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Will make your team more efficient? We certainly think so.. . Find out more here:













The impact of the growth in globalisation, the rise in outsourcing and the increase of remote working has forced organisations to rethink the ways in which they interact and communicate with each of these disparate stakeholders.










Have you got your copy yet? Showcasing creative entries from pros on "guerrilla" approaches to IC + a FREE internal communications planning template by from . Download it now!



















This in reinforces what I've always believed: never underestimate the power of the back of a toilet door when it comes to and .




Happy Easter from the Engage Me Team! We’re all chocoholics in the office and have a basket overflowing with Easter goodness and treats.




We love creating personalised intranets for our clients! Check out some of our design examples HERE! ➡️

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Join the IoIC and the Bank of England as we host an event on the ubiquitous topic of measurement in . We'll hear from and Bank of England's IC team who will share their measurement journey. To book for 6 June:




Want to encourage colleagues to be business pioneers? Sarah Critchley will be talking at about how the Comms and Engagement team has created a Pioneering Spirit at EY. To book:







Yesterday I was hosting again the monthly global webcast for all employees at . These webcasts are a great way to update our employees about recent company updates and engage them on big achievements, company policies and activities.



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BBH / Recruitment video

Great piece created by the Black Sheep people - originally a piece of internal comms created as part of their end-of-year review. 

The two-minute film features an original poem on the power of difference by Harry Baker, a performance poet, set to images of BBH’s staff and the agency’s work. It ends with the line “Black Sheep Wanted”.

How to write clear instructional communication:

In any organisation, the ability to convey a clear message that all of your intended audience will interpret and understand is a challenge. This is an issue internal communicator’s deal with every single day.  The ability to write a clear instruction comes down to being able to identify your audience with the what, how, why and when of your message.

In the organisation I work for, it’s critical that we are clear on our instruction as this can have legal, compliance and safety implications if our audience do not understand what they are required to do.

Below are a few strategies we use to produce clear and concise instructional communications.

Templates:

Each communication that we send sits within a different template. This allows us to link the communication back to the audiences KPIs and the company strategy. This way it’s easy for our audience to identify where the communication sits and what is relates to.

Structure:

Our instructional communications follow formats that make them clear and concise.

What: What is the communication about?

Why: Why is it important that the communication is actioned?

How: How should the communication be actioned?

When: When should the communication be actioned?

Language:

We encourage our audience to do the right thing and comply with communications they receive. This is reflected in the language within our communications. For example an instructional communication about a safety issue is written using sentences like “Due to concerns over customer and staff safety, please remove” or “Please take the time to not only discuss safety with your team, but to keep it front of mind.” Our instructional communications refrain from a command and control tone.

 

Priority:

Each communication we send has a priority attached to it. This allows the managers who are time poor and only have a short period to read their communications to know which communication needs to be actioned immediately. Our priority system is broken up into three categories.

 

URGENT – Communication needs to be actioned immediately

ACTION – Communication needs to be actioned within 1-2 days

REVIEW – There is no action associated with this communication; it can be reviewed in your own time

 

Writing clear and concise instructional communication can save your company time and money as well as increase productivity. Next time you have to write an instructional communication in your business, I hope I have encouraged you to consider the above strategies.

I’d love to hear how you write your instructional communications and what works best for you.

Eight steps to delivering an effective and engaging communication plan

A communications team has many stakeholders that have different messages and objectives that they want to deliver. It can be hard to plan effective ways to communicate messages and find ways to change behavior as well as engage your audience. The most efficient and effective way to do this is by creating a communication plan.

A communication plan is essentially a roadmap to getting your communications across to your audience.  There are eight steps you need to consider when writing a comprehensive communication plan.

1.    Know why you need to communicate:

You need to work out what you want to be different as a result of your communication plan. What are the goals and objectives?

2.    Consider who you need to communicate with:

Make a list of your potential audiences. Whose behavior do you want to change and influence as a result of your communications.

