Communication network

I recently bought a new lock for my home—one of those fancy Bluetooth (keyless) locks—and now the manufacturer wants to be my BFF: “Would you join our Insights group?” Sign me up!

Asking customers about their experience is a strategy often used by consumer product companies to improve products and services. And it’s a technique we can steal for employee communication.

I see it as a mash-up between focus groups and a communication network—a group of colleagues that you trust for feedback and ideas.

Here are a few examples of how communicators use groups like these as a research tool:

  • Gather feedback on a communication plan: Is there a tactic that won’t work or one that’s missing?
  • Share an upcoming change and discuss questions that come to mind—a great foundation for communication planning
  • Gather content ideas for the intranet or a town hall meeting
  • Have a prepared network of change champions that can gauge attitudes
  • Test a key deliverable, such as a guide or one-page overview
  • Assess impact of recent communication—either a campaign overall or a specific deliverable: Do you have a question that wasn’t answered? What would you change?

When you set up your own “insights” group, focus on these three essentials:

  1. Include representation from across the organization
  2. Be clear about the group’s role and your expectations
  3. Ensure participants benefit from participating (Often knowing their input has impact will make a difference.)
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