I work in-house, so I've had many opportunities to hear pitches, proposals and presentations from erstwhile suppliers. The common theme? "Man, do we have the program/product/publication for you!" Sorry guys, you lost me at "Hello." What's missing from their spiel? Personalization: how does your proposal relate to my needs? How are you going to solve my problem?. How can you help ME? Dana points to a WSJ article discussing "why 'listen and learn' is a consultant's mantra".
I'd ask the same of our in-house comms staff: are you listening to your clients? How have you moved THEIR yardsticks?
Maybe we all need 7 Tips for Effective Listening, from the Journal of the Institute of Internal Auditors.