What is the ideal IC platform?

by Laura Sagar – Aug 03, 2020

There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding which platform would be best for your organisation’s internal communications.

From your colleagues’ access to technology, through to your organisation’s values, deciding how to share your message is just as important as its content.

Here’s our guide on how to pick platforms, their different benefits and how to use them together effectively.

What works for your workforce?

One of the first things to consider when picking the best platforms for your messaging is what format will suit your colleagues. If your business is largely made up of white-collar workers who spend a lot of time on their computer, or commuting on public transport, then digital platforms make sense.

On the other hand, if your people are mainly blue-collar then print publications delivered to sites might make more sense. Why? Because printed content can reach places when technology is limited. For example, if mobile use on sites or in factories is restricted for safety reasons, directing communications to digital channels could cause serious issues.

Quick and effective communications

The next factor to think about is what kind of messaging you want to send out. If you are sharing news that needs to be updated frequently, then some form of digital platform is likely to be your best option.

It’s no surprise that the use of digital platforms has increased substantially in 2020. Working from home has made digital communication a necessity and a recent Karian and Box study has revealed that almost a quarter (24%) of the UK workforce are asking leaders if they can continue to work from home after the crisis subsides. But even before the pandemic transformed working habits, digital platforms excelled as an engaging and effective way to communicate with colleagues.

There are many different ways to deliver digital communication: intranet, email, e-newsletters and apps, to name just a few. When messaging is being regularly updated, digital platforms such as intranet articles and e-newsletters are a strong choice. Intranet articles often also allow colleagues to respond, meaning you gain valuable feedback. When communicating with a specific group of people, emails or e-newsletters come out on top, as they allow you to be more selective about who can see your content and messaging.

Adding details

That’s not to say digital platforms are limited to short, newsy snippets of information. You can of course plan in longer pieces and, perhaps more importantly, use video. Whether you use bespoke footage, stock video or animation, videos can be a really effective way of communicating information.

In fact, research indicates that people only remember 20% of what they hear and 30% of what they see, but 70% of what they see and hear. So if you have an important message to share with colleagues, it’s worthwhile considering creating a video that you can share across various digital platforms or screen on sites.

If written content is more appropriate for the messaging you’re delivering, this can be an area where print really comes into its own. While these pieces can of course still be delivered digitally through intranet portals, some digital content such as emailers or e-newsletters can get lost among the sea of digital information people receive daily.

Our own research indicates that 49% of people prefer paper content, while only 28% prefer looking at content on a screen (23% have no preference). These preferences are down to print’s physical attributes. So, if your purpose is to create a feeling of pride in what your organisation is doing, colleagues may feel more connected to this messaging if they see it (or indeed themselves) in print.

Offering depth

If you are trying to share in-depth information, print might again be the answer. Our research also showed that 61% of people find it easier to read longer or complicated text on paper.

But that’s not the only option. Podcasts are an effective and refreshing way to engage colleagues with issues and topics in more depth. By carefully selecting your podcast host, you can add humour and personality. There are already around 5.6 million adults in the UK listening to podcasts – that’s roughly 10% of the adult population. Using an audio-only channel also allows colleagues to consume content while they are on the move and is likely to attract those who are usually harder to reach.

While this is just a starting point, we hope this article has given you some food for thought on what platforms would suit your strategy best. As always, we’d love to hear from you if you’d like to discuss the topic in more depth.

Published Aug 03, 2020

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