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In a world filled with distractions, the challenge of capturing employee attention and channeling it into focused action has arguably never been greater.  

Leaning in on simplistic platitudes like “you have fifteen minutes a day of employee attention for internal communication” isn’t going to cut it.

Instead, here are three bold ideas that can help you make a big difference in the coming year:

  1. Stop thinking of your employees as a single audience

    The biggest mistake I see organizations – and internal communication pros – make is their insistence on delivering messages to all employees, even when they are relevant to only a few. 

    This contributes massively to the continuing feeling of “information overload”, and also leads to a dumbing-down of critical information in order to make it understandable to those for whom it is irrelevant.

    Like when a Project Management Office insists on “informing all stakeholders” and ships out jargon-filled emails or campy videos that entertain no one. Particularly when it’s possible to identify the relevant employees, put them on a much-smaller distribution list, and deliver those messages only to the people on that list.

    If you want to learn more about strategies for targeting messages or platforms that can help you do it with minimal effort, let’s have a conversation.

  2. Take ownership of your organization’s priorities

    Internal communication pros are uniquely positioned to help their organizations focus on their business priorities by making them crystal clear, by demonstrating why they are important, and by illustrating which activities are more important than others. 

    By using some basic measurement techniques – like asking a single open-ended question – you can  illustrate the difference you are making towards sharpening focus on business priorities, and reducing wasted effort.

    Here’s an article that explains how to avoid common mistakes around measurement.

  3. Stop isolating yourself

    Internal Comms pros rarely have a group of peers within their organizations to learn with, bounce ideas off, or supply them with proven and actionable solutions. This makes it difficult for them to challenge half-baked orders coming from above, and leaves them spending endless hours “reinventing the wheel” to address easily-fixed problems.

    There is no shortage of networks and communities to get involved with that can address the crippling nature of professional isolation.  Join IABC. Join CSCE.  Take part in online groups like ICology. Follow and connect with #WeLeadComms honorees. And, if you’re really ambitious, engage me directly as your sparring partner.

So, in 2024, you have the opportunity to:

  • Target messages only to those for whom they are relevant

  • Measure the extent to which you are making a difference for your organization

  • Make sure you have access to new ideas and moral support.

“Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” – Goethe.


#InternalComms #InternalCommunication #Strategy #StrategicLeadership #CommunicationLeadership @IABC @ICology @Centre For Strategic Communication Excellence. 

 

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Mike Klein

Mike Klein is Principal of Changing The Terms, a consultancy focused on internal, change and social communication. Mike has worked with organizations in the US and Europe for more than 20 years on pressing strategic communication challenges, and is a prolific writer and commentator on communication strategy topics. Mike is also the Founder of #WeLeadComms, an initiative to drive open recognition and in the communication profession. He holds an MBA from London Business School, and is a former US political consultant.

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2 Responses

  1. #2 is everything! I often quote Rachel Miller’s phrase, ‘It’s my business to know the business!’. Thanks for your continued thought leadership for the profession Mike!

  2. This is a great article and so relevant for someone like me, who is new to communications. Having worked at a large organization for many years I cannot tell you how many times I would get internal messages and announcements that had nothing to do with me! Seems like a practical matter to send out targeted messages (especially at a big company), but the “one size fits all” approach is the path of least resistance. Thanks for the information, and I’ll have to work my way up to be your “sparring partner”!

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