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To ensure the success of a communication plan, external expertise can bolster the in-house capabilities or prevent existing staff from being overstretched and possibly diverted from other activities.

Bringing in specialist skill from outside, a process known as “outsourcing,” involves contracting external communication and other experts to perform required functions. To develop a beneficial relationship with these external providers, develop your own skills and capabilities, and be aware of the issues involved in effective communication, as detailed in this toolbox. This enables you to act as a knowledgeable customer. Successful outsourcing requires knowing what to ask for from external providers.

While most outsourcing strategies have a primary goal of saving money by reducing the need for additional staffing recruitment, the benefits of using an expert communication partner can go far beyond this if implemented effectively. However, if outsourcing is based on filling a purely functional role, and not a strategic one, the relationship tends to be based primarily on cost and can grow stale over time. A good way to make the relationship grow stronger is to build a series of measurable goals into the contract, basing them around your strategic goals.

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