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Stop broadcasting; target your comms

Do you know the right channel for the right people for the right communications?

Whether you’re in External Communications / Media Relations / PR or Internal Communications, you must have an understanding of which channels reach which parts of your audience, and the impact each channel has.

Surely you know which channels reach the majority of people, yet fail to create massive impact? Surely you know which channels create awareness and which channels create engagement?

When you want people to change their way of working, which channels do you use?

Engagement and action don’t come from generic broadcast comms; yes, some level of ‘acceptance’ can come from repeating yourself endlessly on the intranet, but posting red text and ALL CAPITAL paragraphs every other day isn’t an effective way to create engagement and change.

Target your communications at the right level if you need to create engagement and change. You might start with ‘briefing packs’ for senior managers. You might hold briefing meetings with their managers, and you might have their managers confirm, face to face, the importance of the change / communication.

Management cascades can fail when they’re simply forwarded by email. Management cascades should be backed-up with verbal confirmation, and a check that staff have understood what’s going on. Managers of all levels should seek feedback and queries from their people, and should pass those queries onwards and upwards.

Once the targeted comms have been completed, and the Internal Communications team have checked that it has (y’gotta measure; you can’t just hope things work) then more general and generic comms can go out via the intranet and internal newsletters.

As always, build a Comms Plan so that you know what each channel will do for you, and when. Customise your message for each channel (while remaining consistent) and for each audience.

How do you build engagement? Events? Shows? Team Briefings? Away Days? Posters? Focus Groups?


About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.