When you need to communicate with your team, you need to ensure those internal communications are clear and compelling. Whether it's a Sales Meeting, Town Hall, an All-Hands meeting, or just an important in-house corporate video, you want to ensure you get your audience paying attention and retaining the messaging that matters.
Depending on your format, the tactical execution may vary, but the fundamentals should be consistent. Ensure you reach your audience, engage and inform them, and deliver that information in a way that it will be useful and memorable.
Your first step in effective internal communications is always content development. Saying the right things to the right people in the right way is critical. But for this discussion, we’ll assume that your communications content is well developed and the following key tactics will focus on your roll-out. Here are five tactics to utilize.
- Use webcasting to extend your meeting reach. In a perfect world, everyone who you want to speak to would be right there in the conference room with you. We know this is rarely possible, and excluding important associates in your company is just unacceptable. Typically, conference calls and WebEx screen shares are the tactic of choice on a daily basis, but often times you need a stronger and more interactive method. Webcasting (aka livestreaming) is a way of engaging multiple locations across multiple platforms. Today’s media streams are designed to facilitate video, live chat, downloads and archiving for attendees assembled in conference rooms, desktop computers and mobile devices.
- Use design to reinforce branding and messaging. You’ve heard the phrase “live the brand,” right? That means that your brand presence should be present in all you do, both internally and externally. So, put your message forward in the context of your brand. That may mean having a branded backdrop for your talking-head video, branded lower-thirds titles and simply colors that reflect the brand of your company. Your PowerPoint slides are only one example of the importance of brand presence in your message. The company brand is a big part of the company culture, so consider this a critical component in all communications.
- Incorporate video to enhance the message. There you are, at the lectern with your PowerPoint clicker in hand. You’re well prepared and you might even be a smooth presenter capable of capturing the room with ease…or you might be like the rest of us. You’ll need help from your best friend: Video.Having a pre-designed video can breathe life into your presentation while bringing diversity to the tone and tempo of your talk, supporting and punctuating the topics you want to highlight. Depending on your time and resources prior to your meeting or media release, you may consider a short video. One can spice up your presentations and add an important alternate voice to your content.
One highly effective method in this regard is the use of animation. Trendy explainer videos that break down complex concepts into simple and amusing animation art are one of the top trending techniques in media communications today.
- Tear down the wall. It’s called the fourth wall, and it is between you and your audience. It may be live in the room or virtually between you and your remote audience. And there is only one way to break through it: talk to your audience and not at them.Make your audience feel like it was important that they attended this communication. Ask questions and acknowledge information sources from the field. Internal communications are no different from any human communications, and they work best when they are two-sided. Ask questions, read answers and bring dialogue to your event. Look out into the audience or into the camera and realize that those are people out there. You need them to tune in and participate.
- Quality is king. One thing that can pull the rug out from under your internal communication is quality. If the quality is low, the message struggles to reach the audience and the audience struggles to receive the message.Take the time to consider what you can do to increase the quality of your site and sounds. Make sure your content is bold and legible, your video is crisp and well-lit and your sound is clear and audible. Don’t make your audience strain to understand what you are saying because at the end of a low quality experience. You’ll be leaving them with a low quality perception of you.
If you follow these five tactics, you'll ensure livelier, more memorable internal communications, which should translate to fewer crossed wires and more engaged employees. If you have questions about how to achieve better internal communications, or simply need help, don't hesitate to contact us!