Business communications: the art of keeping it personal!

Social Share
Share this post on

In the latest UK200Group blog post Trevor Cook, Director, Baines Jewitt Limited discusses the need for face to face networking in the era of social media.

Trevor Cook with TV presenter, Steph McGovern
According to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics, young people spent more than a third of their overall leisure time in 2015 using a device, such as a mobile phone, laptop or tablet. It was also reported that men, aged 25 and under, spent 35% of their leisure time using devices, whereas for women it was 29%. And no doubt these figures have increased significantly since the data was collected.

Whether it is part of our working day or our downtime, so many of us are guilty of hiding behind our screens.

As part of this digital revolution, social trends and the business communications landscape have undergone a huge transformation too. So, whether you represent an independent chartered accountancy practice or a firm of legal professionals, it is likely that you have - or are considering - a digital strategy to support your work within the business community. In particular, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn have become the norm and technology has changed the way we now interact with our target markets.

Yet despite all the convenience that instantaneous, non-verbal, 24/7 digital accessibility brings, we believe that ‘people do business with people.’ So, it is really important to get out there and meet people. Face-to-face meetings, whether formal or informal, help to build trust and nurture long-term business relationships.

Representing a firm of chartered accountants and tax specialists, you might think that we are always up to our eyes in figures, spreadsheets and accounting packages. That might be the case at certain points throughout our working week, but we also reap the benefits of taking time to truly engage with our clients on a more personal level. That way we can understand what’s important to them; help them through any changes, challenges or potential pitfalls and offer the right business advice.

As well as one-to-one and small group meetings, we attend relevant networking events too. These can vary and include: breakfast briefings aimed at local businesses; guest speaking slots; mentoring opportunities; industry conferences and conventions; awards presentation evenings; co-hosting events with associational professionals such as legal and property teams; business-led sponsorship packages through our local football club, Middlesbrough FC and careers guidance events for pupils and students.

Although there is no shying away from the valuable contribution that digital communication provides - and that face-to-face interaction does require a different type of effort - it is important to strike a healthy balance.

Not only does leaving ‘the digital bubble’ give you a first-hand account of what is happening in your region and what issues are important to local businesses, it provides a link to existing and potential new clients too. It is an opportunity to discuss new ventures, new ideas and new partnerships. What’s more, getting out and about provides a platform to:

• bring life to how you get your messages across
• tailor your pitch to individuals, rather than to the masses
• stay ahead of the competition
• make valuable connections
• share information
• build trust and empathise
• gain honest feedback
• avoid misunderstandings
• build stronger business relationships
• put a face, and a personality, to a name
• step away from your desk
• leave a lasting impression
• find out what’s happening in ‘the real world’
• meet potential new employees

As well as ensuring you haven’t become ‘another faceless organisation,’ listening and talking to people can be very uplifting. Alongside the work and the business chat, you might share some anecdotes, insights and a few laughs. And who knows, if you’re lucky, you might even bump into a well-known prime time TV presenter too!

Tags: UK200

Back to Blogs
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube