication—the kind that builds relationships, awareness, and interest. It can’t be created or manufactured, but it can be uncovered, enabled, and encouraged.

If authentic leadership is what we’re after, let’s discuss how to encourage and enable real, engaging conversations in the boardroom, on earnings calls, and even in blog posts.

1. Who is your executive, really? Unlocking authenticity requires a bit of soul searching and a lot of honesty. What is your executive’s style? Introverted? Extroverted? Detail-oriented? Big-picture? Funny? Sarcastic? Dry? Often the tone of the organization takes on a bit of the personality of its key spokesperson or executive. (See: Apple and Steve Jobs).

Rather than asking your executive what tone she prefers, do a bit of homework here. As you observe your executive interacting with investors in meetings, pay close attention to her tone of voice and watch how she engages with the discussion. Often, smaller-group discussions and meetings provide keen insight into how an executive prefers to interact.

2. Encourage your executive to be “real.” You’ve done the research and you have a good sense for how your executives prefer to engage. Now take that style and use it to your advantage. Often we feel like we have to put on our “game face.” While getting psyched for an event is great, putting up a facade or a false persona isn’t.We can all tell when someone is faking it, right? (See: Founder and former Lululemon Chair, Chip Wilson’s infamous apology).

Got a detail-oriented executive? Make sure that your quarterly earnings call script reflects her passion for the details of your firm’s technology or business model. Got a wisecracking executive? Embrace it and give her a few opportunities to release some (appropriate!) humor in their public engagements. Which leads us to…

3. Know your bumpers. One plea for caution here: Keeping it real doesn’t mean anything goes. You will want to give guidance on where the boundaries are. Discuss how many details are too many. Offer concrete examples as a guide to using humor effectively. Consider what challenging questions might come up and where the law requires a more matter-of-fact approach.

This is where professional media training can be really helpful. I strongly recommend that ANYONE who communicates externally (or heck, even internally) goes through media training and has the experience of presenting—both formally and informally—on-camera. Then sit down together to watch the replay and debrief. This is critical to understanding how our communications “quirks” and nervous habits can interrupt the connection with our audience and interfere with communication.

4. Give as good as you get. Keep in mind that communicating is a two-way street. It’s just as important to listen as it is to speak. And, it sounds simple because it is. Everyone wants to be heard. I remember watching in horror during a meeting with one of our largest investors when my CEO couldn’t stop “messaging” and just listen to the investor’s feedback. No amount of redirection could help. We lost that large investor within the month.

We can’t simply be in “outbound” mode all the time. We have to receive information to learn. You know those executives who have an innate pulse of their organization? And those who build teams that will follow them to the end of the earth? It doesn’t happen by accident. These authentic leaders demonstrate respect through listening and meaningful engagement.

So, if you want to help your executives give as good as they get, encourage active listening, i.e., fully concentrating and engaging. You’ll be amazed at how much this can help. The Center for Creative Leadership provides some excellent tips for building these skills in executives too.

5. Be consistent. It’s tempting for all of us to fall into the trap of “putting on our game face” for a big meeting, presentation, or conversation. However, if our “game face” is not consistent with our personality and the characteristics discussed above, it can come across as confusingly inconsistent at best and downright untrustworthy at worst.

Again, your observations of your executive come into play here. If you notice that your executive has certain triggers where she tends to put up walls or get a little defensive, point it out and train her to anticipate those triggers. Authentic leadership is as much about knowing yourself as it is about listening and reading others.

Authenticity: Back to Basics

We all interact with people in corporate jobs who put up walls (and I don’t mean along the border) and treat their work interactions as completely foreign from their non-work interactions. Let this post be a little reminder to get back to the core of all communications: connecting, engaging, and building relationships.

At its foundation, authentic leadership is all about finding subtle ways to be ourselves within the boundaries of our industries. Not sure what that looks like for your c-suite? Contact Audacia and we’ll help you figure how to keep it real!

