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Are noticeboards still relevant for internal comms?

Are noticeboards still relevant for internal comms?

October 22, 2014

With the world firmly immersed in digital, many will deem the use of noticeboards in internal communication as unnecessary.

Scarily, children growing up in this decade might not even know what a noticeboard is. So are they still capable of delivering effective messaging?

Fiona Hancock, internal communications manager at Hywel Dda University Health Board, sees the use of noticeboards as an integral part of communications within her working environment.

Part of NHS Wales, the organisation provides care to more than 370,000 people across Camarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

It has more than 9,000 employees in a number of different settings, from acute and community hospitals to those field or office-based.

Fiona believes noticeboards are the most effective way of communicating with large numbers of people at the same time.

She said: “When you look at the nature of the NHS, most colleagues aren’t sitting behind a computer, so noticeboards are a key communications tool.

“We mainly use them to promote campaigns.

“We use a noticeboard as a primary way to communicate these as people can get a quick snapshot of the key messages along with a signpost of where to go for more detailed information.”

Fiona and the internal comms team have joint ownership over the noticeboards with designated comms champions, who provide insight into location relevancy and regularly review the content.

And she believes this is the key to ensuring people continue to use noticeboards and not lose interest.

“Noticeboards need to be reviewed regularly,” she added.

“If you get into the habit of regularly checking and updating them, they don’t become too time consuming and organisations can really get the most out of them.

”In terms of content – keeping it tidy is the key. If you plaster information all over them, people won’t focus on the messages.

“For me, it’s all about having an order to the messages and ensuring the content provides real clarity.”

Fiona’s thoughts echo the findings of the 2011 1000 Lives Plus Communications Study Day, where NHS Wales communication officers gathered to discuss how to use noticeboards effectively.

Those involved developed six key steps to effective use: identifying the right locations (audit), resite (positioning), recruiting board ‘champions’ or guardians, adding content regularly, auditing again and adapt and roll out.

So three years later, what does Fiona say to those who don’t believe in the relevance and effectiveness of noticeboards in 2014?

“Although the world is moving forward with digital very quickly, we still live in a world where colleagues in certain organisations – particularly those healthcare-based – don’t have regular access to computers,” she said.

“We have other communications tools, such as a monthly colleague newsletter, our team brief and social media.

“But as long as colleagues continue to notice valuable information on the noticeboards as they walk past then, as far as I’m concerned, it’s worth doing.”