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Blog 10.11.2022

From whining to vision, from organizational jargon to genuine opinion – what is impactful communication?

How to develop communication where quality replaces quantity? How to succeed in stakeholder communication? How to be creative in a changing media? In the fourth trainee blog, Henri Kääriäinen writes about his key insights at Business Finland and reflects on what is impactful communication.
Henri Kääriäinen

Public Affairs and Communications Trainee

You know those "live, love, laugh" status updates and pictures that boomers share on Facebook? If you were to make similar pictures of the most important insights in your work, what would they say?

As a Stakeholder Communications Trainee at Business Finland's Communications and Public Affairs department, I've been thinking about the following:

  1. Don't whine, offer vision and solutions instead
  2. Find common ground in new ways
  3. Forget the organizational jargon, it's the real opinions of people that matter.

Don't whine, offer vision and solutions instead

Not many of us like people who complain about everything when we meet them. The same is true in stakeholder communications. Those who focus on complaining will not survive in today's society, because complaining is a drain on everyone's energy.

To succeed in society, you have to offer vision and be solution oriented. A vision includes an understanding of the current situation and the direction in which things should be developed. Being solution-oriented is telling you the steps to take to reach the desired goal.

Business Finland has the best expertise in Finland in promoting exports, innovation funding, investment and travel promotion and attracting international talent to Finland. We actively offer vision and solutions to our stakeholders and encourage their commitment.

Find common ground in new ways

Unfortunately, telling everyone the same mantra does not work. There is no point in organizations continuing to hone key messages to fit everyone down to the last comma. Different organizations, even people within organizations, wrestle with different challenges.

Communication is based on dialogue, and a humble listening skill is often the key to successful communication. It is important to invest in personal messages and find the common ground on which to build collaboration. Not with the same template, but with a focus on finding common ground.

You can get along with almost anyone, even if you don't share the same ideology or agree on issues.

Forget organizational jargon, it's people's real opinions that matter

The impact of messages is increased when people make openings as themselves, rather than from behind the official account of the organization. We encourage our experts to share their views and solutions to the hot topics in their field. 

I have been involved in developing and implementing the concept of thought leadership, which aims to train and support our colleagues to become thought leaders - recognized experts at the forefront of their fields. We have created learning materials, organized popular communication clinics, and provided intensive media training.

The seed has been sown, but the next challenge is how to engage the most advanced thought leaders for whom the 'ABC of communication skills' is no longer enough. You wouldn’t want to stop working when you've made a good start.

What is impactful communication?

A question that one blog is not enough to answer. In our media training courses, we often bring up former Prime Minister Alex Stubb's classic 'three points', which, for all its cliché, is a very workable concept. I believe that impactful communication is

  1. offering views and solutions
  2. finding common ground
  3. communicating with your own face.

What are your three points?

I am a trainee in the Communications and Public Affairs department at Business Finland. I work on the concept of stakeholder communication and thought leadership.

Work for Business Finland