Recently I wrote a blog for LinkedIn about ways to improve internal communication that aren’t necessarily easy—but that will take your program to the next level.
Then other suggestions occurred to me. So I decided to share another five. That makes a total of 10 ideas for you to consider:
- Move from describing (words) to showing (visual). It’s time to face the fact that images and visuals dominate external communication: 95% of marketers believe visual content is critical. On Facebook, for example, posts including photos generate 100% more engagement than the average post. That’s why every English major (including me) needs to realize that writing is on the wane. Visuals—photos, video, infographics, etc.—are the communication method that will pack the big punch.
- Embrace segmentation. Most employee communication follows the broadcasting model: send the same content to everyone. But too much of what’s shared is irrelevant to recipients, so they simply ignore it. What’s on the horizon? Narrowcasting, defined as tailoring communication to smaller, more selective audiences (even individuals). This is a big change, and I don’t expect you to personalize communication yet. But do seek opportunities to segment messages, even to significant groups (all managers, people in a certain location or those who do a certain type of job).
- Reduce friction. In communication, friction occurs when an audience member is intrigued by a topic, but then encounters resistance on his/her quest to engage with content. Whatever the source, friction always leads to the same result: When communication requires too much of a commitment, audience members abandon ship. So look at ways your communication is causing friction and plan fixes. Maybe email doesn’t open on mobile devices. Or content is impossible to find on your intranet. Or employees are frustrated by the search function. No, you can’t solve everything, but you can address low-hanging friction.
- Become more playful. I refuse to use that dreadful word “gamification” but there’s no denying how ingrained gaming has become in our lives. Whether we spend time on a game console or not, “play” is an experience we value and often expect. The question for communicators: How do we create the same opportunities to be a part of the action, in a fun, engaging, absorbing way?
- Measure (almost) everything. No, you weren’t a math major and yes, budget and time are both limited. But this should be the year when you integrate measurement into (almost) everything you do. Only by measuring can you assess what‘s effective and demonstrates the value of your work. You might start small—web trends and post-meeting surveys count—but every step helps you become a measurement maven.