Why You Need This Person in Your Team
That person is your Independent Advisor or, most commonly referred to as your Consultant.
Maybe you thought I'd say the 'head of strategy' or 'creative director' or the 'copywriter'. And yes, each of these individuals are extremely valuable and necessary as they are the collective brains behind the entire operation. However, they cannot ever bring the unique perspective a consultant can bring.
Here's a very simple way of seeing this to be true:
If you and a colleague/friend/family member get into a strife. Call it personal or call it professional, you might have responded in one of these four, most common, ways:
- You stop interacting with one another.
- One of you makes the first move and asks to talk. By the end of this talk, there was either...
A compromise (or not)
An agreement to 'agree to disagree' (or not)
An admittance of wrongdoing from one or both parties (or not)
This will lead to you both continuing your relationship (or not)
- You ask for advice from someone you know that knows everything that has happened from your perspective, only, to chime in.
- You ask for advice from someone that is unbiased and wouldn't pick sides; only letting you know exactly what is wrong and what needs to be fixed/changed.
If you picked way #4...
You are someone who is very wise, understands that growth is a part of life, and you value all your relationships.
If you picked 'way #2,' I can understand and also relate. I've chosen this way plenty of times. But I'll confess that there are too many nuances present to make this the preferred way of conflict resolution, every single time. Why? Because of the 50/50 chances of it going well or going south, leading to the loss of a relationship. I simply wouldn't take the chance (depending on the conflict, of course). In a personal situation, I'd gain insight from an outsider (someone able to be unbiased) to help me see my faults and open my eyes to things I failed to realize/notice. Only then, can a healthy 'way #2' can have the best chances of ending on a positive note.
Similarly in business, as you are implementing your company's communications strategies...
Someone who is external but at the same time, an extension of your internal team (someone you can rely on and trust), will bring an outside-looking-in perspective that is pivotal in steering your brand communications and content creation in the direction that fits your brand and the audience that is listening. An internal team – the "head of strategy," the "creative director," the "copywriter," and everyone else that is part of the internal team that builds the brand – will never be able to offer this perspective.
And maybe you're one of the many companies that hire advertising agencies and public relations agencies to execute creative work and/or provide communications strategy and you're spending an exuberant amount of money for these executions.
Have you ever stopped to think about what motivates these agencies?
The reality is that every single agency wants to help you win. But they also want to get recognized for their work and get praised for what they are able to do. Which one do you think speaks louder?
How confident are you that they hold your company's best interest as their number one priority?
I'll end with this:
Having someone from the outside – a trusted advisor with experience in communications strategy and thorough research (cultures and consumers) – that can review important brand related deliverables before they are executed will add a valuable perspective that your team would not otherwise receive from the internal team and agencies that have been hired.
As you can now see, a consultant that can assist with your messaging through your communications and creative initiatives will surely provide the perspective you didn't know you needed. This person makes you/your business the priority, always.