Shaken not stirred

It's all about the communications mix!

Unequity Blog

Our mission: Successful corporate communication

As communications experts, Unequity is always focused on finding out which parameters influenece the effectiveness of specific campaigns. The following two reports have (once again) inspired me to explore this important question.

A friend wo works as an executive assistant once told me she “prefers to avoid the topic of digitalisation”, but she recently raved about a virtual event she had organised for a few hundred people. Everyone there was thrilled, and not just with the content. They were also impressed by the technial quality and now my friend is planning more virtual conferences ans meetings. Long live digital communications!

Another contact told me how annoyed he has gotten with all Team, Zoom and other video meetings he has to attend. He´s geeting more and more emails, and the company intranet is bursting with offers and information that is only marginally relevant to work. Now he wants a brochure that he can touch and read without looking at a display. Long live print communications!

Two people, two employees, two different impressions on the same topic. So let’s ask ourselves again how we can make in-house communications successful. Can we conclude from these experiences that the personal preferences of employees should play an important role in the brainstorming phase? In other words, whether they prefer “print or
digital”, “lots of text or minimal text”, “shaken or stirred”? The answer is: First and foremost, we should know these preferences along with as many other facts about the staff as possible. For example, while one person sits in front of a computer all day at his or her workplace, the other may have only intermittent or no computeraccess at all. So if we have a diverse workforce in this regard, we absolutely have to take this into account.

Cast a wide net or drill down?

The topic could just as easily be called “generic advertising vs. targeting”. Many of us grew up with classic big advertising campaigns for cars, cigarettes or soft drinks, where the goal was to hit the lowest common denominator of the broadest possible universal target group. Today, algorithms recognise and even steer the needs of many small individual target groups, and advertising hits recipient wishes with increasing precision.

This principle of modern product advertising also applies to internal corporate communications.

The more precisely a target group is known in terms of their user behavior and expectations, and the more precisely the intention is defined, the more clearly information and messages can be prepared and formulated – and the more effective they are.

Effective employee communications are target group-specific

Employees themselves also have clear expectations of what makes internal communications successful. They want relevant information with a clearly recognisable benefit, presented in such a way that a call-to-action or other options are quickly identified and understood.

In addition, the content should be communicated in a way that is as personal as possible, whether digital or analogue.

Today, many companies have recognised that their employees – as human capital – are a main driver of the company’s success. Nevertheless, reality shows us that people are astonished when the workforce is also to be treated that way. One helpful mental game is to consider employees “internal premium customers”. What is the right approach to motivate them to give their best every day, to stay with the company as long as possible and to act as ambassadors for the company as an employer as well as for the brands and products to the outside world?

A professional communications campaign takes into account the individual needs of the recipients and has a demonstrable and lasting effect.

HR data plays a decisive role

As with successful modern product advertising, the key here lies in addressing the target group or individual. A brand campaign, for example, starts with market research or algorithms to identify customer preferences and tailor the measures precisely to them. Our advantage in internal company communications: We already know the specifics of our “customers” (at least in theory). This makes the central HR department’s knowledge of the workforce a fundamental criterion. But what does that look like in reality? Do we really have comprehensive knowledge or is the existing data rather rudimentary? Which systems manage the data and how up-to-date is the information we have?

Based on the data situation assessment we can decide whether and how target groups can be segmented, whether personalised communication with individual employees is feasible at all and by what means and in what way.

Further knowledge about individual CVs and phases also helps to more precisely define the appropriate communication measures. In which professional or private situation does our information reach the recipient? What details are known? If we know, for example, that Mr Huber has just become a father or Ms Lauter wants to reduce her working hours to look after family members, we can place relevant information and offers in the campaign and steer it through the right channels to reach the right recipients at the right time. These two examples already clearly show how important this is, especially in the area of total rewards and benefits communication.

In addition, a number of other factors play an important role in strategic communications planning: technical possibilities, existing and active corporate culture, company strategies and, last but not least, available budgets.

We love complex tasks

After all of that, results can still be completely different than expected: an evaluation of the data, for example, might show that the level of knowledge among employees with regard to company benefits is so low that a broad basic communication of existing offers should first take place before individual measures are specifically communicated. In that case, internal communications are complex and require good preparation, extensive expertise and experience.

Would you like to find out how all of these relevant factors can be brought together in the most effective way? Then feel free to contact us [without obligation]! We love taking an in-depth look at complex topics, defining target groups and individually adapting and steering the resulting communications measures. Our claim: Optimal communication can make your project a success – for the company and the staff!

Mission accomplished. Now here’s to a perfectly mixed martini – shaken or stirred.