How you can develop a dedicated internal comms function
— September 28th, 2017
Forward thinking internal communicators are increasingly asking themselves how they can prove real business value and they are looking to technology to help them get there.
Unfortunately, most tools and platforms they are using are simply not built for purpose. For example, I’ve seen so many external marketing platforms being used to send emails to employees. How crazy is it that a marketing platform can get access to all your employee's emails? The security parameters are important, obviously, but also, issues like employees being able to unsubscribe from company-wide emails is certainly not ideal.
Would HR settle for a tool that is built for Marketing or vice versa? I doubt it very much. But, that said, it’s not difficult to see why some would argue that a dedicated IC platform is not necessary. After all, how many organizations have a dedicated IC function or department in the first place? Ownership of internal comms is far too often stuck somewhere between the HR and Marketing department. However, more and more IC- specific job roles are appearing in organizations that recognize the need to elevate the function, and the value effective employee communications can bring to the organization.
Anybody familiar with Poppulo will know that our software platform has been built and designed specifically for internal communications. But while we focus and specialize in the internal comms industry, many organizations are using tools for IC that are simply not built for that purpose.
That purpose is to publish and distribute communications, and then report on them to see if the message has resonated with the right people, so that time is not wasted in producing communications that nobody cares about.
And therein lies the precise problem, comms teams often blast out emails to employees and have absolutely no insight into who reads them, who clicks on what, time spent reading, etc. ….and the list goes on.
I’ve read many internal communications surveys in recent times, and a recurring challenge is how to save time creating your internal communications? It’s difficult to accept, but yet it’s no surprise, that something so basic could still be presenting a challenge for so many people.
Content creation takes time, but quality content will always have an appeal. The problem is that content creators are too often relying on their own judgement to decide what quality content is and what they think will work.
That’s the problem, it’s what they think, it’s too subjective.
How much consideration goes into whether employees need and want to know certain information? Or break it down further. Which employees in which department or location are more interested in certain communications? So instead of wasting valuable resources creating and sending communications employees don’t want to read, you need to use the available data to create what works, saving you time, reducing comms overload and helping create an environment for a more engaged workforce. Easy, right? Well, not quite.
Data is an unnecessarily difficult issue for many internal communications teams. For some, no data is available, others have spreadsheets that Einstein would struggle to make sense of, but the most common is that internal comms don’t own the reporting data.
So they have to, for example, go to IT to get Google Analytics reports, and there are a couple of issues around this. Such as the time it takes to turn reports around, because you can bet that the request is not a priority for IT. On top of that, it can be questionable how much care and attention IT might give the reports, given all the other demands on their time. It’s a good bet that there won’t be a whole lotta reporting love in the IT air.
As a result, it’s understandable how internal communications teams might be underwhelmed, if not downright skeptical of the reports they eventually get. We’ve come across so many cases of internal communicators using reports they doubt or don’t believe, so their reporting suffers greatly from lack of credibility. Does any of this sound all too familiar for you?
Thankfully, Poppulo allows you wave goodbye to all that ineffectual, time-wasting, demoralizing nonsense. The analytics capabilities in the Poppulo platform gives internal communicators control over their reporting data - data available in a timely manner and data/metrics that raise the bar in terms of reporting and credibility.
Imagine going to your senior manager or CEO with data that you can fully trust, showing, for example, that 40% of employees are disengaged with important company updates, which the CEO has already taken time to craft. Sometimes CEOs and senior leaders can be naïve in thinking their company is performing brilliantly because the annual financial report says so, but if you prove the huge potential in effective employee comms, senior leaders will take note and act, because it ultimately improves the bottom line.
Poppulo is built from the ground up, specifically focusing on the challenges that internal communicators face. We work closely with our customers, including many of the world’s most successful corporations, such as Nestlé, Unilever, LinkedIn and Rolls-Royce, to shape and continuously improve our suite of products, to deliver the ultimate internal comms solution.
While our product has primarily focused on email-focused communication, our platform also connects with SharePoint and Yammer to report on all your internal comms channels while also integrating with most HR systems. Poppulo analytics provides powerful data from across multiple channels, email, intranet, video and ESN.
Increasingly, internal comms teams are finding the solution to that old chestnut: how to reduce the amount of emails sent to employees. That’s where Poppulo Analytics comes in and is so valuable. You know which content works and where it works.
Take the example of a CEO global update. You can quickly and easily see from the analytics that when the last CEO update was sent by email, there was an unacceptable rate of non-opens in a State, country or region. The data also shows that people there are more active on and engaged with Yammer over email, so for the next CEO update you can tailor your channel send accordingly.
That’s the joy of Poppulo, helping you reach the right people, with the right content, through the right channel or channels, at the right time.
We also produce excellent content. Read our whitepaper on delivering effective internal communications.
And as many of you take your first steps into establishing a full function for internal comms, Poppulo is here to help and support you. Our success team knows and loves IC, and always goes the extra mile, supporting, consulting and elevating this key strategic function. If you’re ready to find out how the world's leading internal communication can help you, we’d be delighted to assist you. Contact us here.