Tackling information overload in the social age

Last week I attended the fantastic SMiLE London 2015 event  (check out SMiLE’s Storify of the event). These events look at everything social and digital in the world of Internal Communication.

Over 200 internal communicators gathered recently at St. Paul’s etc. venue to hear communicators share their challenges and successes in implementing social and channel strategies that connect and engage employees at their organizations.

While listening to all the communicators share their stories, it struck me that because information can now flow so freely through all the channels within an organization, it has resulted in information overload.

I pulled together tweets from the day that highlight some of the ways communicators are tackling this problem.

1. Don’t just ‘push out’ information

Communicators should not be part of the problem of information overload.

Think about what you are communicating. Don’t just push out everything and expect it to stand out, capture attention or inspire action. Why are you sending it? What is the goal – what behavior are you looking to change – how is the information you are sending enabling employees to act and engage?

This is a great point – does every employee need to receive the same information? Strive to send only timely, targeted and relevant information. Identify audiences that do need to receive information, rather than just a blast across your channels.

2. Make information easier to consume

Our customer the Financial Ombudsman spoke at SMiLE – telling their story around creating communications that engaged with all their employees. Her storytelling really resonated with attendees.  Sally and her team found that short bite-sized stories (with inspiration from a Twitter feed) were more engaging for their internal email newsletter On the Go.

One of the highlights of Sally’s presentation was around the use of videos to convey information that was important, but perhaps not so exciting (e-filing, recycling in the company canteen, etc.) She talked about following the format of Vine – 20 second videos.

How does Sally and her team know it’s working? Because they review their newsletter’s analytics – and take feedback seriously.

3. Use all your channels

No one channel wins says

The really valid point made a number of times during the day: take a multichannel approach.

Whether that is crafting a different message for each channel – or using one channel to drive awareness and adoption of another channel.

Plus, when selecting channels. Always work with your culture – fit the digital platform and plans to culture not the other way around.


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