Social Media: Communiting with the World

As briefly mentioned in the previous post about the assumptions versus reality, we touched upon the social media sites that QC immigration uses. They have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and their own website, which we are going to take a better look at in this post. Social media is a great platform for companies to promote themselves and get involved with their clients or audience. It would be surprising to find a company without any social media sites. So often we see big companies using media for marketing purposes and being good at it, but smaller companies tend to pay less attention to social media and may even consider it unnecessary for their business. Time might be the reason, as smaller companies usually have only few employees and do not have additional personnel responsible for social media. This is also the case with QC immigration, as they have only one regular employee and occasionally they may have more if they take interns. But even then, the number of employees is still not enough for social media additional to day-to-day tasks. The director, Ms. Qiyin Chuah, is instead responsible for updating their social media sites. The information given on these sites is mainly about updates on the law or discussions or tips on what is good and what is bad. They also include information about the European law and possible consequences.

Website

QC Website

This is a picture from QC Immigration’s website (http://qc-immigration.com/). Here they have all the basic information about the company, such as where it is located, how it was founded, what kind of services they provide, testimonials, latest news, as well as how to contact them. The design of the website is outsourced to related professionals and the website is not updated very often due to a lack of labor force. Sometimes the director does change something in the text but not the layout. On the website they have quotes from their clients to give an idea of what to perhaps expect, and there is also a chance to contact QC immigration by leaving a message.

QC Website_2

The news section provides a lot of important information about new regulations or some aspects you might have to take into account when seeking for their help. By giving this information to the audience, the clients can already identify the assistance they need from QC Immigration, which in turn saves the director time because she doesn’t have to answer the same questions that are already provided on the website.

 

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Facebook and Twitter are used for passing on information and they are not very actively used. The posts by QC Immigration on both Facebook and Twitter are usually identical, as not all of the audience is going to be using only one, so posting the same information on both sites is more likely to guarantee that the followers will see what is posted. Most of the posts include links, so even on twitter with 140-character limit, the audience won’t miss any important information. Here’s an example of the same post on both social media platforms. As I mentioned before, the posts are mostly articles relating to either law, immigration issues and news or something that the company is doing, for example the director gave a speech at an event.

Qiyin Chuah, the director of the company also uses LinkedIn, and she mentioned in the interview that LinkedIn is the platform in which she is more actively engaged. This is more of an individual page and is not related to the company as such.

QC LinkedIn

As for the use of social media, there could definitely be improvements, but at the moment they simply don’t have enough employees and time to actively manage social media for marketing purposes. Perhaps in the future this could be a more relevant issue and some changes could be made, but for now it works perfectly fine as it is.

 

Internal Communication and Areas of Improvement

InternalIn the today’s world, firms tend to target efficient external communication with their customers, partners, investors and so on. Nevertheless, many people may take internal communication for granted, yet it is internal communication that drives day-to-day businesses and make firms productive. Fast flow of information among employee’s structure (for example, from upper management to the project team), different modes of communication, coordinated team work – all of them help firms function effectively. In this article, we are going to explain ways of internal communication and areas of future improvement by using QC Immigration as the example.

Employee Communication is the basic and a facilitating strategy for firms to achieve business goals and improve their overall performance. A good atmosphere within a firm also helps to build a reputation and a strong brand name. QC Immigration is a small-sized legal firm with only three workers (including the director herself) working in the office. As the primary objective of QC Immigration is to help and serve its clients, there are various communication methods that QC Immigration can use between workers.

Of course, the most common type of the communication in QC Immigration is Face-to-Face (F2F) connections. This way of communication allows workers discuss issues without wasting time waiting and receive the feedback straightaway. As QC Immigration is relatively a small firm, F2F communication is the easiest, fastest and the most effective way for the employees of the company to interact with each other.

Moreover, nowadays it is difficult to imagine the communication without the usage of emails, social media sources and calls. Calls through phone or Skype is the second main type of the communication used in QC Immigration. It helps to reach people even if he or she is not in the office or ill, or when it is necessary.

Besides, email is a highly effective tool for the internal communication in the company. Of course, it cannot replace face-to-face communication but still, emails are really convenient and not restricted to time and location. In QC Immigration, emails are used to share basic information among workers. For example, overall notifications concerning changes are sent by emails. Generally speaking, emails to QC Immigration are convenient, easy and cost-effective.

