Strategic communication targets success
Corporate communication: The boundaries between internal and external communication have blurred; strategic communications needs to take into account the flow of information, preparing employees to be evangelists, or at least knowledgable representatives of a brand.
Internal communication: Need to reach employees? You should meet them where they live — online, on the phone, on the run. Not only is it important to think and deploy strategically, but it’s also critical to think about the potential recipient’s preferred manner of receiving information — and make sure messages are delivered consistently and contextually across integrated platforms.
Change management: Whether technology driven (a new portal?), business driven (a new partner?), or function driven (a new program?), the challenges of change remain the same: how do you get your target audience to go from here to there? Successful change management programs take all factors and all stakeholders into account, understand and work within the culture and environment, and leverage resources and leaders — toward defined and strategic goals.
Employee engagement: Engaged employees work smarter, grow with the company, and are your organization’s best brand ambassadors. How can you help connect employees with each other, with the business vision and mission, and help give them the tools to make it happen?
Stakeholder engagement: Projects depend on all stakeholders; the most successful projects identify all audiences that may be touched in some way early on, and include them throughout all phases. Stakeholder management is an important component that not only supports engagement, but can also drive change and inform the progress of the project itself.
Culture change: Driving culture change in an organization takes more than snappy videos, beautiful portal sites, targeted email campaigns and engaging activities. To connect with the minds, hearts and souls of your employees so that they join together on your journey, it’s important to understand the big picture and the small details, know what exactly is required from all audiences, and set a road map for the future.
Examples of strategic communications projects
Engage stakeholders and drive adoption of manager resources site
To bring together in one central location all the tools and resources a manager needs to run a team, a major financial services company launched an online tool that would require a significant change in the way a manager works. Engaging stakeholders early not only helped hone the tool’s development, but it also contributed to messaging that encouraged usage.
Drive adoption of collaboration tools
Like many organizations, a large consumer products company implemented a suite of collaboration tools, but found that participation was less than expected. Understanding the different audiences and developing use cases helped drive adoption in targeted and high-value areas. A phased approach to adoption ensures steady growth in tool usage.
Increase engagement and improve recruiting through gamification
An accounting firm wanted to attract candidates for employment who were ideal matches for their unique culture. A Count the Beans game in their website’s careers section poked fun at the traditional bean-counting image of accountants; this subtle way of highlighting the convivial culture generated increased engagement and more qualified job applicants.
Create cultural change through adoption of new technologies
A new HR site for a consumer packaging and paper company required employees and managers to adopt a more self-service approach to many of the traditional human resources tasks. An adoption program drove a cultural change to encourage a site-first response to HR needs. Targeting specific audiences and recognizing their needs, pain points and influencers helped the site succeed.
Generate fast adoption of external sales force tool
Members of pharmaceutical sales forces must be compliant with ever-changing rules and detailed information and a global pharma company developed an iPad application to ensure fast, accurate and timely communication. An adoption program was created to support the change in process, not just for the users of the application, but also for the subject matter experts and content contributors.
Develop adoption plan for HR site implementation
The cultural shift to self-service delivery of many human resources tasks was galvanized by the launch of a new internal HR portal for a specialty chemicals company. A change management and adoption program was developed and implemented to drive usage of the new site. Multiple audiences were targeted, with specific messaging and methods developed to reach them.
Improve awareness of cyber security risks and appropriate actions
When it comes to cyber security, the risks of an uninformed employee population have wide-ranging effects on a global organization. A communications campaign was developed for a consumer-products company to increase awareness of security risks — and to teach all employees how to recognize potential issues, and how to avoid them.