In our scattered and suffering world today, communication is more challenging than ever. Many of the mechanisms we have relied on faithfully – dinners with friends, business lunches, church gatherings, office conversations – have been reduced or eliminated in the time of COVID-19.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to resolve in 2021 to step up your communications game with friends, coworkers, clients and others who are important in your life. Fortunately, we still have plenty of communications tools that provide social distancing and social connection at the same time.
Tips to Communicate in 2021
Update your contacts
Set aside a couple of hours a week to sort through your contact files (Outlook, etc.). It’s a great excuse to reach out to people with a quick note to check in, share info and seek any updates in their contact info.
Plan to communicate
Time blocking is the organizational equivalent of eating your veggies. By setting aside time on your calendar each week for one-to-one communications with colleagues, clients and friends, you will be more intentional about the connections. If you have a CRM (customer relationship management) tool, tracking the dates and adding a few notes will help you follow up in a timely fashion.
Whenever possible, make the contact personal and specific. Replace bulk emails to a long string of contacts (employee groups, prospects, etc.) with a personalized intro and salutation that tells them the message is just for them. When it comes to phone calls, expect to get voice mail and have a snappy, memorable message ready to record.
Think before you Zoom
The proliferation of virtual meetings is a blessing and a curse. They provide a much-needed substitute for face-to-face gatherings, but too many times these Zoom calls, Google meetups and the like are disorganized and distracting. Prepare an agenda in advance with time limits if appropriate for each item. Share materials that are important to view or read well before the meeting.
Visual is vital
At C2 Strategic Communications, our clients have seen with their own two eyes what a huge difference video makes in getting their messages across effectively. Our team of videographers and communicators has developed scores of videos and online presentations to help clients up their social media game, hold conferences and workshops, connect with scattered employees and provide valuable information to their clients.