In business, just as is the case for any living being, all parts need to be functioning to operate at optimal efficiency. If your right leg wanted to go forward and your left leg wanted to go backwards, you probably wouldn’t make much progress walking. The same principle applies to the health, well-being and efficiency of any business. Have you ever tried to use a coupon or take advantage of a special offer at a store, only to be told by the cashier that they were unaware of the special offer? That’s a huge disconnect. But I see it happen quite frequently – the marketing department or executive management creates an offer, but neglects to tell the employees that it exists.

Communication is essential to the success of any business. However, too often, communication gets segregated by department. A marketing department could do an absolutely fabulous job collaborating and designing creative marketing and sales slicks. However, if the sales department doesn’t know anything about them, they’re pretty ineffective.

Most business utilize outside resources in some way. That could be an external ad agency, a PR company, or perhaps a technology vendor for some key function. These vendors can be important to the success of your company – or why would you have hired them in the first place? To neglect these vendors and/or fail to include them in the loop and provide them with needed communication and information, simply serves to diminish the value they could provide the company.

I’m not implying that every internal company e-mail needs to be seen by everyone. Just make sure that someone is responsible for getting these external resources the correct pieces of information and communication that they need.

I also find for external PR and marketing teams it can be really helpful to have meetings with key executives and other departments within the business when developing new ideas and campaigns. These do not have to be long or frequent — believe me, I know how busy these departments get! But I promise you, this is time well spent. You’d be surprised at the marketing ideas you might get from your sales department, or vice versa. Include the guys on the front lines that are actually selling the product and/or servicing customers each day. Sometimes, fresh eyes and opinions can open up ideas that otherwise wouldn’t have seen the light of day.

There are so many moving parts involved in any business that it’s certainly difficult for everyone to know what’s going on at any given time. And that’s not necessary. What is necessary is for each department affected by an initiative to have a voice about it and knowledge of it. Otherwise, you can end up with salespeople with no knowledge of new marketing initiatives. Or, content waiting to be read and/or approved by multiple people. Or, announcements that could spur sales falling by the wayside, simply because the right arm doesn’t know what the left one is doing.

Take the time to connect (or reconnect) your management team as well as your outside resources and this could well help to make your initiatives more successful and help them perform better. And, your vendors can serve you in their best capacity.

Sara Callahan | Carter West Public Relations