Corre Criswell is currently the Marketing Communications Manager at the Monroe, Louisiana branch of the CenturyLink Corporation. She has an MBA in marketing from Louisiana Tech University, 18 years of product advertising experience, and 7 years of retail merchandising experience. 18 of those years have been at CenturyLink where she is, “responsible for external customer communications.” Since “communication” is in her job description, you would be right in guessing that it is essential to her position. Corre even calls it, “the MOST important aspect in [her] job.” With communication at the core, she works to ensure that the value of CenturyLink’s products and services are displayed to potential customers.
Communicating with Customers
Corre says that her and her department’s communication roles are absolutely essential to CenturyLink as a whole. One of these roles is connecting to customers. Marketing is the process by which products reach customers, so a priceless piece of advice she offered was, “know your audience.” Corre says you must know the audiences behavior and how they personally prefer to communicate. Learning these are crucial to marketing success. Her failure to communicate accurately to customers would result in the loss of a buyer, thus the loss of revenue.
Communicating with Coworkers
Although Corre’s goal is to communicate with customers, this cannot be done without first communicating with other CenturyLink employees. Efficient team communication is something that she says is a significant obstacle. “The biggest challenge is ensuring you have ALL the correct team players involved from the beginning,” Corre said. Despite the obstacles it presents, she says that if all members of a team communicate effectively, it clearly shows “what [they] are doing and why, sets expectations, and…keeps everyone aligned and leads to success.”
Communicating Through Writing
Corre says that 90-95% of her communication is in written form, and her most-used form of communication is email. This shows just how essential effective writing is in her position. The day that she was interviewed, Corre had completed a “go-to-market” plan. This document states who a product will target and how it will communicate the value of the product to that market. She also has to review emails, direct mail, and posts to social media that all promote CenturyLink products. She says that writing is involved with and necessary to every project.
Corre stated that there is always room to communicate better, and that she and her fellow employees have to always be assured that they are all aligned with each other and successful in their own position. Accuracy can also always be improved, as it is what defines the effectiveness of the communication with the customer. Corre says that documents are usually reviewed two to four times depending on the project. All other written communication that promotes CenturyLink products must also be reviewed. She says that those in her position must, “learn from [their] mistakes and help the teams continue to grow.”
When asked what the most important communication skill needed for her job is, Corre gave three. She says, “knowing your audience, your topic, and your objective,” are all equally important to effectively communicate. Corre also says that it is important to be direct, ask questions, state why you are communicating, learn to take criticism, and learn from your mistakes.
Corre Criswell calls communication the most important aspect of her job, and she were to not communicate effectively, it would impact CenturyLink as a whole. This shows us that communication is the key to successfully executing any task that the workplace presents us with.
John Chance Allen, Guest Blogger