Here at the Internal Comms Team, we spend a lot of our time delivering internal communications reviews or audits for clients, recommending a new strategy and plan and supporting them with implementation.
A key theme of our reviews is that with the shift to online ‘pull’ channels such as intranets and enterprise social networks (ESNs) in recent years, people find the weight of information a bit overwhelming.
They have busy working days with lots of demands on their time and they want help in making sense of it all – something that filters things for them and directs them to relevant online content.
With print channels becoming increasingly rare as preferences have changed, we are often recommending the introduction of a regular ‘push’ digital channel – and there are some great tools available.
While we are strictly independent, our favorite is Poppulo which we’ve implemented with a number of clients. It’s been built specifically for internal comms – and here’s why it’s great.
Great look and feel (here’s a sample email that can be totally customized)
The platform has a clean modern feel that reflects current best practice in digital design.
Poppulo takes your brief and designs you a branded template that is right for your organization and the specific channel you want to create – anything from an end of week news roundup to a monthly people stories e-zine, to a regular leaders channel.
Once you’ve approved the design it’s available in your Poppulo account for you to drop in your content for each issue and send, which leads me to the next point….
Easy to use for your IC team
You don’t need specialist design skills – Poppulo does the hard work for you, leaving you to focus on pulling together great content.
Uploading words and images for an edition of a typical channel in our experience takes 2-3 hours once you’ve got used to the system.
If you get stuck there’s a help system and a support team available online and on the phone. At the end of it, with a few clicks, you can deliver to the inboxes of your audience. When they open the email they see a feature rich front page.
Clicking on any of the stories takes them through to the microsite which hosts the ‘inside’ pages. They can quickly move to other stories on the microsite through a left-hand contents menu, or go back to the front page.
This is the killer feature for Poppulo. Measurement is a constant challenge for internal communicators. A daily sync with your organization’s active directory ensures that your email database is always up to date.
The Poppulo dashboard enables you to see who’s opened the email (and who hasn’t – you can resend to them with a couple of clicks!), who’s clicked through to the microsite hosting the inside pages, what were the likes and comments on each article, and so on.
You can run just about any detailed report you want. This is invaluable in helping you plan future content.
A great example for us recently was when employees at one of our clients gave strong feedback to our review that the communication of people changes – joiners, movers, and leavers – was really poor.
So we made this a regular feature in their new e-zine delivered with Poppulo and hey presto, it’s the most popular feature – love it!
A good way to introduce social functionality
If you don’t yet have an ESN like Yammer or Facebook Workplace, or social functionality on your intranet, Poppulo’s social tools are a good way to introduce online social activity into the organization.
Your audience can like articles and comment on them too. If you’re worried about people commenting inappropriately, you can even switch on moderation so that all comments have to be approved before going live.
Finally – it’s affordable. Year one costs can be as little as 8k if you go for the ‘lite’ version for organizations with less than a thousand employees. So if you’re looking to introduce this kind of channel, in our opinion Poppulo is definitely worth a look.