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Internal comms

The fundamentals of internal comms

It’s easy to get caught up in the detail of a communications project that encompasses a diverse, geographically disparate audience, but there are a number of fundamental tasks and considerations that should go into an internal communications strategy, regardless of size or scope.

Focus on the audience: Understand audience needs, challenges and behaviours is critical before you think about channels. In our experience, engaging and involving employees in the decision-making around internal communications strategy, selecting ‘employee ambassadors’, for instance, is proven to increase effectiveness and improve buy-in at all levels.

Our audience research strategies provide a cost effective way to establish not just which of your audience are using what channels, but also why. Based on face to face interviews and digital surveys, supported by focus groups, we build up a picture of the motivations and requirements of your workforce. These sessions, combined with psychological and behavioural economics insight, allow us to start shaping communications in the most effective way for multiple audiences with multiple needs.  

We’ll work on a number of ‘personas’ around the audience insights we’ve already captured, using them to express audience goals and enabling us to deliver our research findings in an easily digestible format that can inform channel development.

Content is king: A content audit will be one of the first tasks, determining a view of all content and the channels through which it is delivered, highlighting redundancy or duplication issues and therefore immediately adding value and ensuring messages hits the spot first time.

In tandem with the content audit, user journey maps are created, providing a visual representation of the various paths users take in their interaction with various channels. The way a user engages with the channel from the initial trigger to conclusion of their journey is logged and analysed, helping to infirm comms channel platform strategy. This can be particularly helpful where there are several modes of behaviour or complex interaction.

Simplicity counts: People are time-poor and, as a result, often have short attention spans. They need information delivered simply and easily. Complex channel mixes often result in messages being lost, as users will often self-select the one they feel most affinity with.

Without a well-defined strategic vision it can be very difficult to deliver the required clarity. Part of our work will be to facilitate a hosted workshop to establish ambition ‘goals’ and KPIs for internal communications activity.

These sessions ideally involve a combination of the internal communications project team, key personnel responsible for development and delivery of internal communications as well as employee’ champions’, individuals identified as active communicators, who form a key part of our internal communications team moving forward.

Regular channel reviews, content audits, training and support of key personnel will also have a significant role to play in ensuring that simplicity remains core to your communications.

While our recommendations will usually include channel review and potentially new channel adoption, our focus is always upon ensuring ease of access and engagement through rationalisation, simplification and delivery of engaging, rich, compellingly-crafted and well-presented content.

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