Getting your internal communications strategy in order
I came across a rather startling statistic recently that suggested one in three internal communications leaders believe ‘an unhealthy obsession with talking tactics instead of strategy will have the greatest impact on the future of the discipline’.
Having worked on internal communications campaigns for more than 20 years, I’ve seen how tempting it can be to focus on quick wins that drive great results, but focusing on outputs rather than outcomes makes it incredibly difficult for IC professionals to demonstrate success and prove the value of their work with the C-suite.
A well constructed and considered internal communications strategy can create positive change, better engaged employees, improved recruitment and retention and increased customer satisfaction. But in order to craft a strategy that does all these things, sometimes you need to ignore the pressure to deliver regular tactical wins and give yourself some thinking time.
You want a strategy that influences employee behavior and beliefs in line with your organisation’s strategy and culture. Then it’s time to get creative and have some fun with tactics that don’t just create noise – they drive positive internal change.
Giving Strategy the Big Screen Treatment
One campaign that illustrates this perfectly consisted of a UK-wide roadshow truck tour for a leading insurance brand. At the heart of the strategy was the creation of a TV station for the brand, created to deliver meaningful internal communications in an innovative way.
They needed a mechanism to share a wide range of pre existing video material and presentations and wanted to make it interesting, engaging and impactful. So the idea of an in-house broadcast station was born, providing a multi-channel experience for employees with a range of content, including a weather, sports, news and City channel – all of which were relevant to the organisation.
Our role was to develop the experience and take it to the workforce and over 7 weeks, we were able to hold 40 events across the UK. Every employee received a personal invitation to a live screening in the exhibition vehicle – branded and designed in line with the brand’s look and feel – and a VIP lanyard that included the company’s core values, creating anticipation and excitement.
Tactically, this was a fantastic way to launch the station because it took people out of the workplace environment, positively disrupting their daily routine and offering them a bespoke experience away from the inevitable office distractions. Employees felt valued as a result and the campaign drove fantastic engagement, ensuring that each employee was aware of the new TV station and understood its role and purpose within the organisation.
Take one step back to take two steps forward
Driving positive engagement and boosting workplace motivation requires a solid employee engagement strategy but it’s paramount to get the strategy right before turning your attention to tactics. In my experience, the very best strategies always include one thing – a personal experience.
Sometimes taking your employees out of the work environment and into something completely new is the best way to deliver your message. No distractions and no time restraints, just your own dedicated space that’s fully immersed in the narrative you need it to be, whether that’s communicating organisational goals, delivering bespoke training or showing off the company’s latest products or innovations.
At EMS we’ve helped some of the world’s leading brands deliver effective internal communications campaigns that result in emotional, intellectual and social engagement, utilising our range of roadshow marketing trucks.