Sharing the right information with the right people at the right time is essential for building your brand, cementing your corporate reputations, having engaged employees with high levels of morale, and ensuring your organization is harmonious with everyone striving towards the same common goals.
As another busy year rolls to a close, it’s time to reflect on the year that was, and whether or not these objectives have been met. What corporate communications challenges were you faced with? How did you deal with them? What worked? What didn’t work? What would you do differently if you had the chance to start again? This reflection can help you start planning for the year ahead.
For corporate communications professionals this is a good opportunity to look at what’s happening across the industry to determine what could be adopted – or removed – from your communications repertoire next year in order to communicate with your external and internal stakeholders efficiently and effectively.
Here are some of the top corporate communications best practices you can incorporate in your workplace in 2020:
1. More mobile oriented employee communications
The way we work is constantly changing and evolving. Not all work is and can be done sitting in an office, on a computer. Workers are on the road. Many work from home or from remote locations. The gig economy means that many companies now rely on outside consultants and contractors to collaborate with in places where traditionally they would have employed someone in-house.
The demographics of the workplace are changing too. It’s estimated Millennials make up 50% of the work force globally, set to be 75% by 2025.
This cohort in particular are tech-savvy and more oriented towards mobile use. So it make sense to incorporate mobile communications in various guises to keep your employees informed this way. This includes optimizing your emails and intranet content for mobile, as well as using the best internal communications tools and apps such as DeskAlerts to connect with your employees who are on the go, wherever they are located.
2. Audio content is on the rise
For many years it seemed that video was king and would be hard to topple. However there has been a reemergence of audio as a preferred method of communications for many people.
The increasing popularity of podcasts and audio books show that many people have a preference for listening to and receiving information this way. This might be on the car stereo while they’re driving, putting headphones on for the bus or train trip to and from work, or just listening to information while working at their desks.
Many people find video content distracting, over-stimulating and hard to keep up with while multitasking, but audio content ticks many boxes.
Instead of a video message from your CEO next time that relies on slides and other visual cues, consider a podcast or other audio file – it may get better traction.
3. Increased authenticity
The term “fake news” has been bandied about a lot over the past few years. People have become increasingly skeptical of content they click on online and the motivations of the person writing it.
Corporate communications are certainly not immune from being perceived in this way. In fact, mistrust of anything resembling propaganda (which is what a lot of public relations material can read like) can alienate your readership.
Whether you’re communicating with an internal or an external audience, it’s important to have authenticity in your communications and to be open, accountable and transparent about the information that is being imparted so as to build and maintain trust.
If people find your brand to be dishonest it will be very hard to overcome that reputation. Internally, this is disastrous for employee morale and staff retention.
4. Increased use of digital tools
Digitization has markedly changed the landscape of just about every industry. While some entire industries have been disrupted to the point of being barely recognizable compared with how they operated traditionally, in many others the digital transformation has extended to the increased use of new technology to make things quicker, easier and better.
For communications professionals, digital tools can help to reach people more quickly and effectively and build more collaborative cultures. Automation and artificial intelligence are helping all industries to become more productive, increasing efficiencies and profitability.
An all-in-one internal communications software solution such as DeskAlerts, for example, can provide many digital channels and ways of communicating with employees in a cost effective way.
5. Data-driven decision making
New data-gathering and analytics functions are a powerful way for communicators to monitor, manage and make adjustments to their communications campaigns.
Before the rise of analytics, communications professionals often had to fly blind, or rely on less reliable feedback mechanisms to determine how effective their communications efforts were.
In 2020, this trend will no do doubt continue to assist communicators to guide their internal and external communications campaigns and measure their impact and effectiveness. The availability of more accurate and immediate data assists corporate communications professionals to devise, deliver, tailor and target their campaigns and evaluate their results.