What’s the Right Message to Send?

by Kerry Martin

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes we as communicators don’t always get the right message across the first time. And as the saying goes, you never get another chance to make a first impression.

So when we have the opportunity to bring in a new team member to Curley & Pynn, we certainly want to show her a warm welcome and demonstrate what our company is all about. But instead of a big group meeting where we can all talk to our new employee, sharing with her our company culture and giving her an orientation—on her first day, most of the team is hard at work on client projects of their own. After a short introduction to our ongoing projects, we give her assignments and push her in head first. Her plate is filled with writing press releases, compiling media lists and conducting research—and that’s all before 10 a.m.

If agency culture is fast-paced and client driven, what would have been the best way to transition a new employee to the firm? What messages were we sending by giving a new team member a crash course on how we operate before cutting them loose to learn by doing?

To me, showing a new employee steps one and two and having her jump into step three on her own seemed like a better introduction to what we do than sitting her in front of a training video and walking through the company handbook. Her ability to hit the ground running on client work that was completely new was just what we needed—and what’s more, it proved her mettle within the first couple hours.

While her first day may have been a flurry of activity, it was actually a pretty accurate depiction of the day-to-day events at Curley & Pynn, and if most communicators shoot for transparency in their messaging, we may have gotten it right after all.

So please welcome our newest communications specialist, Brittany Englert, to the Curley & Pynn team. We’re sure you’ll see her contribute to Taking Aim very soon (as she seems to be getting her feet wet with every other project here).

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