The changing face of internal communication

The changing face of internal communication

July 23, 2015

With its rapid evolution in full flow, no-one can accuse internal communication of being boring.

So what does internal communication look like in 2015?

Creativity. Innovation. Disruption.

Buzzwords? Perhaps. Required in modern day internal comms? Definitely.

The state of play

The bygone days of printing a monthly newsletter or pinning the odd poster on the wall for colleagues to mull over are long gone.

Internal communication is more bespoke than ever.

Reams of options provide practitioners with the perfect opportunity to tailor channels to meet an organisation’s specific needs.

That’s not to suggest that traditional methods of internal communication – face-to-face, noticeboards, email newsletters and printed publications – do not have merit.

They do.

But the old guard now should be a part of a comprehensive mix to suit all.

Taking a risk

With measurement and online analytics today playing such a fundamental role in evaluating the effectiveness of internal communication, it provides a degree of freedom to try new methods of comms.

Almost immediately we know if an internal channel is having the desired impact among the audience. This allows IC professionals to revamp, refine or ditch the project if needs be.

Audience preference guides IC like never before, so be prepared to listen and, crucially, respond to feedback.

What is everyone else doing?

Methods of employee engagement comes in all shapes and sizes.

So it was interesting to read this article in PR Week about some of the creative efforts being undertaken to connect with colleagues.

Highlights include:

* The head-scratcher. BSkyB promoted its share scheme by leaving bags of chocolate coins on colleagues’ desks. The gesture was later explained in an email.
Head of internal comms Hamish Haynes said: “For a few moments, it created a buzz, a sense of inquiry. Without the coins, the information would have fallen on stony ground. You have to open the door a crack, then hit them quick.”

* New twist on an old theme. Face-to-face remains popular. However Burger King International took it a step further when launching its Fit For Gold campaign.
The business held seven updates across the UK, explaining how a small change in working practices could reap rewards in performance, with BKI’s then president, Andre Lacroix, senior UK management and employees attending each workshop.
As an introduction, each session began with footage of Dick Fosbury’s famous winning high-jump at the 1968 Olympics.
“Face-to-face motivational sessions work really well,’ said BKI senior comms director Kai Boschmann. “But they only work as part of a wider comms programme as the different elements need to feed off each other.”

* The bottom line. Specsavers recently launched an employee incentive programme where employees are rewarded for various achievements, from financial to personal development targets.
In return, they accrue points that can be redeemed against a choice of more than two million products.
Jill Clark, director of retail communications at Specsavers, said: “As staff can choose their own rewards, it has been hugely motivational for them and this in turn has had a significant impact on both employee engagement and sales.”