Reaching out to employees and imparting a message is one of the main responsibilities of an internal communications unit or department. Communication is very important in any organization, as this can affect employee morale, which can then impact the productivity of the company. Given this scenario, it can be said that the internal communications team plays a critical role in the achievement of company goals, like reaching a sales target or enhancing the reputation of the organization.
While most communication professionals are very much adept at implementing internal communication campaigns, there are still those who tend to overlook the specifics in developing and planning a communication project. Following an internal communication strategy template should help them in having an easier time planning their communication campaign.
An internal communication strategy template can also be referred to by corporate communication neophytes who want to design and implement their own campaigns.
Here is a sample internal communication strategy template that communicators can follow:
1. Identify Objective/Goals
Any campaign, whether it is implemented by the IT team or the HR department, should be driven by certain goals and objective. The case is true for an internal communication campaign.
The objectives or goals provide the backbone to the communication campaign, as everything that would be implemented or done will be towards the achievement of these goals. Objectives should be specific, measurable, relevant, and time-bound.
An example of a communications goal would be to encourage employees to use the company’s Intranet site more often. The communications team can measure the success of the campaign by comparing the number of times the Intranet was accessed before and after the campaign. The team can give itself a timeframe for this campaign, like three or six months.
2. Identify Communications Approach
The communication approach pertains to the way the unit will deliver its strategy towards the attainment of the campaign goals.
One way to plan the communications approach is to identify the target audience, and the channels and methods which will be used to convey the message to them.
For instance, a communications campaign intended to encourage more employees to lose weight may zoom in on overweight workers. With some help from the firm’s medical unit, the internal communications team can do an e-mail blast campaign targeted towards these employees. The e-mail campaign may enumerate the benefits of losing weight, like a more pleasing appearance and lower risks of diseases, to encourage the target audience to start exercising and watching their diet.
Alternatively the campaign may include the publication of articles on the company’s newsletter about the importance of losing weight.
It would also help the team if there is a resource person tapped for the campaign. The company doctor is obviously the best resource person or speaker for a weight loss campaign. The President or CEO, meanwhile, is usually the best speaker when it comes to campaigns designed to boost or improve business operations.
3. Crafting the Message
An internal communication strategy template won’t be complete without crafting the message of the communications campaign. The message should be concise, memorable, and consistent so that the target audience would be able to understand it right away.
Going back to the campaign that seeks to encourage overweight people in the company to shed pounds, an applicable message would be one that underlines the health benefits of weight loss. Other relevant points such as the different ways of losing weight (exercise, healthy diet) may also be stressed in support of the main message.
4. Set a Timeline and Identify Roles
In order to get the campaign going, the communications team should set a timeline. Key dates or events must be identified, like when to publish a story about weight loss on the company newsletter, or when to proceed with the e-mail blast.
Moreover the team should also assign who will be responsible for certain tasks, like writing the stories about weight loss, or who will coordinate with the IT group for the e-mail blast. The team should also be clear as to who will sign off the strategy.
5. Set Effective and Relevant Measurement
As in any program, an internal communication campaign should have measurement indicators to determine any gaps and identify which communication tools/methods are not working towards the fulfillment of the objectives.
The effectiveness of the communications campaign can be measured in different ways, like the conduct of employee surveys that can reveal where the gaps are, and which communication tools and methods proved to be blocks or barriers. Data from these surveys can then be the basis of the team in reviewing the campaign that they conducted, and guide them in future projects.
Internal communication teams and professionals can be guided by this sample internal communication strategy template in developing their own internal communication programs.