Don’t assume you have a captive audience when communicating internally. It’s a crowded world out there. Hundreds of e-mails, thousands of news feeds and millions of Web sites—not to mention text messages from family and friends—compete for our attention every day. When evaluating how to integrate digital media into an internal communications campaign, some things to consider include:
Are They Plugged In?
Where are employees located and how do they access information? Are they mostly at headquarters, branch offices or remote locations? What kind of devices do employees use for business? What percentage of workers is based in manufacturing locations?
How does the internal environment affect access to technology, transparency and receptiveness to the channel?
What is the overall goal of the campaign and what action do you want employees to take? Which digital communications vehicles and channels best align with the given intent?
Intranet: Library vs. Channel
What does the company intranet look like? How is it built? Is it a place to simply download forms and files? Can it be an information hub of the company? How does its set up impact your options?
Multimedia and Dynamic Content
What do you want the experience to be? Can you effectively integrate audio and video to make things more dynamic? Is there a role for internal webcasts and multimedia presentations? Will your message be helped, or hurt, based on how dynamic it is?
What is the frequency you need to publish digital content to keep your internal audience tuned in? How will you source that content…today, tomorrow, next week, next month? Can you maintain the momentum of whatever you create?
How and what will you measure? Are you open to what that data says and adjusting your campaign in concert?
Are internal communications valued? How willing are your executives to being more transparent? Will they support making internal communications more social? Answers to questions like these will help you determine whether or not you will be able to unleash an external digital mind-set on internal communications.
Steve Halsey is vice president of digital and social media for Gibbs & Soell Inc. Ken Gedaka is public affairs director for Dow Advanced Materials, a global division of The Dow Chemical Company, and leads internal and executive communications.