When communications break down in media organizations, the old inside wisecrack goes something like this: “Hey, I thought we were supposed to be in the communications business!”

We are. But that doesn’t mean we always get it right in our everyday work relationships.

The quality of communication in any organization can mean the difference between success and failure.  Employees of local media outlets know especially well the care owed to how we communicate.

Fortunately, tools have emerged to make communication simpler, faster and more effective in any organization. Local Media Association has prepared an industry report for its Local Media Innovation Alliance subscribers that explores internal communication strategies and tools that can make a difference for local news companies.

Before considering tools and practical techniques, however, it’s important to understand what constitutes effective communication in the first place.

The popular “this could have been an email” memes are all too relatable — and exemplify why effective communication makes all the difference in the workplace. Here are some key elements from the report to consider: 

Communication channels

Choosing the best communication channels for your business requires careful consideration of your audience, message, and goals. Is your organization leaning into Slack, email, text, hybrid tools or something else? 

Here are some steps to help define the best communication channels for your media company:

Know your audience: Before selecting communication channels, it’s important to understand your team members and how they prefer to communicate, so you can identify which channels will be most effective in communicating with them.

Define your message: Different types of messages may be best communicated through different channels. Consider the message you want to convey and which channels will be most effective in delivering that message.

Identify your goals: What do you want to achieve through your communication efforts? Your goals may influence which communication channels are best suited to your needs. 

Consider your resources: Some communication channels may require more resources (e.g., time, money, staff) than others. Consider your budget, staff resources, and technical capabilities when selecting communication channels.

Test and refine: Once you’ve selected your communication channels, it’s important to check in and make sure they’re operating smoothly as time goes on, adapting if needed. 

Communication style

A clear and concise communication style ensures that the message being conveyed is easily understood by recipients and the desired outcome of the communication is achieved. A strong communication style can increase understanding, save time and effort, build trust, reduce conflict and improve productivity. 


Giving and receiving feedback is an essential part of effective communication as well as personal and professional growth. It allows individuals to understand their strengths and areas for improvement. When both peers and managers can provide constructive criticism and receive feedback with grace, it benefits the entire team. 

Cultural awareness 

In today’s diverse and globalized world, understanding and respecting cultural differences is crucial for effective communication. Just as we build trust in our communities, respecting the values and norms of colleagues leads to more positive relationships. 

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It plays a crucial role in effective communication. It builds trust and rapport, helps manage conflict and enhances empathy. 

Want to learn more? LMA’s new report, “Effective communication for local media outlets” is available free to anyone working for a Local Media Innovation Alliance subscriber company. Those not subscribed to LMIA may purchase this report for $159.

Not sure if your company subscribes to LMIA? Contact Lindsey Estes, LMA chief of staff.