Despite the size of the company, improving the way of internal communication has always had a significant impact on the overall performance. An effective communication in the company helps to increase employee engagement and cooperation, as well as save time and money. After analysing the current communication status of QC Immigration, we came up with some ideas, hoping to help QC Immigration improve its internal communication.

Setting Regular Processes to Save Time
The creation of the rule, such as communicating every morning for 5 minutes, can save time of sharing the information and keep workers informed.

Online Meetings
Boring, time-wasting meetings are one of the characteristics of almost every company. Nowadays online meetings can significantly save time and help to engage workers. Taking into account that some workers in QC Immigration are temporary or part-time trainees/interns, as well as that the director may not be in her office all the time or even outside UK, online meetings are very helpful to reach everyone and make sure that all the tasks are in progress.

Employee Survey
It is a great way to get to know all the difficulties employees face during the communication process. Also, they easily can point out the areas of improvement or obstacles in sharing the information.

In today’s society, being competitive does not mean having the latest or up-to-date technologies, but getting people engaged. Based on the interview with the director, we know that QC Immigration is a small-sized company having few employees working in a friendly environment. Face-to-face communication and emails are widely practiced in this company. Nevertheless, new rules and an active involvement of technologies into internal communication processes might help the further development of the company.

Source: http://www.madhavighare.com/communication/internal-communication-bridging-the-internal-gaps

QC Immigration and Its Stakeholders

Basic Information of QC Immigration

QC Immigration is a legal firm based in central London’s Westminster area near the Home Office and Houses of Parliament. The director, Ms. Qiyin Chuah, has a decade of legal experience. She is a Law and International Business graduate and leads a team of dedicated experts. The client following ranging goes from high net worth investors to vulnerable families. The client base is quite diverse and worldwide, which means that QC Immigration has not only clients from Asia, but also from Europe, Africa, USA, Australia and the Middle East. In addition, the firm provides mentoring and training regularly, as well as provides supervision to other lawyers and firms in assisting their pursuit of similar successes.

Stakeholders of QC Immigration

In our very first post, we have already explained why we were interested in QC Immigration for our company case in the first place, as well as our assumptions about, for example, its potential stakeholders, communication medium and communication patterns. After having an enjoyable interview with the director of QC Immigration, we have advanced our understanding of QC Immigration as a legal firm and how it communicates with its stakeholders. Therefore, we are going to reveal what we have learnt from the interview and this particular post mainly focuses on the stakeholders of QC Immigration.

Internal vs External

  1. Internal Stakeholders

Employees and/or shareholders

Before the interview, we assumed that QC Immigration may have to deal with employees and possibly other shareholders. Yet in reality, the director is the sole shareholder of QC immigration. Considering the internal stakeholders of QC Immigration, the director has one regular employee working for her in the office and may have more than one if she has interns. Based on the number of employees, we can see that QC Immigration is a small-sized firm.

  1. External Stakeholders

Clients

Before the interview, we assumed that QC Immigration primarily deals with clients from China or Asian countries. However, in reality, the nationality of QC Immigration’s clients is rather diverse—ranging from, in addition to Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South Americas, to the Middle East. Its clients can be immigrants who extend their stay in the UK or foreigners who are looking to migrate to the UK.

Governmental Institutions

Due to our unfamiliarity of the governmental structure in the UK, we only assumed that QC Immigration, since it helps its clients apply for UK citizenship, must communicate and take governmental institutions into consideration without specifying which government institution QC Immigration has to deal with. We were told by the director that QC Immigration’s external stakeholders with regard to governmental institutions include Offices of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and Home Office. OISC is the office that regulates immigration advisers to ensure that all immigration advisers are fit and competent, and act in the best interest of their clients. In other words, OISC is the regulator of QC Immigration. The Home Office refers to those governmental department of UK responsible for immigration and border controls.

Business Associates
As indicated above, QC Immigration is a small legal firm and it sometimes needs assistance from professionals in other fields. They could be accountancy experts or lawyers specialized in other areas of law.

General Public

In today’s business world, communication with the public is considered as an important skill. If the firm is able to properly manage its communication with the general public, it may attract more customers or clients on the one hand and maintain a friendly image on the other. QC Immigration, without exception, is also dedicated to respond to the general public and potential clients. The media for this purpose include QC Immigration website, Twitter, Facebook page, as well as the director’s personally LinkedIn account.

