I’ve been reflecting on the reasons that my clients have chosen to hire me over the past 10 years. They have needed a variety of services and been looking for all sorts of outcomes.
The reasons they were looking for help have included:
- They knew something about their communication activities wasn’t working as well as it could have done or needed improving. Some knew what the problem was, some didn’t.
- They didn’t have enough pairs of hands for the work that needed doing. Sometimes they needed tactical help with the day to day; more often they needed someone to work out the strategy for them while they dealt with the pressures of the daily business as usual.
- They wanted to improve their own or their colleagues’ skills. From training workshops to one to one coaching and mentoring, they needed something to help them develop.
- They needed an external perspective and a fresh pair of eyes. Sometimes this was to aid their own thinking; sometimes it was to provide input for a conversation with their leadership teams.
So why did they choose to work with me?
Here are some of the reasons they told me about. All direct quotes are from my clients.
1) I understand that they are different from other organisations
I know that although there are many similarities between not-for-profit organisations and the corporate world, what works for corporates is not necessarily going to suit them and their needs. I believe that not-for-profits need to be business-like, but the fact that they are not actually a business matters.
And especially in the world we are currently living in, they need to communicate their relevance so that audiences understand how your work is more crucial now than ever.
I specialise in working with charities, Higher Education institutions and public sector organisations – those who have a vision of a kinder world. I have been working with people like them since 2003, so I have a wealth of experience of their world.
“Best of all, she really got to know the organisation and engage with our cause and purpose.”
2) I work collaboratively and flexibly
One of my core values – in life and business – is to be connected to others. This means that when I agree to work on a project for an organisation, I consider myself to be a part of their (virtual) team (in spirit, not in terms of employment status!). Communication does not happen in a vacuum and it is impossible to get it right without collaboration and conversation with all parties. It’s my job to make sure that I involve the right people and that I adapt to their needs and styles as required.
Inevitably, with any project, requirements and objectives change over time. We start with an initial brief of needs and review it regularly – I will work flexibly with my clients to get the job done.
“Someone who quickly understands the way that different people work and works well with very different people.”
3) Effective communication solves organisational problems; I’m on a mission to help clients put the two together
Every time you communicate, you should have a clear purpose in mind – what is it that you are hoping to achieve by communicating this particular message to this specific audience? Very often this purpose will relate to a problem the organisation is currently experiencing – funding has reduced, their story is not widely known or staff turnover is high, for example.
So the purpose could be to articulate the story more clearly to funders or to involve staff more in the organisation’s bigger picture so that they remain engaged.
I support my clients to identify a strategy for where and how to improve their communication to address specific problems.
“Sarah knows how to ensure communications strategies are easier for you and your organisation.”
4) I help clients to use communication that works to motivate people to take action
The best communication makes people feel something and if they feel something, they’ll act on that. Clients might need people to fund their work, to sign up to study with them or to follow a statutory process, for example. But whatever it is that they need their audience to do, they won’t do it simply because they are told to do it. Communication needs to tap into the motivation that will inspire them to take action.
I support my clients to identify how to use communication effectively for their organisation in the current climate.
“Sarah’s unusual in combining strategic perspectives with a clear sense of operational practicalities.”
5) Working with me is an enjoyable experience
Don’t just take my word for it, this is what my clients say:
“It was a pleasure to work with Sarah. We’d happily call on her support again!”
“Not only does she add value but she’s a joy to work with!”
“Sarah is fun and interesting to work with, and she is great at sharing her experiences and linking up her contacts.”
If you would like a no obligation chat to find out how I can help you achieve your vision of a kinder world, please get in touch.
Until next time