Another Friday, another installment in our occasional series dedicated to those in need of communications training services for their organization’s executives.
Some of the issues below will apply to you; others will not since every situation is unique. Moreover, your choice of an expert to guide you through a media thicket today may differ from your selection to guide you through Congressional testimony tomorrow.
Knowledge counts for a lot, but you also ought to seek out a proper fit. You must feel comfortable with your consultant. Not only will you be disclosing some sensitive organizational information, you will also be baring your soul—at least your communications soul—to him. Aim for someone whose company you find agreeable.
Also ensure he doesn’t make unnecessary demands on you. Yes, you need to be involved in planning your program. But it is the consultant’s job to orchestrate all the details. Bottom line: Find someone who is pleasant to work with and does not issue unrealistic requests.
Additionally, assess your communications advisor’s compatibility with your organization. Some prefer to avoid travel and work only with small, local groups. If you represent a Fortune 500 company or a major trade association that is national or global in scope, such an individual will find himself hopelessly in over his head. Similarly, one who deals primarily with Fortune 500 clients may prove a poor match for a local non-profit group both in terms of perspective and budget.
The cold, hard truth is you may not find a training consultant who meets every one of your needs precisely, so prioritize the factors based on their importance to you and your current circumstances. Still, an expert who is strong in eight or nine out of ten categories you deem important should get the nod over another who has knowledge in only a few narrow areas.
Which factors are most critical to your organization’s needs when seeking communications training services? Experience? Commitment to the ongoing professional development of your executives? Ethics?