Photo credit: macniak / 123RF Stock Photo

communications strategy

100 Days: Time to Take a Hard Look at Your Communications Strategy

There is always a lot of discussion in the media and around office water coolers about the first 100 days of a president’s term. What’s been accomplished? What’s on deck? Truly, a lot can be accomplished in 100 days whether you are starting a new job, launching a new campaign, building a business, or leading the free world.

The president is the CEO of the nation, so it makes sense to evaluate the leadership landscape at this point. While it’s unrealistic to think that the first 100 days hold the key to an executive’s tenure…it certainly sets the tone.

For any executive, the 100-day mark is a good opportunity to come up for air and assess how focused tactics are addressing your broader communications strategy. It’s also a good time to (re)address how you talk about your strategy publicly.

As you look back on the first 100 days of 2017, consider where your organization is headed, what is working, and where you might need a course adjustment.

The Big Picture

It’s important in business (and in life) to take a step back to think about the big picture from time to time. Understandably, a long term communications strategy can get lost dealing with the day-to-day challenges and adjusting tactics to fulfill immediate expectations. So, be sure to remind yourself to take a step back, re-evaluate, assess metrics, and relaunch.

When it comes to your larger communications strategy, considering these big picture items will help you manage expectations both with your team and your stakeholders. Consider how you talk about your goals, expectations, and the steps to success. If you feel out of your depth, it may make sense to find a corporate communications partner to walk you through this process.

Recognize When it’s Time to Pull Up

Recently, I met with the executives of a newly launched business. The experience was a great reminder of the importance of keeping the big picture on the radar. We spent the first 30 minutes of the meeting discussing business challenges; how they were addressing those challenges; and how to grow revenue while maintaining—or growing—profit margins.

It was a good tactical conversation. But it wasn’t why I had been invited there. This company was concerned that they were under-valued compared to their peer set. And while all of the tactics to improve operations and financial results were absolutely critical components to addressing the valuation challenge, the team’s strategic goal had gotten lost in their tactical focus.

It was time to pull up. I took them through a process designed to help them assess progress to date; revisit their broader challenge; and address market changes, competitive shifts, and investor perception.

Now was also the right time to take a look at how they had communicated their strategy to investors. Did they know what we were working toward and why? Had we shared critical milestones, success metrics, and off-ramps?

In the first days, months, and even years figuring out what business model to follow and what broad communications strategy will propel an organization forward most effectively is difficult. Sometimes you are so focused on growth and getting the right systems in place that communications takes a backseat.

But having a communications strategy in place, even one that is not perfect, will help you avoid headaches down the road. Suppose you know that you will need to ease back on production during the Q3 or Q4 next year. It will be a lot easier to explain a slow quarter next year if you keep investors in the loop as to your broader strategy starting now.

Keep in mind that strategy shouldn’t be a secret. Secrets = surprises. And surprises are interpreted as risk by investors.

So, as we look back at the last 100 days of 2017. Ask yourself and your team some difficult questions:

1. Have you clearly and publicly articulated your strategy and goals? If the answer is “hmmm… maybe not,” chances are good that your team’s hard work on all those tactical concerns will go unnoticed or unappreciated or unvalued. Or, what’s even worse, the hard work will be viewed as “noise” without an anchor to a broader goal.

2. Have you shared the key success metrics that accompany your strategy? Remember that you have some control over your own evaluation. If there are metrics or milestones that you have accomplished, but which are likely to be overlooked by external analysts, highlight them yourself.

3. How about some of the key tactics that you’ll employ to achieve those goals? Once you have articulated your goals, strategies, and key metrics, anchor the tactics in those goals. Point to, for example, cost reductions, research and development, implementation of new inventory tracking software, etc.

4. How does your broader strategy fit the operating environment? As you execute the tactics of your strategy, your market, and your competitors, your business also changes. Take a moment to pick your head up to assess your operating environment. The strategy you chose to govern the organization when you first launched may not hold up today.

