Hiring a communications consultant

You might wonder why you should hire a communications consultant, or when is the right time? When I worked in-house I often held off ‘asking for help’ believing that I could just work longer hours, drop some of the nice to have things, and get it done.

But that doesn’t have to be the way. A communications consultant can be a great resource to bring in-house to take some of the pressure off or work on a project you have struggled to find the time for.

Why should I hire a communications consultant?

Here are three great reasons to hire a consultant:

A fresh set of eyes

An outsider often sees things in an organisation from a completely new perspective. If you have been doing the same thing, the same way for a long time a communications consultant can bring a range of experiences to see your activities in a new way. If you are stuck in the “this is the way we have always done it” mentality it’s time to call in a communications consultant.

Consultants bring the benefit of experience

A consultant brings all the experience they have gained in their previous assignments and previous career to solve your problems. Rather than working for a long time communicating to one audience or for one organisation, a consultant is able to bring a wealth of experience to the table. It means that you get to benefit from everything they have learnt along the way

Free up time for more important things.

You can’t do everything. Projects will come up at the last minute. Staff will go on leave. You will have a crisis you can’t handle on your own. It might just be a busy period that needs an extra set of hands. Having a consultant onboard means you can deliver a project or get one finished while managing BAU. It means you can spend more time mentoring your staff or building those all important relationships. Consultants are great at parachuting in helping to solve your problems and then heading on to the next challenge.

How to select a communications consultant?

A few things to think about when hiring a consultant:

  • Are they the right fit? All of the experience in the world won’t make up for someone who doesn’t fit within the culture of your team or business. You need someone you get along with, respect and can work closely with.
  • Be clear about why you are hiring a consultant.  Understand the scope of the work you want the consultant to undertake, and how much time and money you have to spend on it.
  • Right experience and knowledge. Make sure you hire a reputable, experienced communications professional. They should have practical examples of the type of work you are looking for them to deliver.
  • Hire a consultant who asks a lot of questions. If the person comes to you with ready-made answers, they’re not going to be much help.  Hire someone who asks more questions than you think is necessary. They should use questions to build their understanding of you, your business and your project.
  • Someone who isn’t afraid to tell the truth. You need someone who will tell you when something you’re doing isn’t working as well as it should, or you need to take a completely different path to the one you are on. You need a truth-teller: someone who will look you in the eye and tell you what needs to change.

 

Still not sure? Why don’t you contact me and we can catch up and discuss what you are looking for and the project you need help on.