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Email: Still the preferred channel for driving change, but for how long?

Emma HanleyEmma Hanley·

The results are in; the votes have been counted and verified, and the winner of the best way of driving change in organizations is… email.

That’s according to the interim results of Newsweaver’s recent Inside IC survey on the Internal Communications industry, conducted with Ragan. Twice as many people rated email as the most effective channel for driving change or getting a response versus the next most effective: Leadership Town Hall meetings.

What may be even more surprising is that this fact hasn’t changed since 2014.

In spite of advances in video technology, digital signage, enterprise social networks and enterprise apps, internal communicators still rate email as the most effective channel for driving change and getting a response from your target audience.

And they rated it twice as effective as Town Hall meetings.

Lets just say that again: internal communicators find sending an email is twice as effective as bringing employees into a room and having the CEO stand up and tell them something directly.

WOW! There must be some phenomenal emails doing the rounds, am I right?

Well, some of you are Newsweaver customers and so of course you do have phenomenally engaging emails. (I couldn’t resist that one.)

Email is an extremely powerful tool. Emails are cost efficient, easy to get to grips with, and almost everyone has access to them. Plus, people are addicted to checking them and feel the need to respond almost immediately, no matter what hour of the day or night.

However, as Peter Parker’s uncle said: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

It is my opinion that ownership of an email address of every employee in your company is a great responsibility. Governance, careful planning and a respect for the audience is needed in order to avoid overload and diluting impact.

Of course, I know you don’t need to be told that, but perhaps senior leaders do? Are you still being asked to just send out emails ad hoc instead of driving your communications plan? Are more than 30% of your communications unplanned?

Let me put another theory out there to see what you think.

What if the reason internal communicators say that email is the most effective channel isn’t that the emails are exceptionally good?

What if we are just good at measuring email opens and click rates? What if the reason communications professionals don’t think other channels are good change drivers is because you can’t measure or prove what’s happening with your other channels? And, because you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it?

What if the reason you get a better response rate from email is because employees can’t or won’t respond on other public channels like Town Halls, enterprise social networks and intranets?

Wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing if you could measure the impact of your change communications across all your channels and get a picture of how employees felt before and after your communications campaign?

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could find out what channels your employees really liked using, and segment that by location, department, job function?

You crazy dreamer I hear you say. I don’t have those kind of resources or that kind of time! Are you having a laugh?

Let me introduce you to the amazing Newsweaver Cross-Channel Analytics. Cross-Channel Analytics enables you to measure employee interaction with your campaign across primary digital channels – intranet, ESN, video and email and segment in a way that makes sense for your organization, eg. job title, country, department, age.

And when you do, come back and tell me if email is still number one for driving change.

Register here to get immediate access the infographic containing the interim findings from the Inside IC survey and sign up for the full survey report.


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