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IC industry ‘not using mobile in spite of trends elsewhere’

Emma HanleyEmma Hanley·
internal communications survey

Newsweaver’s internal communications survey ‘Inside IC Survey 2016‘ has shown that the use of mobile by internal communicators is much lower than expected.

Almost half of all email opens occurred on mobile phones in 2015, according to a survey by Adestra.

That fact represents a major change in the way emails are received, so we would naturally expect to see it reflected in the internal communications industry.

Surprisingly, the opposite is true. It’s clear that the use of mobile communication in the IC industry is extremely limited. In fact, more than 70% of respondents to Newsweaver’s Inside IC 2016 survey admitted to not using mobile at all. And only two in ten have either mobile friendly intranet, or company apps for mobiles.

Where has it gone wrong for mobile internal communications?

“We would love a way to access our intranet and news via mobile–for all employees” – Survey Participant

Mobile is certainly high on the wish list of communicators, but issues such as budgets, accessibility (especially for organizations with BYOD policies in place), IT implementation and having a clearly defined purpose have hindered its adoption.

“You may clearly see the benefits of an internal comms app, but what about your colleagues and other departments? Think about who may get involved in the project (IT, Operations, Finance. etc) and how the bigger picture of the app affects them and their objectives,” says Ciara O’Keeffe of employee app company StaffConnect.

“For example, is it providing a method to drive innovation? This could be an important goal for IT or Operations, who could otherwise become stoppers to the project. Get these departments input and involvement early, ensuring you relay the benefits which affect them.”

Using Intranet and Email on Mobile

More and more employees are working remotely, accessing company information from outside the organization to do their job. The most common method of mobile communications with employees is an email delivered to a mobile device. Responsive or mobile ready email templates ensure that your email appears as intended on any mobile device.

Responsive email design allows an email to respond in real time to the screen size on which it is being viewed. For example, if you’re viewing on an iPhone, the email will automatically resize to that particular model’s screen size. It’s used to provide an optimised email user experience across a range of devices – from desktop to tablet to mobile.

But if you are linking your internal email communications to articles on your intranet, you also need to ensure that your intranet is both accessible and mobile optimized.

Developing an intranet with responsive design is no different to developing a responsive website. To understand what content and structure is needed, you have to know what employees need.  Using your intranet metrics, you will be able to see how many visitors your intranet is currently getting from mobile, and from what types of devices. You can also survey those non-desk based or remote workers that typically access your organization’s intranet from mobile devices.

The journey doesn’t stop there. You will need a mobile strategy, outlining how and for what purpose you will use your mobile optimized channels.  What mobile specific content will you create? Will you focus more on video or imagery than text to convey your message?  At a minimum, you will need to reassess your content structure and length and see if it works for a mobile audience.

Once you have a mobile email template and mobile intranet in place, then measurement is key to driving and sustaining adoption. See how many employees open your emails, and whether they click through. Check the bounce rate of your mobile optimized intranet site vs the previous version. Has there been an improvement in time on page, and the flow of visits from one page to another?

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