A quick lesson
Sometimes a short conversation on the phone is enough to work on the quality of communication. “Sometimes I feel like a phone language center,” smiles Iwona Derda, editor and language expert at AUDE. “I always try to convince customers to use correct language, although I must admit sometimes my attempts are vain, and with a heavy heart I must accept the forms they want to use,” she adds.
By phone advice is not only about grammar and punctuation, sometimes it’s about support in preparing bigger forms. We are specialized in writing editorials, CEO speeches – shortly speaking, those unrewarding texts that require elegant style.
Workshops are a good way to build professional communication tools. We can not only share our knowledge with our customers, but also – and that may be even more important – better know their needs and understand the problems related to building communications within a company. “During such meetings we share what we know ourselves. Employees who often have never done any journalism at all get familiar with the basic journal skills,” says Bożena Makowska, Aude General Director, who has been responsible for magazines such as “Claudia” and “Podróże” and used to run classes for journalism students.
“We show them the specifics of particular communications tools. We patiently explain that a good magazine article needs to be dynamic, and that making the font smaller in order to pack 10 thousand characters on one page is not a good way to effectively communicate with the reader,” she explains. Aude proposes to its customers training in writing skills, photography and broadly understood communications. “We teach researching, the art of networking and building relations, and building a corporate network of contributors, who are a great source of information for communications departments,” Makowska adds.
To our customers we recommend a comprehensive attitude to communications, so we encourage them to take part in developing the communications strategy. “This is a difficult task, because it requires time and engagement, but it pays off,” says Urszula Radzińska, Chairperson, Aude.
In the past few months, together with experts cooperating with our company, she has been working on the Pepsico Poland communication matrix. “What is most important in this kind of operation is to combine communication effects with the results of the company. This is why we pay much attention to setting measurable goals and planning an implementation schedule. Because even though it’s true communication should be attractive, it primarily needs to be effective. I advise my customers to introduce this attitude to their companies,” she says.
An important way to expand our knowledge about the effectiveness of communication activities is communication research. We offer to our customers various solutions adjusted to their needs and budgets. Company communication research may take the form of a small survey – a brochure in a magazine, an e-mail or an Intranet competition. “A competition with awards is a good way of encouraging employees to take part in a survey,” says Urszula Radzińska, but she also adds that awards often tend to 'upgrade’ the answers, and we get an image that is better than reality.
For this reason we use the competition research form when we want to know what employees think about a minor matter, such as whether they prefer interviews to descriptive texts, whether they want a cross puzzle or a hobby guide. Communication research which is going to be the basis for building a communications strategy or communications budget for the upcoming years require a comprehensive attitude that uses sociological tools. “This kind of researching is associated with high costs, but our offer includes various cost options,” says Urszula Radzińska. “Next to high-budget surveys done in collaboration with research institutes such as Millward Brown SMG/KRC (e.g. readership survey for pharmacist magazine “Farmacja i Ja”) we offer low-budget options (such as readership survey for “Nasz Provident” magazine),” she explains and adds it is impossible to run a professional communication process in a company without regular efficiency research.