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Column: Are we going OTT with internal comms?

Internal comms: Are we going OTT?

January 27, 2014

Publications, emails, intranets, social media platforms, TV screens, face-to-face events – the tools of internal comms are now unlimited.

But are we overloading our employees? IC expert Vanessa Marcie gives us her view.

“In the endless course of modernising internal communications and making the most of new tools, it can be easy to lose sight of the messages we want to get across and end up overloading our receivers.

“What’s more, the management of all the tools we use requires a large amount of resource from internal communications departments, which may only be confusing our internal audiences in the long run.

“We also have to remember that in a company there are different types of employees and they might not all be receptive to the same tool.

“The use of newer technology such as social media, internal and external websites or an employee TV channel might seduce younger, more technically-savvy staff members.

“However a large number of employees can still be reluctant to use new technology. As a result, print still rules the toolboxes of many internal communication managers.

“Using a mix of communication channels is undoubtedly an excellent way to reach the majority of the population but it is important to know your audience and adapt the message to the tool and – more importantly – the public.

“Internal communications tools must be tailored to the needs of a company’s internal public as diversifying and multiplying the tools isn’t enough.

“In so many cases, managers are overwhelmed with information while ?eld employees don’t get access to the information they need.

“Properly analysing your audience is key to ensuring the right message gets to the right people via the most effective tool.

“It may even show some tools being used are not even really required!”

** Vanessa is a communications consultant specialising in IC strategies and public relations. She has a PhD in communication studies, has managed IC for large, complex companies such as Total and has extensive experience in conducting research, which she has presented at conferences in France and Canada