Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Organization in an Age of Constant Communication

Now that news travels faster, many professionals, especially managers and execs, feel as though everything is in dire need of an immediate response. However, attempting to keep up with the minute-by-minute flow of information can put a great deal of pressure on your staff and cause larger problems in the long run.

We are in a day and age when communication is constant and doesn’t stop for anyone or anything. This continual flow of information has pros, but also cons. On the one hand, things like on-the-go email and social media allow us to respond to problems when they require a reaction right then and there. On the other hand, now that news travels faster, many professionals, especially managers and execs, feel as though everything is in dire need of an immediate response. However, attempting to keep up with the minute-by-minute flow of information can put a great deal of pressure on your staff and cause larger problems in the long run. As Steve Tobak wrote in his CBS Money Watch article, “Don’t Micromanage Marketing and Sales,” running a business based on up-to-the-minute developments can significantly injure a company’s ability to organize and manage workflow, ultimately hurting revenue and sales, even if that’s what you were trying to avoid in the first place. He offered some key ways managers hurt the office when trying to troubleshoot daily issues:

1. Don’t ask for daily updates. According to Tobak, asking your employees for daily feedback is a big no-no. While you may be anxious to learn whether your reps have made any new sales or found new leads, asking them regularly may only damage their success rate. When they don’t have a positive response to your inquiries, they will likely feel defeated. This will place pressure on your employees, and the resulting anxiety will only hinder their work.

2. An action without a plan. Now that we can hear from happy and unhappy customers within seconds, we naturally want to respond just as quickly. However, responding in the immediate without thinking through a larger strategy or possible outcomes can be more damaging than it is helpful. Likewise, Tobak pointed out that some execs have restructured departments or even the entire company in attempts to respond to current demands. However, they did so without properly strategizing and coordinating with the entire staff. Remember, you need to create a plan of action, otherwise you’re left with an action without a plan, and that won’t get you very far.

3. Social media madness. Tobak also warned against creating a strategy based on a constant stream of social media posts. While social media offers a valuable tool for communicating directly with customers and responding to their needs in a timely fashion, if you are trying to respond to every tweet and Facebook post as it happens, you will get lost in the mix and create more chaos than good.

Remember, organization is key, and trying to respond to day-to-day issues as they occur can get in the way of creating a larger structure and organization in the office. While social media and customer service are necessities, don't let them run your company, because that's your job!