By Brittney Wilkerson
Communication is Key So it’s inevitable, at some time in your career you or someone you are working with is going to drop the ball, forget a deadline or take something out of context. Basically, 99% of your problems are communication problems and could be completely avoided. In todays’ time it’s difficult to figure out which form of communication you are going to use, much less how to use it. Below are the proper ways to get someone’s attention and then what to do once you have it. 1. E-mail
This is the updated version of the pen and paper our parents used, and aren’t we thankful we don’t have to use carrier pigeons and wait 3 weeks for a response anymore. An e-mail address is normally the most accessible form of contact information you can get for someone when initially building a professional relationship. E-mails give you time to think about what you want to say all while making sure everything you need to discuss is there in plain sight. Same thing for the receiver, they have time to process whatever it is you are communicating to them.
A phone call is always what I use for follow up for professional purposes. Never expect that someone has received your E-mail. With spam filters, technical problems and that crazy thing they call being a human, e-mails get over looked. A follow up phone call shows initiative and perseverance. Also, if you’ve been chatting back and forth with someone over e-mails for a while it’s nice to know there’s a person be-
hind the keyboard. Voice calls help people learn your personality better and lead to conversations that don’t particularly deal with work, which might help you build a personal relationship later.
I know texting is the only way anyone knows how to communicate anymore and you would absolutely die without it, but it is a big “nono” in the professional world. The ONLY time you should text someone is if they request it or you have already built a personal relationship with them. Still keep the texts short and to the point. For example, use a text to remind them about a meeting or to let them know you sent over an e-mail they’ve been waiting on.
4. Social Media
When I first thought about using social media to make a professional connection I cringed; however, it is what most people use today. With sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn you have endless connections at your fingertips. Any of the previously mentioned social net-
works, plus many more, put people that you would normally never have contact information for just a tweet away. Don’t be shy! If you can’t find someone’s e-mail address or phone number tweet them and ask; it’s worth a shot. However, I would never send a potential client/employer a Facebook message asking about future job opportunities. Once you receive the contact information use it as advised above. Now you have their attention, where do you go from here? How do you keep all of these ways of communication straight while making sure you leave a positive impression? It’s really not as hard as it seems. Just remember, every problem is a communication problem. People get confused, get information mixed up and forget things. This is a busy industry so don’t assume they are going to remember every detail. Below are a few steps you can take to assure you get your point across clear and simple.
1. Confirm The Confirming Confirmation
As strange as it sounds it’s actu-
the Direct Buzz January 2014 issue. Our mission is to entertain, enlighten and inform.