5. What is your strategy to communicate progress against your plan? A steady drumbeat of updates (small and large) lets investors know that you’re chipping away at your strategy. So designate someone to play the role of chief communications officer who will decide when and how to communicate with investors.

Developing a communications strategy can be quite a challenge, especially for new businesses. Our experts have helped teams like yours take a step back, find the right strategy, and execute the plan. Let’s talk about how how we can help you!

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annual report

The Evolution of the Annual Report: From Financial Report to Corporate Persona

Annual reports have evolved over the years from a dry vehicle for conveying information about a company’s financials to a critical tool to communicate corporate strategy. An expertly communicated annual report has the power to influence the way your company is perceived by those who matter most.

There are challenges to unleashing the full potential of the annual report, however. To make corporate financial information more accessible and easily understood, SEC regulations have attempted to standardize the delivery of key operational and financial information.

But there is still plenty of opportunity to effectively leverage this piece as a vehicle for expressing your company’s vision, mission, and values. The annual report is one of the most widely read communications your company will release. So, there are plenty of benefits to rethinking your firm’s customary approach.

Factors that Influence Stakeholders’ Perception of the Annual Report:

1. Content

It is obvious that the content of the report influences how investors and other stakeholders view your firm’s reputation. But what is not so obvious is that how you understand the content is not the same as how your investors interpret the content. An annual report is a great time to practice your corporate storytelling skills.

Of course, investors will zero-in on financial performance, but the way in which this information is presented will affect perceptions. The Letter to Shareholders and the Management Discussion and Analysis sections of the annual report offers an opportunity to share a transparent and honest discussion of market conditions, corporate strategy, and investment priorities.

Being transparent and honest in your communications is not as easy as it sounds. Internal expectations based on previous performance can affect how you view this year’s performance. Corporate strategy and market conditions may be in flux.

For these and other reasons, it can help to bring in external corporate communications experts and marketing specialists to provide a clear-eyed perspective on the annual report message. Just as you use auditors and financial experts to ensure the accuracy of your financial reporting, it can also help to have experts to support your messaging.

The sweet spot for content is delivering an annual report that accurately conveys the facts, gets the message across, and effectively communicates your company’s past performance and future expectations.

2. Design

Design alone won’t save terrible earnings. So, don’t spend a lot of time putting together a slick design hoping to distract stakeholders from the unfortunate truth. Still, your company’s annual report should be consistent with your corporate brand.

The most successful and admired companies find subtle ways to stamp their identity throughout the report. For example, Warby Parker, an online eyeglass company, created an interactive annual report in the form of a calendar with 365 company milestones and figures. Keep in mind that through consistency and authenticity, the annual report can really work together with other corporate communications to manage your firm’s reputation.

3. Delivery

One other factor to consider that has ramifications for how your stakeholders perceive your company is how and when you deliver the report. Of course, timely filing of the annual report is table stakes. But also consider utilizing additional delivery channels including video and interactive infographics.

In addition to the above general guidelines, you may want to revisit these excellent tips about how to make your annual report one of your best assets including:

  • Think of the annual report as your “financial brand” for the year: This way you can repurpose parts of the report into other communications documents, such as facts sheets, the proxy, and the investor deck.
  • Design your annual report to be easily segmented: Make it easier to repurpose stand-alone parts of the annual report for social media, for instance, by making the report easier to separate into parts.

Conclusion

Yes, annual reports serve several purposes. They provide a company’s financial information, amplify a company’s marketing message, and remind shareholders of a company’s strategy. But first and foremost, firms need to think of the annual report as a key tool in their corporate reputation management toolbox.

The annual report is an important vehicle for connecting with investors to give them more than just a financial picture. Annual reports can—and should—also give clear insight into your company’s vision, values, culture, and internal operations.

Ultimately though, the annual report is only one part of a wider corporate communications strategy. We specialize in helping to construct your corporate narrative at Audacia Strategies. There’s no substitute for having a clear picture of what your company stands for and where you are going. Contact us today and let us help you bring everything into focus.

