For many years I have debated the importance of communication… from a mainframe ‘point-to-point’ messaging system to the wonders of more recent communication tools, such as Teams and Zoom. In fact, in 2021, it’s fair to say we’ve all become communication LUNATICS! I can communicate in so many ways via whichever tool or platform you like, as I have hundreds!

That said, and being a bit of a purist, I googled the definition of communication, and according to Oxford Languages, communication is defined as ‘the imparting or exchanging of information.’ But the word ‘communication’ is so yesterday’s news. Today it’s all about ‘engagement’, and there have been many debates on what this means, so I went back to basics and guess what, I googled it! The inference immediately was that I was to be married (oh please, not again!) … the second definition was ‘an arrangement to do something at a fixed time’ and that got me thinking.

‘Communication: ‘The imparting or exchanging of information.’

In 2021, outside of the word COVID, one of the most common search words must be engagement – perhaps this is based on my own google search history and a little misleading, but for the past 18 months, we have been detached and working remotely. Communicating through boxes on the screen (which begs the question, how did the Muppets know so much so soon? Anyhow, I digress!)

As I look back through my working life, first it was paper mail, and then along came email! (Was that any better?), nevertheless, it was life-changing. Then came the ‘Intranet’ with a mindset of ‘let’s broadcast loads of information?’ in the hope that people will read it…. sadly, often this isn’t the case… but when I look at millennials today, they must look at email and think ‘what’s that’? It’s not instant (well, kind of it is!) but can I reply with an emoji or GIF’s (possibly). So, let’s look at these forms of communications.

Email… When I talk about email, I always think of it a bit like a RABBIT. It never stops reproducing!… email breeds email, and 90% of the time I just could not care!’ re its content… but I have a posh job title, and so I tend to get copied in all the time and consequently, must manage it…

Intranets. I would not be doing what I do today if that had not happened, however, intranets are to business as to what local household recycling centres are to landfill… that is everyone just puts everything in there!… where it will stay forever (don’t look in your attic!). Irrelevant 98% of the time, difficult to find what I want, and have you seen that user interface (now that’s a whole new blog in itself!). And who owns it? Is it not an excuse to keep the Business conscience clear? Does it consider the person using it? And of course, then there are social tools… as much as I would love to create one, what would be my life expectancy, because from my experience they have a short shelf life…So back to the topic. Communication… we have more tools that I have teeth (which for my age are pretty good!) to communicate…. A good old face to face to would be lovely – but for the time being, then there is COVID.

So why do we communicate? Yes, we need to impart news, information, guidance but we also want to get feedback… we are doing it for an objective. for a reason and this comes back to engagement. An arrangement to do something. For me, communications, engagement, whatever we want to call it is about providing ‘stuff’ that is clear, concise, relevant, timely and looks great! With all the developments with RMS Metro, I remind myself of those objectives and think to myself – what would it mean to me? Would I engage, in fact, would I care? There must be compelling reasons to use any modern tool – even if it is because everyone else is doing it and I might be missing out. This is true be it social, learning and more so in business. I am certain that there will be millions of lessons learnt from the global pandemic – lots of ‘what ifs’, maybes and perhaps, but the one compelling message throughout has been how as a business we reach out, relate, care and ask – welcome to Metro!

This blog post was written by Karen Dyke, CEO of RMS – drop Karen a line directly with your thoughts and to hear more about how Metro can help your business

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