Here are the 7 steps you and your team need to take to create, run and use an internal communications audit. From what to do first – to what to do with the results.

Internal communication practitioners also share their own audit experiences, including ConAgra Foods, Con Edison, Granite Services and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in this guide.

Key takeaways:

  • Bring in an external auditor or do it yourself?
  • Step-by-step audit planning tips
  • Who to survey at your organization
  • How to ask the right questions
  • How to assess audit outcomes — and what to do with your results

Doing a top-to-bottom audit of your internal communications and your channels may seem like a daunting task, but the payoff can be big.

An audit provides actionable intelligence that will enable you to improve what you’re doing with the tools you have. You’ll find out where your communications are succeeding and where to invest your time to increase efficiency and impact.

Surveys provide hard data across large groups of employees. But they have to be handled correctly to provide useful conclusions.

Cindy Crescenzo once replaced a consultant who left midway through a project, she says. A partner who was working with her told her not to worry about the internal survey. They had already tried one, and it failed. “We barely had any response,” she recalls being told. She asked to look over the survey anyway. Turns out it had 102 questions.

“No one’s going to fill that out. Of course your response rate is low. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot before you begin.” – Cindy Crescenzo says.

“Instead, use short questionnaires of five to 10 questions, but survey more often. Like a tweet, it should be short and to the point.” – Suggests Ryan Williams

Make sure you get broad representation in surveys and focus groups, says Sean Williams. And secure permissions from all the needed authorities. At Goodyear, a worldwide company, communicators once neglected to get a German unit’s union approval for the survey, so the union told employees not to participate.

Yet when the audit comes out, the first thing people ask in a global company is, “What do my people say? I understand the big picture, I want to know about my plant, my country, my region, the people who are in my business unit,” says Sean Williams of Communication AMMO.

The above is extracted from our best practice guide on 7 steps for a great Internal Communications audit – and how to use the results. Download now to view the full version.