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holding statement

Controlling a Crisis is Hard. The Right Holding Statement Can Help.

When an incident or crisis occurs, the public has a right to know what happened and what steps are being taken to resolve the issue. Keep in mind, though, that there are better and worse ways to communicate during a crisis. Too often companies make the mistake of throwing together a holding statement only to further damage their credibility.

With everyone’s first instinct being to shoot video with their smartphones and immediately post to social media, the need to respond quickly during a crisis is apparent. For this reason alone, it’s important to have a crisis management plan in place that you can immediately activate in the event that something goes wrong.

The Holding Statement: Critical to Maintaining Credibility

One crucial, but often overlooked piece of any sound crisis management plan is the holding statement. Having this short statement on hand helps you avoid the dreaded “no comment” statement, which the public perceives as a disavowal of responsibility.

It also prevents the media from writing speculative stories about the organization and the situation. While you may not have the ability to control the crisis, you do have the ability to control the narrative. In other words, a skillfully written holding statement maintains credibility in the face of a crisis.

Crisis Communications is a Delicate Business

During a crisis, communications can have one of two effects: the statements released can mitigate the damage or make a bad situation worse. So, what can your organization do to ensure that your communications calm the storm instead of churning up more trouble?

1. Create Pre-Crisis Holding Statements

What holds true on the basketball court, holds true for crisis management—there is nothing worse than being caught flat-footed. Just as champions on the court run drills to prepare their defense for game day, champions in crisis management run drills to prepare their responses for an emergency.

But before you can prepare those responses, you need to have a good crisis management plan in place. Start by anticipating possible risks and vulnerabilities; then put together holding statements for each one. Remember to think broadly about the types of crises that might impact your company. This could be anything from safety issues to natural or manmade disasters to social media frenzies.

The good news here is that if you take the time to identify potential crises and think through the right statements ahead of time, while heads are cool, you set yourself up for saving your credibility should the worst happen.

2. Consider Distribution

Holding statements can be issued via traditional distribution methods, such as press conferences, but given the current pace of communications and multiplicity of channels, including social media, having multiple distribution methods makes sense.

This means that you actually need several variations of each holding statement you create. Create channel-appropriate statements for each of the following: traditional media distribution, social media video messaging, talking points for key spokespersons, social media posts, customer messages, website updates, and whatever other channels make sense for your organization.

3. Strike the Right Tone

Tone is very important. In the event of a crisis, you will want your holding statement to acknowledge that your company recognizes the need to cooperate with media and to inform the public without sounding authoritative.

If your communications team isn’t careful, the desire to show that you are in control of the situation can come off as arrogance or indifference to the injury that others are experiencing.

Holding Statement Keys: Simple, Informative, Timely

Once you have thought through your crisis strategy with an eye toward maintaining your credibility, keep a few more details in mind as you prepare your actual holding statements.

Keep It Simple: No speculation.

The holding statement is a confirmation of known facts, expression of awareness, and—depending on the situation—expression of appropriate and authentic empathy. Organizations are most often judged on the authenticity of their response in times of crisis.

A cold, legalese message during an emergency (particularly one with physical, financial, or environmental harms) can be a turn off and result in questions about credibility and brand promise.

Informative: Stick to the facts—Who, What, Where, When, How, Now What?

Talk about the actions your organization is taking and the priorities you will address. As with all communications, make sure that your holding statement aligns with key corporate values (e.g., prescription drug safety is our number one priority). Do NOT address rumors, speculation, or unconfirmed reports.

Make sure that key spokespeople are identified and that all inquires are routed through these people. If you skip this step, contradictory statements could end up adding to the chaos, which is the last thing you need. Collaborate with your legal team ahead of time (ideally as part of your crisis response planning), to have agreed upon language and an approval process in place.

Timely: As in, within an hour.

The initial response should be released within an hour of the occurrence of the issue or incident and should state, at a minimum, when the next update is anticipated. You can’t afford to let the rumor mill get ahead of your official statements, so make sure a clear chain of command is in place.