Effective Business Communication

Effective Communication

What is communication? What is effective communication? What is business communication and related challenges confronting a firm? How can effective business communication impact a firm? For the questions above, our group is going to study QC Immigration, a legal firm based in London to find out the answers. But before we dive into the specific communication patterns of QC Immigration, we need to have a glance on the theoretical part of business communication and its implications.

Foundations of Communication

Communication is basically the exchange of meanings between a sender and a receiver. In order for the sender to transmit his/her meaning, he/she should encode it in any sort of language and then transfer the message via a medium.

The media might be either rich or lean. “Richness is a medium’s ability to (1) convey a message through more than one informational cue (visual, verbal, vocal), (2) facilitate feedback, and (3) establish personal focus”, whereas leanness would be the opposite. In that way, media ranges from face-to-face communication and conferences to letters, reports and databases (Bovée and Thill, 2014).

Effective Communication

So what would be effective communication in terms of everything described above? —when the receiver gets the message quickly, decodes it easily, and interprets it as it was intended by the sender. Everything that would interfere in the said process is considered as noise. This may include wrong channel chosen, poor language in general, or just the sender’s lack of understanding of his or her own idea. Besides, one of the most fundamental sources of noise may lie in the differences of the sender and the receiver in their personal, professional and cultural background. Eventually, noise interference may draw meaning misinterpretation, distortion or even loss, inducing communication ineffectiveness. Nevertheless, there is a possibility and actually a definite need for noise identification and elimination, or at least noise contraction. For the most part, this is done by the sender employing the audience-centered approach when coming up with a meaning, encoding and transmitting (Bovée and Thill, 2014).

Business communication

Business communication specifically might be broken into several other terms. Firstly, business communication is either internal or external. Internal communication would include any inter-employee communication – vertical (e.g., from a manager to his/her subordinates) or horizontal (e.g., from manager to manager in other department), formal or informal. External communication is the firm’s communication with the stakeholders other than its employees—owners, government, competitors, customers, suppliers, and so on. The list might never end, but it is anyone who might have a stake in a firm’s doings (Bovée and Thill, 2014).

Challenges Unique to Business Communication

Apart from the fundamental noise interference described earlier there are several other communicational challenges specific to the world of business.

First of all, it is the globalization of the world and business and the increase in the workforce diversity, which leads to higher productivity, but requires a more conscientious approach to communication to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.

The increasing value of business information is another challenge confronting companies today. “No matter what the specific type of information, the better you are able to understand it, use it, and communicate it to others, the more competitive you and your company will be” (Bovée and Thill, 2014). In addition, the Big Data phenomenon requires the businesses to work with higher velocity, variety and volume of information facing the problems of data veracity at the same time (IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub, n.d.).

The pervasiveness of technology, which vastly enhances efficiency, requires the basic skills and knowledge in modern systems and tools. Staying up-to-date or allocating funds on technology is another challenge a business may face in this field.

The specific organizational structure and leadership style in a firm would provide specific communicational challenges to a firm. Be that a tall or a flat structure, a matrix structure or a virtual organization, all of them have communicational weaknesses both internally and externally.

Besides, all businesses, no matter they are traditional or innovative, cannot avoid teamwork, which can lead to another set of challenges due to the complex nature of group communication (Bovée and Thill, 2014).

Why Bother?

Now let’s consider just some of the benefits a business gets when working on its communication effectiveness. According to Bovée and Thill (2014), it provides

  • closer ties with important communities in the marketplace;
  • opportunities to influence conversations, perceptions, and trends;
  • increased productivity and faster problem solving;
  • better financial results and higher return for investors;
  • earlier warning of potential problems, from rising business costs to critical safety issues;
  • stronger decision making based on timely, reliable information;
  • clearer and more persuasive marketing messages; and
  • greater employee engagement with their work, leading to higher employee satisfaction and lower employee turnover;

Certainly, some companies have already had an effective communication system, while some need to spend some time tailoring its communication patterns. In today’s business world, a strong weakness in business communication can eventually prevent firms from competing in the market. It is therefore necessary to continuously check if there is any noise interference, channels’ outdatedness, or any other problems concerning communication.

References

Bovée, C. L. and Thill, J.V., 2014. Business Communication Today. Harlow: Pearson.

IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub, n.d. The Four V’s of Big Data. [online] Available at: <http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/infographic/four-vs-big-data> [Accessed 14 April 2016].