Category Archives: News

Half of firms ‘failing to monitor intranet engagement’

Measurement is big business in today’s internal communications industry.

And rightly so.

As modern day internal communicators, we have the tools to monitor the effectiveness of messaging, channels, tools and techniques.

Comms veteran Sean Williams pointed this out in a hugely popular blog post: “We need to make decisions based on facts and data, not conjecture and conventional wisdom. That takes research.”

Such an approach makes perfect sense.

In fact IC experts across the board seem eager to put more emphasis on strategy in employee communications.

With this in mind, the latest research emerging on intranet measurement is somewhat alarming.

The report, commissioned by the Intra.NET Reloaded London 2017 event, saw more than 200 organisations quizzed over intranet habits.

More than 80 per cent of respondents confirmed they use analytics to track user habits.

However less than half (38 per cent) actually report the findings on a monthly basis.

The remaining 62 per cent did it less frequently – with one in ten NEVER reporting any findings to senior leadership.

Other key findings include:

• 65 per cent of respondents established an intranet before 2010.

• SharePoint was the most popular platform – with almost half (48 per cent) opting for the Microsoft tool.

• Responsibility for the intranet launch sat firmly with IC professionals (39 per cent) followed by IT (29 per cent) and Marketing Comms (16 per cent).

• More than half (59 per cent) have a dedicated marketing budget specifically for the organisation’s intranet.

To read the full report, click here….

Employees in danger of communication overload

The internal communication industry faces a challenging future – because employees are constantly being overloaded with information, according to a leading academic.

Targeted communication continues to be popular in IC with a plethora of channels available to communicate with employees.

The much-heralded digital revolution has seen communication evolve away from the traditional printed newsletter and occasional town hall get-togethers.

With evidence revealing its links to increase productivity and profitability, employee engagement is big business.

This, in turn, has increased expectations on internal communicators to sustain a fully engaged workforce.

Yet the ever-increasing openness in today’s IC brings its own problems, according to Cary Cooper, 50th Anniversary Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, University of Manchester.

In this blog post for Metro, he wrote: “Most of us are guilty of checking in with work too often.

“Last year HR Magazine’s Reclaim Your Time survey found that 34% of employees check their email immediately after waking up and 38% do it every night just before they go to bed.

“The difference between “we don’t expect you to check your email” and “we expect you not to check your email” is crucial.

“Of course, completely disallowing out-of-hours emails won’t work for all businesses. We need flexibility.

“Discouraging overuse is fine, but let’s take a more mindful approach to internal communications in general.”

But email is only one issue. Other channels cause problems with information overload too.

Cary continued: “Some 37% of startups no longer view it [email] as their main comms channel, favouring collaborative platforms like Slack and Google Docs.

“These tools are ripe for overuse, designed to facilitate group-wide communication from a smartphone. What could go wrong?

“Overuse of workplace communication is linked to a reduction in mental well-being.

“Flexibility and a culture of openness are valuable to any organisation.

“But those organisations that embrace openness have a duty to protect their people from the risks, both to their well-being and to their career, of being able to communicate so easily with so many.”

To read the full article, click here….

Improving internal comms ‘will help boost external marketing’

Perhaps internal comms and marketing professionals should start listening to Jack Johnson.

The popular US singer-songwriter, of course, enjoyed a 2006 smash with “Better Together”.

It’s a concept that today’s IC and marketing departments would do well to heed.

Marketing expert Scott Vaughan believes marketing teams need to look inwards first to boost their external offering.

Scott, who is the CMO of Integrate, a marketing technology software provider, wrote in this blog post: “While marketing teams rightly focus heavily on external customers and stakeholders, we’re missing an important audience in our mission; we must extend our focus to educating, inspiring and showcasing our work to key internal stakeholders.

“Ironically, marketing is notoriously bad at internal communications and collaboration. The storytelling component is often absent, and the data shared is sporadic.

“Neglecting to dedicate necessary time to involve other departments in marketing’s efforts greatly limits a company’s collective ability to delight customers and grow revenue.”

It’s not the first time experts have suggested marketers are too focused on external audiences – to the detriment of their own colleagues.

Research undertaken back in 2015 suggested “marketing teams need to concentrate on IC – to build engagement for their work within the rest of the workplace”.

So how can marketing and internal communications teams become more in sync?

Scott continued: “One of the best ways to get continuous or additional internal support required to help you execute your next big initiative is to dedicate some time to not just sharing results — awesome, average and even atrocious — but involving the key stakeholders in jointly setting the target KPIs and metrics.

“This means locking arms early in the process with peers who can help you move the needle. If they help set the target KPIs, there is ownership in helping you and your team hit them.

“Your internal communications efforts will help you improve your marketing results if applied diligently and consistently.

“Marketers’ trademark is storytelling, engaging audiences and getting them to act.

“There’s no time like right now to start applying those mad marketing skills – internally, as well as you do externally.”

To read the full blog, click here ….

Can internal communication heal government cracks?

Infighting in politics is nothing new, but it has reached new levels within the Conservative Party following the General Election.

Could a more effective use of internal communications help unite this fractured Government?

The Conservative Party seems split on almost every issue, from Brexit, public-sector pay, its agreement with the DUP, and even who should lead.

For some onlookers, it’s amusing.

Those who don’t like politicians – and there’s plenty of them! – are delighted to watch the Conservatives crumble at a time when they were supposed to have increased their majority.

But the open warfare within the party has serious implications.

Whatever your views on politics, the fact is the Tories will be responsible – at least in the short-term – for shaping our relationship with Europe, deciding the financial future of our healthcare and education systems, and handling all the other day-to-day duties of government.

How will they get anything done when they’re so divided?

According to Dr Darren Lilleker, Associate Professor of Political Communication at Bournemouth University, one of the contributing factors to the Tories’ current plight is that MPs don’t feel they’re being listened to.

“Most parties – probably quite surprisingly to anybody who is an internal communication expert – don’t really have a structure for IC,” he explained.

“Most politicians and political parties make the assumption that members will follow the leaders almost blindly. They’re almost surprised when people say ‘I don’t agree with something.’

“They have an email system. They do communicate, but it’s persuasive communication. What’s lacking is a structure for a two-way process.”

“Anyone can fire an email off, but if they get an automated response and then no follow-up in two or three days they may think ‘no one has listened to me. I’m going to find another way of making these people listen.’

So could listening – really listening – to MPs concerns help the Government in a meaningful way?

Dr Lilleker said: “MPs want face-to-face communication. They feel they have a mandate and they want to be heard. They expect to be able to have an audience.

“When there’s something serious happening and a party feels it needs to be speaking with a single voice on an issue, that’s when you have a lot more face-to-face communication.

“While it is useful to allow people to be heard, it’s also very difficult. Theresa May and the rest of the Conservative Party hierarchy know that some people will never be brought on board. They just have to shrug.

“You can’t move some people, so there’s no point in including them in a discussion because you know what they’re going to say. We have that in every workplace.

“But for those who then feel that their perhaps extreme view is not being represented and that negotiations are moving towards a more centre ground, that’s when they start to rebel.

“A party leader has to judge who is going to be a rebel no matter what happens, and who can be brought in and made part of the process.”