Time is your biggest enemy when it comes to dealing with a crisis. To be ready to spring into action, update your plan and role play scenarios with relevant team members at least twice each year.

At Audacia Strategies, we understand that dealing with a crisis is stressful. That’s why we have systems in place to guide you through. Let our team do what we do best so that you can get back to what you do best. Schedule your consultation and let’s get started.

Do you have your holding statements together?
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executive transition

Executive Transition Part II: Preparing Your Executive

If you missed part I of our series on executive transition, click here to read more about how to prepare for planned or unplanned c-suite changes.

Last time, we discussed how to prepare your organization for an executive transition. Because stakeholders watch these types of big transformations carefully for any signs, positive or negative, of what the future will bring, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to get everyone on the same page.

By far, the most important element of a successful c-suite transition is properly preparing your executive. This is where investor relations officers and communicators really earn their keep. Both roles play a critical role in supporting and enabling a successful executive transition.

Prepare to prepare your new executive.

First, take some time to gather key resources to help your new executive transition smoothly. For instance, create a portfolio including the most recent corporate overview, key messaging statements, shareholder overview, previous public statements, an analysis of the competitive landscape, key events/timing, etc.

Next, before you begin strategizing, put yourself in the shoes of your new executive. Ask yourself and your team crucial questions, for example: Is the new leader, whether interim or permanent, an internal hire or will she need to be brought up to speed on your organization’s culture?

Keep in mind that while the new executive may have been brought on to accomplish specific goals, the more she knows about the organization as a whole, the better able she will be to accomplish these specific goals. So, don’t be afraid to ask the new executive what support she needs from you during this transition period.

Answers to these questions will help you better enable your new executive to smoothly enter her new role. Once you’ve asked and answered these critical questions, you can now put yourself in the shoes of your key stakeholder groups and begin the hard work of prepping your executive for the transition:

1. Define key messages.

As discussed last week, executive transition = risk. Our communications goal throughout this process is to make the change appear less risky, insofar as possible. An orderly transition will give investors, employees, and customers confidence that the company, whether public or non-public, is in control of the transition.

What does this look like in practice? It means, at a minimum, defining key messages around the following: (a) any insight you can provide into the reasons for the change, (b) why the new executive is the right hire at the right time, and (c) reinforcement of key company strategic messages.

(a) Why did the previous C-suite executive leave?

Present a clear rationale for the change, whether it was by choice or not. That said, word choice in describing the transition is absolutely important. Aim for language that is natural, concise, and respectful to all transitioning parties.

Keep in mind that communications during this time can be a delicate balancing act between signaling Board control over the transition, legal sensitivities, and acknowledging organization strategy. So, be prepared for (and even welcome) multiple perspectives as this verbiage works through internal approval processes.

Even under the best of circumstances, there will be speculation about why the previous executive left. This makes it even more important to ensure that lines of communication are clear. Transparency will ensure that the company isn’t perceived as holding back information from stakeholders.

Whatever words you choose, be sure to avoid anything that makes transition communications appear confusing or bitter, as this can stoke speculation, spook investors and employees, and make for a generally unproductive business environment.

(b) Why is the new executive the right hire at the right time?

It’s important to have a clear message about why the new c-suite executive is the right man or woman to take on the job. Discuss the strategic criteria for this hire. What differentiates your executive from his or her peers? Leverage any previous experience leading similar organizations or leading through similar market changes.

Especially if this transition was unexpected, anything you can say to emphasize that your new executive has been preparing to step into this ideal position at this moment, is helpful. Don’t be afraid to think big here. Talk to your Board and your new executive about his vision for the future of the company and find creative ways to work that into your messaging.

(c) How does this support the company’s strategy?

Finally, make sure to re-emphasize the company strategy. This applies whether the overall strategy is changing (e.g., because the previous CEO was fired due to poor performance in shifting market conditions) or the basic strategy is staying the same, while the new leader is free to make small tweaks to business operations.

