Tag: problem solving

Qualities to Look for in a Communications Consultant

Recently a friend of mine decided it was time to get a new job.  He wasn’t feeling fulfilled at his current job and wanted a position that he felt better matched his skill set.  He decided he wanted to get into a new field of work but wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to do.  After an extensive job hunt he decided to take a position at a restaurant staffing company.  He enjoys working with others and has worked in the restaurant industry previously so this new position was a great fit for him.Illustration of the skills involved with consulting

This got me thinking.  What skills would a recruiter look for if they were trying to place someone in a communications consulting position?

The first skill that comes to mind is the ability to work well with others.  Collaboration is key when working on communications for your clients.  You must be able to listen to, speak to, and get along with all kinds of people with differing ideas and opinions.  It seems almost redundant to say but your communication skills must be very strong.

You must have strong leadership skills.  When a company hires a consultant they expect you to come in and fix a part of their business that may not be reaching its potential.  You need to be able to take charge of the situation and provide them with a fountain of creative solutions for them to choose from.

You must be a problem solver.  One thing that I learned early on working in communications consulting was that things rarely ever go as planned.  Thing will change at the drop of a hat and usually right before your deadline.  You need be able to think on your feet, be flexible and generate solutions to problems that arise.

These are just a few skills that I have found useful in my time working in communications consulting.  When you are considering hiring an agency or communications consultant, keep these characteristics in mind. What are some skills that you would look for in a communications consultant? Please share them with me at

A fool and his money are soon parted, so K.I.S.S.

Image of money being shredded with cheese grater

Just throw money at it.

Sadly, this is the same, basic solution that corporations around the world frequently rely on when it comes to solving problems, improving engagement, recognizing employees, etc.. And it’s for a perfectly good reason — it often works. It’s too bad this isn’t a sustainable way to solve every problem in the book.

I was fortunate enough to work with several dedicated individuals with InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) on their Celebrate Service project this year. Celebrate Service is one of the broadest employee recognition events in the world, reaching out to more than 345,000 of their employees at hotels and offices in 100 countries. (You’re probably familiar with IHG’s brands, which include InterContinental ®, Crowne Plaza ®, and Holiday Inn ®.) In short, the goal of Celebrate Service is for everyone to take one week per year to celebrate how hard they work on a daily basis.

With this being my first year as a part of the project, I remember a question posed at the first Celebrate Service Meeting:

“How do we execute this project better than before and spend less?”

The answer was remarkably basic. Simple, genuine “thank yous.” It’s a concept that’s so rudimentary that it can be bypassed by our brains sometimes, which are usually trying to come up with the next big thing to impress our bosses.

Without delving into the minutiae of the execution of the project, the results were some of the best ever for Celebrate Service (est. 2010). IHG had more than 95% participation globally, their people loved it, and they spent less to do it.

Money helps, but sometimes it’s important to K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple, stupid!

What do you think? Share your story with Joe:

Money image courtesy of Tax Credits under Creative Commons license.