3.    What do these audiences think about the issue or topic?

Conduct a sample study or focus group. Find out what your audience thinks about the issue. Develop an understanding of how they behave, this way it’s easier to work out a plan to change their behavior. The better you understand your audience’s priorities, issues and concern, the greater your ability to target your messages towards them.

4.    Define your audience:

What you want your audience to know, think or do as a result of  your communications. Develop your perfect scenario and then tailor your

communications to achieve that scenario.

5.    Write your key messages:

You may have a number of key messages depending on your audience.  It’s     

critical you tailor your messages so they are appropriate. You don’t want to

alienate a section of your audience because your communication doesn’t

resonate with them.

6.    Decide when you need to deliver your messages:

The timing of your communication is critical. Depending on your goals, you may need to give your communication time to be seen and understood by your audience. The more exposure and time you give your communication the better chance you have to change and influence behavior.

 

7.    Decide how to deliver your messages:

There are many different ways you can deliver your communications. If you follow the other six steps you should have an understanding of how your audience best receives messages. This could be by,

·      Formal written communications

·      Short instructional videos

·      Blog posts from senior executives

·      Posters highlighting key messages

·      Informal written communication on website or social media

 

8.    Post Implementation Review

After your have delivered your communications it’s important you figure out,

 

·      Did your audience understand? Did they act on or change as a result of

       the communication?

·      How will you follow up if additional communication is required?

There are a number of ways you can find out this information.  In my previous blog titled ‘The importance of measuring your internal content’, I wrote about using tools like Google Analytics and URL shortener to find out if your communication cut through. You can also go out and speak to your audience. Why not conduct another sample study or focus group with the same people you did in point 3 and find out if your communication hit the mark.

If you haven’t got the result you were after then it’s important you revaluate your messages and start your communication plan again, but remember to take on key learning from your original plan.

If your plan is successful then you need to develop a plan to keep your audience engaged and remembering your key messages.

If you take the time to follow these eight steps then I believe you can deliver an effective communication plan every time.

The holy grail of employee engagement

Virgin Group has launched a new print magazine for employees, which aims to showcase the individuals that make a difference around the business.

The publication has been heralded by Saskia Dornan, Head of Group Internal Communications for Virgin Management, as “[giving] employees a chance to talk about themselves and their job”, with staff members from across the globe telling their stories and creating a spirit of togetherness.

A genuine focus on front-line employees and the topics that matter to them is what all good internal communications should be about. Many companies claim to achieve this, but all too often their shiny new publication is swiftly hijacked by senior managers with a corporate box to tick.

As an internal communications specialist, one of our biggest challenges often lies in persuading clients that not every piece of content has to have an explicit link to a strategic business objective. When we ask employees what they think of the internal communications channels available to them, one of the most common complaints is that ‘it’s full of management speak and corporate propaganda’. There’s often a clear gap between what front-line staff want to read and what some senior management think they should be reading.

Internal communications titles are up against huge competition in a market swamped with print and digital content. Getting an employee to pick up their company magazine on a lunch break, rather than the latest copy of Grazia or The Sun, means that internal comms teams have to employ the same strategies that newsstand titles do. That means providing content that is relevant, timely and engaging. There’s still a place for business messaging, but it has to be treated in an appropriate way.

It’s not easy, but for those businesses brave enough to stick to their strategy, the holy grail of employee engagement is much more achievable. At Summersault, we produce a bimonthly internal newspaper for National Grid gas distribution colleagues called The Patch. The publication is designed to keep those colleagues working in isolated and remote locations in touch with each other and the wider business.

The Patch takes its cues from the best of the tabloid press and serves up an intriguing mix of humorous people-focused pieces and concise business news.

First-person reportage gives readers a sense of ownership, front-line colleagues actively contribute their own stories to the paper and business messaging is always treated in a creative and jargon-free manner.

The result? Just a year after the launch, 98% of employees regularly read the publication.