Good PR doesn’t happen by accident—it’s an outflow of a cohesive and united team. Thus if you want your PR and marketing to be consistent and on-brand, it all starts with intentionally unifying your team around the right ideas. Do you know where to begin?
There are a multitude of reasons to ensure your team is on the same page, but positive and cohesive PR is certainly one of the leading benefits. When your team is unified, it makes it easier to pursue common goals and execute with high-level precision that simply isn’t possible when there are multiple agendas behind the scenes.
Having said this, here are some tips and strategies you can use to unify your team and get everyone moving in the same direction:
1. Get clear on what matters
You can’t be unified without something specific to unify around. So before doing anything else, make sure your team is clear on what matters.
This will look different for every organization, but may involve a combination of mission statements, core values, or formal meetings and discussions.
If your company is a fresh startup, it’s possible that you don’t yet have a “mission.” If that’s the case, gather your team for several brainstorming sessions to work through what you want your business to look like.
If your company is established, it might be necessary to clarify what matters and/or make some changes to account for evolution in your culture.
2. Set smart goals
When your team is clear on what matters, it makes it easier to cast vision. And part of casting vision is setting goals.
“Directing your team’s energy toward a new, common, and worthwhile goal can inspire them to work together to accomplish a new task,” customer experience strategist Sonia Thompson writes. “Even a short-term goal where there’s a desirable reward on the line can get your team excited about digging back into their work.”
For a team goal to be unifying, be sure to follow the SMART framework of making goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. This will take your goals from vague to powerful.
3. Enhance internal communications
It’s impossible to be unified if your team isn’t communicating efficiently, effectively, and with great frequency. This is especially true in today’s virtual age where more and more companies are operating in a remote or hybrid capacity.
Rather than being 100 percent reliant on email, which is highly distracting and inefficient, try other methods like SMS. With 98 percent open rates (compared to just 15 to 20 percent for email) sending text messages is far more effective.
You may also consider some sort of communication app or project management platform (like an intranet solution). But whatever you do, make sure you’re not bogging your team down with just another tool. Be smart about how you architect your tech stack.
4. Develop a conflict resolution toolbox
Some teams are simply disheveled, while others are divided. If you have a team that’s actively divided – which is the worst-case scenario – you’ll need to be more aggressive in unifying everyone.
“To unify a divided team, offer members ‘best practices’ to use during tough moments,” consultant Mandy Yamamoto suggests. “Disagreements happen and that’s perfectly normal. How those disagreements are handled is what’s most important.”
The best approach is to come up with your own conflict resolution toolbox that you can reach into in order to address problems as soon as you see them emerge. As you create this toolbox, here are a few principles to be aware of:
- Always attack the problem, never the person.
- Conflict resolution should involve the parties directly, rather than back and forth jabs.
- A neutral location should always be chosen for conflict resolution.
- A neutral party should always be involved in conflict resolution.
It’s never comfortable to handle conflict, but it’s always necessary. The sooner you address division amongst your team, the faster you can get on the same page.
Get your team on the same page
No two teams are the same. Every business has its own unique DNA and makeup, which makes it impossible to work with generalities. As you proactively strategize about how you can unify your team for a cohesive PR front, consider the fabric of your company culture and the individual players involved. Work with their strengths, account for their weaknesses, and develop a systematized approach that puts the greater good of the business above any individual’s goals.