The business world is a noisy place. Information overload is a very real problem, and even the most organised workers find it hard to filter out the essentials from the background clamour. According to new scientific research, the flood of information by the media and other sources has led to a daily “bombing” of the human brain of 23 words per second. This is such a massive volume of information; it could overload even a powerful computer.
This is why we need to work even harder to make sure our internal communications don’t get lost in the general deluge of information. Our modern brains are now wired to ignore most of the communications sent our way. And this means getting our employee’s attention is no longer as simple as firing off a single email.
Enter the need for internal communication campaigns. These multi-faceted campaigns are designed to account for the information overload and get heard above the noise. Messages now need several repetitions if they’re going to be noticed. And if you want to influence behaviour change, you’ll need even more reiterations. In this blog, we look at the factors that make up successful internal communications campaigns and how to implement them into your internal communications strategy.
The Rule of Seven
The marketing rule of seven is one of the oldest in the book, but that doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant. The maxim was developed by the movie industry back in the 1930s. Studios discovered that a certain amount of advertising was needed in order to persuade the public to watch one of their movies.
This rule of seven was then carried over into the marketing world in general, with the principle that it takes an average of seven interactions with a brand before a purchase takes place.
The Rule of 7
Your prospective buyer needs to hear or see your marketing message at least seven times before they buy from you
How does this translate into internal communication campaigns? It means you need a well-defined internal communications plan to map out how you’ll manage to touch your audience at least seven times with your messaging. Without sustained, repeated contact, your odds of getting your message through are pretty slim. And, in fact, with today’s clutter of social media streams, news feeds, and email inboxes, you will probably need to touch them more than seven times in order to get actual results.
The Magic Formula: Frequency + Format
A single message delivered through a single channel is unlikely to do the job. But it’s surprising how many internal communication ideas focus on the delivery of a solitary statement. An internal communications campaign takes a very different approach to the problem. It minimises the risk of messaging getting ignored or filtered out by focusing on the magic formula of frequency and format.
The best internal communications campaigns don’t just focus on the increased frequency of messaging. They also include a range of internal communication channels to deliver the messages. To drive outcomes, you need to build both awareness and understanding.
High message frequency = better employee awareness
Broader channel mix = improved understanding
The internal communication process focuses on achieving one of two objectives: to initiate action or influence change. For some communications, we require immediate action from our workforce, and this calls for high visibility in our messaging strategy. Communicating change requires a slower burn approach, especially when we are aiming to change behaviours, attitudes or workplace culture. This is when longer-term internal communications campaigns come into play.
A campaign approach to internal communications will deliver effectively on both objectives. It will reach the workforce enough times to ensure the message gains cut-through, and it will be delivered in a variety of compelling internal communication methods to make sure the understanding drives action.
Quite simply, repetition through multiple channels gets results. It reinforces your message and achieves cut-through. And there’s research to prove it. A recent Havard business study revealed that managers who communicated their messages multiple times through a variety of media completed their assignments faster and more efficiently. Multi-channel internal communication campaigns are particularly effective because they leverage the unique attributes of each channel to make their mark.
Campaign Structure: Nurture + Validation
The best internal communication campaigns are based on a solid structure. When sending out a series of messages, you need to make sure they build towards the ultimate resolution of action or understanding.
Typically, an internal communications campaign will consist of a series of ‘nurture’ messages, followed by a final ‘validation’ message.
Nurture messages will help to build knowledge and drive behavioural change. They deliver information and build awareness by ‘nurturing’ employees towards understanding. These messages are best distributed across a range of internal communication tools to avoid repetition and maintain interest and variety.
An internal communication platform will offer a variety of communication channels, built-in and ready to go. You could start with a story on your intranet homepage, follow up with an instant notification, reinforce the message on the newsfeed, and then send out a light-hearted poll to maintain interest. A good internal communications app will be able to deliver all these elements without the need to put any new systems in place.
In contrast, validation messages require employees to validate or acknowledge their understanding of the message. These messages are sent at the end of a campaign and help to measure the success of your communications. Monitoring your internal communication metrics lies at the heart of every successful campaign. Unless you know whether your messages are being acted upon, they are a waste of time and effort.
You’ll find that internal communication software offers the ability to deliver, track and measure communication activities, right down to individual users. Using a reliable internal communication platform will ensure your important company messages are delivered in the right way, to the right people, with maximum effect.
Benefits of Internal Communication Campaigns
Rather than relying on single messages, creative internal communication campaigns take your strategy to the next level. They deliver a series of compelling messages across multiple channels to make a real impact in today’s noisy, info-overloaded work environment.
You’ll find that internal communication campaigns offer multiple benefits over the single messaging approach:
- They guarantee your messages are delivered and read
- They cut through workplace noise
- They supply ongoing communications to drive change
- They ensure acknowledgement and acceptance
- They deliver measurable results