Okay that might be a bit dramatic, they are not literally drowning, but they are likely overworked. Working in corporate communications at four different large companies, one theme remains the same, communications teams are exhausted and overworked.
Some of it is the nature of the role – especially when you mix in the fast-changing realities of a global pandemic. However, there are steps teams can take to better distribute workload and avoid burnout.
Here are a few tips on how you can get ahead, plan for the unplanned and truly get the best out of your communications team.
1. Stop working in silos. If your team is working in silos, with each person buried up to their eyeballs in their individual work, they are likely missing out on opportunities to team up, be strategic and tell a cohesive story.
Instead, plan as a team. Weekly editorial meetings are a great way to check in, share business updates and even share workload when it makes sense. Finding time for your team to connect is essential. While we work from home the silo-effect only intensifies, especially if your team is not making time to regularly connect.
2. Trust your team. Communication is communication, and even though your teammate may not be an expert on the business you support, they know the basics. Find chunks you can hand off. Trust me, you can do it!
3. Hold partners accountable. The last thing you want to do on a Friday night is finalize communication. Establish timelines and hold partners accountable for providing content and reviewing drafts. Take advantage of existing meetings to review communication and avoid scheduling unnecessary meetings whenever possible – your partners will thank you for it.
4. Phone a friend – Have a large project coming your team’s way? Explore options for a project-based consultant. I happen to know a few experts who can quickly step in and help you out.
So, if it has been a while, check in with your team, get a pulse on how they are doing, and give a few of these a shot.