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Business communication involves everything you do on a daily basis. Whether you are sending memos to employees regarding changes in procedures or buying commercial ad space on your local radio station, the communication says something about your business. Once businesses understand the large scale of communications activities, they can choose the tools most effective for their product and audience.
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Email is an important communications method. Subscriptions to e-marketing lists are an obvious way of using email to communicate, but businesses shouldn’t forget the power of personal communications via email. Does your company have a standard email signature that everyone must use? If so, is this message consistent with your mission and core values? Including links to your website in your email signature helps generate viral marketing, and every click is a potential customer.
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Companies with shareholders have the obligation to report on the financial and market position of the firm. Most take the opportunity to create an annual report that touts their achievements over the last year and generates positive feelings from shareholders, employees and consumers. Using the annual report as a communications tool is particularly effective because of the strict regulations about what companies must include, so customers can trust the process. Annual reports have long shelf lives, sometimes spanning years after their next edition. Communicating your goals, changes, improvements and triumphs in print helps sustain a long-term positive image for your company.
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A vision statement articulates your overall objective and comes into play when long-term strategic plans are being made. Vision statements depict how your company intends to influence the world, consumers and their market. Vision statements are not usually quantifiable because as long as your company is in business, you are still working to achieve that vision. Communicating your vision statement to consumers helps them form an attachment to your brand.
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It is not enough to think about where you want your company to go. To be effective, your plans must have defined strategies and work plans associated with them. These internal working tools are often the best communications documents your business can use to inform consumers about your company. Strategic plans should include several key achievements you plan to accomplish in the prescribed time, generally three to years. For each of these achievements, you must articulate the method you will use to get there. The best strategic plans are quantifiable and use action words that imply strong intentions. Sharing a strategic plan with customers and other stakeholders demonstrates your willingness to share your goals with them. It also provides a level of accountability that consumers have come to prefer.
Based in Washington, D.C., Nikki Willoughby has been writing since 1996. Her work has been featured in "USA TODAY," "The Wall Street Journal" and in publications and speeches from the White House. Willoughby has a Bachelor of Arts in English and politics from Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C.