Whether you’re communicating internally or externally it’s important to make sure your message is being heard. Prior to joining theEMPLOYEEapp team, I spent the first part of my career as a publicist in NYC, where I leveraged the following internal communication skills on behalf of my clients. And so many of those foundational tactics in PR can apply to an internal comms professional.
Here are my three top tips on how to communicate effectively and cut through the noise:
1. Grab Attention Up Front. Either from the subject of an internal email or the title of an external press release, make sure you have an attention-grabbing header. You want something that will intrigue readers and leave them wanting to know more. Click-bait really does work and can be applied in a company setting.
So, say it’s open enrollment season and you’re sending an email or an app post to let employees know it’s time to enroll. Instead of using the title “Open Enrollment Update” you might say, “T-Minus 30 Days Until Open Enrollment Closes” and continue using that countdown to drive urgency. Or you might say, “Got benefits? Click here to learn more about your options.”
In addition to the title, you can capture readers’ attention by adding in images or graphics that are visually appealing. Your marketing team is already utilizing images in your company’s social channels, why not use them in your internal comms channels as well?
2. Be Short and to the Point. Time spent reading emails is just an average of 13.4 seconds (Litmus), making it incredibly important to keep emails short and simple. Stick to listicles or bullet points in your emails so your readers can scan the most important points. And infographics are your friend since the human eye gravitates towards graphic-centric content. But if you’re sending a message from your CEO who prefers paragraph style communication, use the underline or bold text formatting features so clients or employees don’t miss those key points of emphasis. And try to break up the paragraphs so they don’t look too long on the page. Nothing turns away a reader faster than seeing a wall of text!
3. Stay on Brand. Be concise and consistent with your brand message whether you are communicating externally or internally. As important as it is for customers to know your brand message, it’s even more important for your employees to know what you stand for, as they are the best sellers of your brand. In the internal comms world, your brand is your company’s Purpose, Mission, Values, and Vision. And we know that more and more employees care about what a company stands for and how their work contributes to the whole. Use language of your mission statement or core values within your regularly cadenced internal and external comms. After a while, these words and statements will blend into regular conversation and behavior among your employees both inside and outside of work.
Engagement, consistency, and clarity can help you cut through all the noise to grab and keep your audience’s attention. Do you have other strategies or tips for increasing internal comms engagement? Let us know on Twitter by using #internalcommstips.
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