Category Archives: work practices

Feeling stretched? Tips for working with challenging clients

I’ve spent many years working in large organizations where the marketing and communications teams need to serve as a support function to the business unit leadership, working in many ways like an internal agency. We often referred to our colleagues in the business units as “clients” and strived to provide great client service. The trouble is that budgets and staff resources are always at a minimum and there’s no way you can meet all of the client demands. In these situations, I’ve learned, it’s helpful to lean heavily on expectation-setting and not over-promising beyond what you can truly deliver.

Here are some of the strategies I’ve found particularly helpful to successfully navigate these sticky situations.

1. How do you make them feel? Your relationship with the client is often less about what you do for them and more about how you make them feel when you’re with them. In a world where most people are under extreme pressure to perform, sleep deprived and on deadline, it’s important to pay attention to our attitude (be positive) and make sure we present our best self. Many times clients think of marketing/communications as the “fun time” of their day and want to “be creative” and enjoy the time with you. Other times they might look to you as a confidant, or want to chat about their weekend. Be friendly, be curious, give them your full attention and make them feel as though they are the most important person in your world in that moment. Because they need to be.

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8 ways to use your network to attract great job candidates

I recently hired two new employees to my team. My colleagues in recruitment and fellow managers were surprised by how many great candidates applied for the position. We had a higher number than usual in part because I actively sought out candidates using my personal and professional networks.

Many managers rely solely on their recruitment team and forget how much they can personally do to find great candidates. You have a network, use it!

In addition to the job listings your recruitment team posts, here are some ways you can spread the word:

1. Email your colleagues – Send an email to your team and others throughout the organization who frequently work with this open position. Ask them to think about candidates who might be interested in this opportunity. Include a brief summary of the position. Encourage them to view the posting on your company web site and to let you know if anyone they refer applies for the position so you can keep an eye out for the application.

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Four steps towards a more mobile and paperless office

In my first job out of college, I took notes on legal pads as if they were going out of style. I’d file away my notes in manila file folders after meetings, along with handouts and copies of agendas. My trusty Franklin Covey planner kept me on schedule and helped me keep track of my tasks. There was a 5-foot tall filing cabinet in my office filled to brim with papers and drawers in my desk with my “active files.” I thought I had a good system! I kept hard copies of important documents for historical archives. This was 15 years ago and times, technology, and I, have changed.

Most of my files are now kept on my company’s computer servers, saving into electronic file folders like I once did paper files. But up until recently I still had a handful paper files at my desk and relied on a trendy spiral notebook to take notes in meetings and keep a running to-do list. Oh, and dare I admit I had an actual Rolodex with a growing stack of cards sitting on top (mocking me) just waiting to be filed away.

As my job requires me to be more mobile than ever traveling to various locations, I’ve needed to stretch myself to be more efficient with my time and nimble with my space. I don’t want to carry around paper files or feel as though I’m missing important documents back at my desk when I’m on the road. So here are some steps I’ve taken recently to move towards a more mobile office:

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