Choosing the right internal communication tools can be overwhelming. Especially when there are so many options. Use objectives to think through what you are trying to accomplish. Then, identify possible tools. In this mini episode of Employee Buzz, gather insight from Alison Davis, CEO of Davis & Company, about which tools could work for you.

Episode transcript: 

Alyssa:
Hey everyone. Alyssa here with a bonus round. Not all of our conversations get captured completely, because we try and keep our episodes focused and concise. So, we create these bonus rounds or mini episodes as an added treat on top of our regularly-scheduled program. We'll sprinkle these in on occasion to provide bits of practical knowledge when we know it's a hot topic that you can learn from. This mini episode, or bonus round, is focused on internal communication tools: what's out there, when to use them, and what you should think about before buying into one. So, there are a lot of tools out there. I mean, a lot of shiny tools out there to help communicators. Any favorites, any thoughts, any reactions to what's out there right now?

Alison:
I feel like Switzerland about tools: completely neutral. Because I think that many of them are fabulous and they certainly have the opportunity to make communicators' lives easier, because things that didn't exist before like... We had a conversation the other day with a client about creating a new intranet for them. Not so long ago, you'd have to get the programmers involved, do it from scratch, and so forth. Today, there are lots of interesting tools, great tools, where it's basically like a plug and play website.

Alyssa:
That's great.

Alison:
So, there are tools for websites. There's apps, and the apps are getting a lot of attention, I think, these days. There's tools to create podcasts—we're actually using one right now in this podcast. There's email and e-newsletter tools. There's tools to create infographics or interactive infographics. So, I just think that the best approach is to say... Objectives, you mentioned objectives. What is it we're trying to accomplish, and then what are some possible available tools? I think the danger is, and you alluded to it, is just being attracted to the bright, shiny object. Like you know, "Oh, wow. If we do that, it's going to solve all our problems." And one of the things that we've heard from clients is they've gotten a tool like an app tool and then they still have to deal with issues like, "Well what content are we going to put on there? And now we have to change our content to put on the tool." So, I think, don't be too dazzled by the shininess of the tool but really think about what you're trying to accomplish.

Alyssa:
I mean, I work with a client who works with a field-based organization, completely remote. They have a new distribution tool. It's a very effective distribution tool, and mobile responsive and all that, but you have to generate the content that works for a remote organization, field-based, and is snackable in a way that it works on mobile.

Alison:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
Just because you can distribute it—

Alison:
Doesn't mean it... Yeah.

Alyssa:
Doesn't mean it works.

Alison:
And if you... Just because you build it doesn't mean they will come.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Alison:
And I think the other aspect of it is there are a lot of organizations that haven't really done very much measurement, and almost every tool has some really great metrics built in. This can be a bit of a shock to the system, because... We have a client who used a tool to send a newsletter out and you can see every single metric: how many people look at it, how many people open, how many people click through, and it creates kind of an obligation because of that measurement. So, it's great to suddenly have all this measurement you didn't have before, but it means you have to really be more critical of your own work and really think about what works and what doesn't.

Alyssa:
Thanks for listening to Employee Buzz, where practical advice meets fun.

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