Either way, it’s a good time to revisit the corporate vision and mission to remind stakeholders that the fundamentals will remain solid through this period of transition. Bonus points for showing how the new executive has demonstrated strengths in key strategic areas.

2. Allow for acclimation.

To the extent possible, give your executive some time to get her feet on the ground and learn more about how the organization runs. Most executives will want at least a 30-day transition period. However, depending on the business circumstances this is not always possible. It’s best to be upfront with your executive about the timeframe from the beginning.

At the very least, be sure to carve out time before key meetings with employees, investors, and customers to prepare. Discuss the stakeholder group personalities, hot buttons, previous conversations/promises/expectations, and the competitive environment.

3. Consider key prep strategies.

Initial interactions with key stakeholders should reflect: (a) reasons the executive chose your organization and (b) assurance that the early stages will be about listening to key stakeholders to best understand their view and expectations for the organization.

If possible, it is a great idea to organize listening sessions with stakeholder groups during this transitional period. These sessions, can provide your executive with the opportunity to hear directly from employees, top shareholders, and key customers and get them out of the “headquarters bubble.” It can also demonstrate that the company is committed to listening to diverse perspectives during this time of transition.

If your company is public, it’s crucial to prep your new executive on RegFD, especially your firm’s policies regarding RegFD and the quiet period. Make certain that your executive is prepped to handle impromptu questions (in the elevator, at a conference, etc.) by returning to their key message of why he took the job and his commitment to listening to stakeholders for the first 30-60 days.

Along these lines, roleplay likely Q&A with key stakeholder groups. Remind your executive that it’s better to stick to what she knows even if it means not fully answering the question, than going off-script and saying something inaccurate.

As much as you aim to control communications, though, there will be questions, calls, emails sent to IR, CEO, CFO, CCO, anyone who can be reached. Make sure that appropriate communications roles are established and shared. Generally speaking, it is safest to have all questions routed to media relations and investor relations. From there, you can assess and engage your executive as appropriate.

4. Consider your best public introduction strategy.

Is an industry-specific trade show or other important event coming up? This might offer a good opportunity to introduce your new executive in a lower key environment and have key customer or partner intro meetings. These types of events are also good opportunities to conduct initial media interviews.

Do you need more time for your executive to get her feet on the ground? Discuss and agree on a timeframe to set market expectations. Then make sure this information is broadly communicated to key channels through press releases, 8-Ks, internal messaging, etc.

For example, you might include a sentence in an employee update that says, “Jane Doe expects to be meeting with our key customer accounts over the next 30 days and will visit our major employee population centers over the next 90 days.” When speaking to external stakeholders, set expectations with a comment such as, “John Doe will participate in XYZ conference/earnings call/investor day/etc. during the next few months.”

When it comes to ushering in a successful executive transition, there are several moving parts to keep in mind. As complicated as executive transitions can be, they are also exciting times for companies.

It definitely pays to think through your strategy and prepare your executive. Audacia Strategies can help make your executive transition as smooth as possible. We’d love to work with your team to develop the right strategy and outreach plan. Contact us to get started!

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Executive Transition - Handshake

Executive Transition Part I: Planning is Not Optional

Stakeholders can learn a lot from watching an organization go through executive transition. Handled well, c-suite transitions impart confidence in the organization and its future direction. Handled poorly, leadership changes can alert investors to bigger issues within the organization, whether material or merely perceived.

The c-suite (i.e., CEO/CFO, for our purposes today) is the public face of an organization. According to the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual study on global trust and credibility, 43% of people say that they trust the CEO as the spokesperson of the company.

Executives embody the credibility of the company. There is a good reason transition of these key leadership roles is watched so closely: as the c-suite goes, so goes the health of a corporation.

In Part I of this two-part series, we’ll talk about the planning and announcement of an executive transition. Stay tuned for Part II when we’ll discuss how to prep your new executive for primetime.

