Communication is not an option

I got a bankruptcy notification from a company I did some work for about a year and a half ago. I was brought in to develop a tutorial/manual for their product that had been in the field for about five years (and they still didn't have the beginning of the manual). I went through three meetings with their team, including the CTO, the VP of marketing and the director of communications. in one of the meetings the sales manager called in to make known her requirements.

In none of the meetings could this team come to an agreement on what the document should do, who it should be for and what it should cover. The CTO gave me a 4-hour presentation on what the technology did in the first meeting, but didn't show up for the other two, The marketing and comms executives ran the second meeting, with the sales manager listening remotely and during the meeting they completely contradicted the CTO's direction. The third meeting was over the phone led by the sales manager with the comms director listening in.

Oh, an through all the meetings, the comms director was texting on her phone, not listening to any of what was being discussed.

It took me two weeks to put together a document approximating all the conflicting input but what I produced was a close approximation for a first draft. The team completely rejected the entire document, providing notes reinforcing their original conflicting directions. None of them copied any of the other parties. They said they would get back to me after they had a chance to meet together and resolve the discrepancy in what I wrote and what they wanted.

I never heard from them again until the bankruptcy notice.

For the most part, this was the worst example of a company that had no idea what it wanted to do or be, nor who they actually wanted to talk to, but they are not an isolated instance. Most companies "know" their technology is "really great" but to often they haven't established a substantive strategy for their business communications. When everyone has a different idea why the company exists, then the customers will never really understand why it does.

Once in a while, a company makes a big splash when they come out, but if they don't get serious about communication strategy they on on the road to bankruptcy.

If you are ready to get serious about communication, contact us. We offer free evaluations of your current program.