Daniel Lambie, our new head of internal communications consultancy, has spent January with his ear to the industry. He tells us what he learned, and what to expect in IC this year.
Keep focussing on face-to-face
Rachel Miller of All Things IC is singing from the same hymn sheet as us when she says face-to-face will remain at the heart of successful IC. She argues: “In the age of the machine, we need to be more human now more than ever. You cannot beat face-to-face for truly effective interactions.” So while including an AI bot as part of your development plans may seem the trendy thing to do, make sure you’re helping your leaders have as much effective facetime with employees as possible.
The influencers are coming…
The employee app provider Staffbase thinks 2019 is the year we should empower internal influencers. It’s a tried and tested strategy for marketeers. But influencers are a much-neglected asset in IC. Staffbase says: “Influencers help you establish an authentic, human corporate voice through multiple contributors and sharing across channels.” It’s difficult to argue with that. Respected colleagues can give corporate messaging much more authenticity and credibility than the majority of C-suites.
Use mobile. But cut the spam
Social Chorus, another IC app developer, believes (somewhat predictably) that “mobile drives engagement”. Its survey, completed by 840 employees from companies across the world, concluded that: “Workers expect the same experience and quality [as consumer comms] with their company comms.” It says audiences respond better to video, bite-sized content and personalisation. And they don’t like to be spammed. But then, who does?
Stick to the point
Poppulo asked users of its software platform to share their thoughts, and recurring themes included IC professionals repositioning themselves as strategic advisors and the rise of personalisation. Plus, as Chelsea Moore, editor-in-chief of Your GSK News, argues: “Employees want their news to be even more bite-size – think 60-second videos, BuzzFeed-style listicles, animated gifs, and even memes.” And, she adds, it should be “hyper-relevant”.
It’s finally time to embrace the digital workplace
“Doing nothing from fear of the complexity of implementing digital technology could permanently damage a company’s ability to succeed in the future,” say intranet provider Unily, who warn 2019 is the year companies need to embrace the digital workplace. “If a business wants to grow in 2019, then it’s vital to keep up to date with digital technology.”
Our two pence worth
Our predication is that 2019 will be the year that internal communications becomes universally recognised as a key driver of business success. And we’re hoping our Internal Comms Podcast might have something to do with it.
What do you think will be important for IC in 2019? We’d love to hear your views.