Best Practice

Five Employee Communication Tools Pharma Companies Need to Outperform Their Peers

In the highly competitive pharmaceutical industry, defining the company strategy is not a task that is lightly undertaken.

At the highest level, strategic initiatives must be carefully calibrated to promote better outcomes, support regulatory requirements, attract top talent, and deliver shareholder value.

Employee communication strategies must be just as methodical. With razor-thin margins, shifting regulations, and tough competition for market share and talent, keeping employees aligned behind the company strategy is imperative.

This is especially true for multinational firms, which must bridge languages, cultures, expectations, and regulatory requirements. A scattershot approach to engagement—particularly during times of transition—creates the risk of communications fails on a global level.

But there is good news for communicators. As a webinar on internal communications success in the pharma industry revealed, email communications through Poppulo sent to pharma employees saw higher levels of engagement than across other specific verticals. In fact, the average open rate across the 50-plus pharmaceutical companies that Poppulo works with is an astounding 73 percent.

This suggests that pharma employees recognize the value of thoughtfully executed internal communications. But what does it take to achieve this? Here are five tools that should be part of every internal communicator’s toolbox to better target their messaging and campaigns, drive engagement, and help their companies outperform their peers.

Baselining and Survey Tools

How do employees feel about the state of the company or specific initiatives? Are your campaigns having any influence on those opinions?

“You can’t build a targeted campaign if you don’t know what you need to tackle. Poppulo’s benchmarking survey tool can be used to gauge employee understanding of and support for specific company strategies.”

The results provide invaluable insights on which to build your messaging strategy or next campaign.

Likewise, communicators can use the survey function to determine if their campaigns are hitting their targets. Is employee understanding about a topic increasing? Is the campaign promoting the desired behavior change? Regular surveys can provide snapshots of performance that enable you to refine your approach as the situation requires.

Both tools are particularly beneficial during times of disruption or transformation, when trust may be low. By using real-time data on employee sentiments, instead of lagging indicators gleaned from satisfaction surveys, communicators can more nimbly address areas of concern or confusion. It’s a powerful means to rally employees behind the company—and its performance goals.

Dynamic Content

“Let’s be honest — employees are drowning in noise. The answer? Cut through the organizational clutter with communications that are relevant. Easier said than done, right? Not with Poppulo.”

The platform includes a dynamic content feature that enables communicators to tag content based on audience profiles. Dozens or even hundreds of articles can be fed into a single newsletter, but the information will be filtered out based on audience type.

For example, multinational firm Unilever uses the dynamic content feature to tag content based on everything from job functions and levels to geography and language. Of the weekly newsletter’s 100-plus articles, each employee may see only 10 or 12.

It’s entirely possible that employees sitting side by side will receive a newsletter at exactly the same time but with very different content.

This feature not only helps communicators improve the relevancy of content, it also reduces the energy and resources required to assemble and distribute information. Rather than fight for employees’ attention with competing newsletters, communicators can pool their efforts into one newsletter that supports the company’s mission and goals.

Pharmaceutical giant GSK consolidated hundreds of newsletters into one clean format using the dynamic feature content, supporting the company’s goal to reduce noise by 68 percent across the organization.

Social Media Tools

Without the ability to like, comment, and share on posts, social media would be little more than a one-way conversation. Participants would have little incentive to keep checking back in. 

The same holds true for employee communications. In the age of social media, employees expect to interact with content. Poppulo makes it easy to do so. The platform’s social media tools invite employees to like and comment on posts.

As employees do so, communicators—and better yet, company leaders—can contribute to the conversation. It’s a very authentic means to listen to employee feedback and respond in a way that helps shape understanding and opinion. Moreover, it provides yet more information on which to build targeted communications.

Channel Mix Dashboard

Communicators have multiple tools at their disposal for promoting their messaging. And each tool comes with at least a baseline of metrics against which to track performance. But Poppulo provides analysis of how your overall internal channel mix elements—email, intranet, video, and social—are performing in isolation and in concert.

GSK uses this feature to discover where their messaging and campaigns are getting the most play. For example, communicators can see if a campaign published on email performs better than the same campaign published on the intranet. All of these data points are designed to inform and give guidance on future campaign deployment.

Complementing the channel mix dashboard is the Maximize My Reach tool. Maximize My Reach makes it easy to run reports on employees who have not engaged with content on the intranet and to send them a nudge to visit the site. 

Taken together, communicators have so much more than disparate data at their fingertips. They have the guidance to confidently turn insight into informed action.

Segmented Analytics Tools

With Poppulo, communicators can say goodbye to the days of guessing and hoping that communications are hitting their target.

Poppulo segments analytics based on communication performance across your network. You can see who is interacting with your content based on functions, locations, even job titles.

The platform makes it easy to identify your high engagers as well as those who require extra hand-holding. Armed with this information, you can create target communications to gain traction where you most need it.

Digging Deeper

Poppulo enables communicators to dig deeper to track meaningful key performance indicators that support their company’s strategic initiatives. 

No matter the goal—increased performance, reduced turnover, higher employee satisfaction, improved compliance — Poppulo provides the tools communicators need to plan, measure, refine, and report on their communication strategies. This level of intelligence puts communicators and the executives they support in a better position to outperform the competition.

Learn more about the strategies that you can use to align employees behind your company’s initiatives by downloading the IC Industry Success – Pharma webinar.

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