By Smarp's Chairman, Pedro Ros -
The world post-Covid 19 will be defined by significant changes in the way organisations communicate and in how they distribute knowledge, internally and externally. As Sir Martin Sorrell, founder of WPP plc and S4 Capital plc, said in a recent interview, “If you can get people to share knowledge and insight, you have a much more potent organisation.”
An effective, well-directed communication strategy has a major part to play in building long-term, sustainable relationships at all levels. Here are three major considerations for leaders and their communication teams:
1. Remove the line between internal and external communications
Traditionally, internal and external communications have occupied two separate silos, both corporately driven. However, in the new working environment, the voice of employees has become ever more important, especially when communicating externally. Individual employees are closest to clients, and are best placed to talk about their organisations and what they can offer. This shift is already blurring the lines between internal and external communications.
If they are to be true ambassadors for an organisation, employees will need to be more aware of its core purpose and more involved in determining its operational objectives. If leaders succeed in introducing these changes, they will boost employee engagement dramatically, making the external message of the company even more effective.
2. Personalise communication for greater impact
Leadership teams can no longer broadcast the same message throughout their organisations; blanket communication simply doesn’t work any more. People have different information needs depending on their role, their location and, obviously, the language they speak.
The same is true externally. Rather than generic corporate communication, it’s far more effective to craft specific messages, targeted at individual clients and endorsed by people who have earned credibility. Personalised content, delivered by employees who have built relationships with those clients, will become the key to effective communication.
3. It can't be done without technology
The events of recent weeks have accelerated the need for more targeted, flexible and real-time communication where leaders can be sure that their messages, and those of all their employees, will be seen and heard right away, at times and in places that are most convenient for the recipients. In the world of 24-hour news and entertainment, it’s essential to make our messages available on the same basis.
In a world where non-stop communication is all around us and where information overload is routine, the ability to measure the results, in ways that make sense to your organisation, is more important than ever. Technology makes it easy to quantify your efforts, and those of your employees, and to justify your investment in effective, actionable communication.
We are how we communicate
Organisations around the globe have already discovered how the digital revolution can transform their communication with employees, clients and the wider public. Your reputation is too important to leave it to traditional methods.
The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the modernisation of employee communications. Senior leaders are now realizing that internal communications are strategic partners in ensuring business continuity, employee engagement and increased productivity. Business leaders must keep effective communications in the agenda not only during this crisis but into the future.
Pedro Ros, Smarp's Chairman, has 25 years of international experience notably as CEO of TNS (WPP) and CEO of Wilmington plc.