Executive Transition = Financial Risk

We all know there could be any number of perfectly benign reasons for an executive to choose to leave a particular company, knowing this doesn’t make an executive transition any less of a risk in the eyes of stakeholders.

While you may feel energized by the winds of change blowing through your organization, from the perspective of an investor or a customer, a change in leadership introduces an unknown variable, which is just a different way of saying financial risk.

When the current CEO is performing well, there are questions about whether her successor will be able to maintain the momentum. When the current CEO Is performing poorly, there are questions about how quickly her successor might be able to turn things around.

A leadership change can also be unsettling to employees, since the CEO is the cultural leader of an organization. So transitions also raise questions about the cost to organizations in terms of human capital.

Since all eyes are on you, c-suite transitions are really make or break. It’s so important for these types of big changes to be planned and carefully orchestrated. Okay, let’s talk strategy!

2 Types of Transitions: Planned and Unplanned

There are really just two types of c-suite transitions: planned and unplanned. You should have a plan either way! (Now is probably a good time to review my recent post on Crisis Management.)

There are unique challenges associated with each type, but with the right transition strategy in place, you will be equipped to manage unfolding events as much as possible.

1. Planned Executive Transitions.

If you have the luxury of knowing that a c-suite transition will take place, make sure you have a plan to communicate and acclimate external stakeholders (e.g., shareholders, customers), as well as employees.

While executive transition is generally viewed as a risk, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk in the eyes of investors. A well-considered transition plan indicates a healthy corporate succession plan aligned to the company’s stated strategy.

Additionally, if you have the benefit of time and a transition period of anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, it’s an opportunity to engineer a smooth hand-off between executives.

Joint meetings with current and interim leadership, as well as investors, customers, and employees are a strong signal of organizational health during transition. Consider what will infuse your audience with the most confidence.

2. Unplanned Executive Transitions

If a CEO/CFO must step down unexpectedly, be prepared. This means being ready to communicate quickly, transparently, and as completely as possible. At the very least, I recommend having the interim leader identified along with his qualifications as soon as possible and preferably simultaneous with the transition announcement.

You should also discuss the Board’s search process for a permanent leader and criteria for the next leader. Also, discuss Board strategy—particularly, if the transition is a result of the Board wishing to move in a new direction. If possible, a broad timeline for a decision will also help calm stakeholders as there will be key milestones and communications to watch.

It’s always important to communicate as much as possible, as transparently as possible. But during times of executive transition, strong communication is absolutely essential. Communications that appear to be less than forthcoming and/or light on path forward will only breed rumors and ramp up perceived risk.

Keep this quote at the forefront of your communications strategy:

“If you don’t give people information, they will make up something to fill the void.” – Carla O’Dell, Ph.D., President, American Productivity & Quality Center

There will be questions, calls, emails sent to IR, CEO, CFO, CCO, and anyone who can be reached. Make sure that appropriate communications roles are established and shared. This responsibility will generally fall to media relations and investor relations.

Don’t forget about timing

Whether your executive transition has been a long time coming or out of the blue, your communications strategy for transitions should also include strategies around timing. In corporate communications, timing really is everything.

For instance, unexpected transitions raise questions about an organization’s financial health. One way to ease this concern is to consider timing the transition announcement to coincide with a quarterly release. If such timing is impossible, reaffirm or refer to previous transition strategies with which stakeholders are familiar.

It’s also important to announce the transition to employees, simultaneous with an external release. If you announce internally and externally at different times, rumors will fly compounding concerns about who is really steering the ship.

I recommend going so far as to have a specific employee communication plan to address key cultural characteristics and how the c-suite transition will affect the organization from a big picture perspective. When your executive is up to it, set up a town hall meeting where employees can be formally introduced to the new face of the company and have their questions answered.

Next week: we dig deeper into how to prep your executive (interim or permanent) for a successful transition.

In the meantime, if your organization is gearing up for an expected or unexpected transition, Audacia Strategies is here for you. Having the right strategy in place will convert your transition into a transformation. Contact us today to set up your consultation session.

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