Why CMO's Need to Amp Up Internal Comms

When you have an announcement or regular updates to share with your team, my guess is your strategy looks like this:

  1. Send an email
  2. Maybe post it to the intranet
  3. Hope it gets read
Top down internal comms is about as riveting as florals for Spring.

Your team members are very likely receiving updates and announcements that get buried in their inboxes - why? Because a mass company-wide email just doesn't stand up to the other more engaging forms of communication. Reinforcement and balancing of intel distribution to your knowledge workers should mean what is being shared is being consumed and discussed.

Otherwise, employees feel detached and inactive. A low level of participation will only be reflected in dwindling passion.

*crickets*
41% of employees know what their
company stands for
gallup.com

In this world of more diverse, impactful content formats and flexing of social media muscles, a static intranet post is probably going to fall flat. There may be members of your team that seek opportunities to grow their skill set and influence. A dormant archive of PDFs and links in no way nurtures these emerging leaders.

Fact: Your team members are in fact humans

Perhaps your current internal comms set-up was relevant when you first launched it (when was that again?). By now it may be cluttered with expired data points and a workflow that feels mechanically forced. Worse yet, mobile optimization of the older platform may be lacking - in an era where your knowledge workers rely on remote and on-the-move access. Your employees are transforming with the digitization around us, so too should their tools.

Make sure staff feel part of shaping
the business future
- Engaged 'Internal Customers' Are Crucial To Brand Success CMO.com

Building trust with your team means speaking with (not "to") the them in a way that invites dialogue. Storytelling, whether audio, video or infographic, are far more immersive than text only updates. A level of humanization will only inspire ideas to be shared.

"The evidence is solid: purpose-led organisations not only have happier staff and customers, they happen to be more profitable too." - Rich Webley, CMO.com

There's good news here: You now know what no longer works or perhaps what never did prove effective (as we like to say, sticky). These are enough reasons to ask your team what they would need to become digitally engaged. Involve them in the internal comms transformation by firstly demonstrating the value of their input and ask them how it can help the company as a whole.

Restructuring Your Content Creation and Distribution Process

There is no reason why internal comms has to be hard for its members. Not in this day and age. If your team members have a Linkedin account, they should be able to navigate their internal comms platform just as easily.

For example, search functionality alone has come a long, long way in recent years and accessibility should be a main focus across any shared platform. On-demand information is key to creating efficiencies.

Other areas of improvement may include: collaboration-to-revision-to-approval processes, scheduling posts, pulling in external feeds, in-app notifications. With all its many parts, it's important to make the content experience simple for everyone.

Enlist a team of passionate employees to collaborate on content creation. No contributor should be an island unto themselves. Between Marketing and possibly HR, there are innumerable ways to bridge the communication gaps by encouraging cross department interaction. This is a great way to give visibility to team members that have, until now, been a faceless name or cc'd email address in the recipient field. To keep generating fresh ideas, it makes sense to foster new connections between teams to publish content for fresh insight.

(Re)Designing the Employee Experience:

Say good-but to top-down comms.
Say hello to an inside-out content strategy.

The content your team creates within your internal comms is where you can incubate all your best customer-facing content. It's no secret that your company's employee experience can move the needle on the customer experience side of your business as well.

As blog strategies have evolved into more dynamic media hubs with embeddable or downloadable content, now is a perfect time to start showcasing customer successes or case studies which can motivate your team and nurture customer relationships.

An instance of this approach is found in the post below, where an organization has opened the conversation of small business strategies to their own customers (and their customers):

Revisiting the organizational structure of your content marketing engine to include internal comms as the starting point may be the next revolutionary step you can take. Having a place to house your company and customer generated content invites dialogue - which makes the digital experience of internal comms feel more personal and involved. Now, that's actually groundbreaking.