In my last blog I showed how new media companies (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) have grown their company values 10x faster than old media companies (CBS Television,
Houghton Mifflin). You can use the same concepts in your business to do the same with your internal communications.
These new companies have several advantages over their old counterparts, including not having the rigid structures to deal with like constructing broadcast towers and waiting for consumers to go out and buy expensive new TVs. And perhaps the bigger advantage: the new companies don’t have to create content, their customers do it for them. For free.
Your internal communications are probably built on the old model. Your company built the infrastructure of bulletin boards, email and digital signage. And there’s likely a team that’s responsible for producing content, typically made up of Word & Excel docs, PPTs, videos, and PDFs. Sound familiar?
Well the tools that are being used by the new media companies are available to you, too. They are social media, the internet and employee smartphones. You can combine their use to create content for your internal communications network with little or no additional cost. Some examples:
Ask employees to send in photos and short text about a recent vacation or dinner out with people from their department. You may be able to post them it as-is, or massage a bit with PowerPoint and post.
You can do the same with photos of pets, children, grandchildren, etc. This is the type of stuff people share on Facebook, and we know they like creating it and others like reading it.
Create a Facebook page specifically for employee-related items like these and forward the best items to your digital signage. If you have a sales force, create a page for them to send in photos of customers using your products, and interesting landmarks around them, particularly if their territories are in other parts of the country or world.
Start a dedicated Twitter feed for best-practice safety/quality/productivity ideas and post the best. If you need to boost the number of submissions, reward those whose got picked with a small gift like a coffee coupon.
The idea is to incentivize your employees to want to create the content. Every workplace has its own issues and culture, so think of what business and HR-related subjects are most interesting to your employees, and then get them going.
Not only will this lighten the burden of your content team, but the content will probably be more engaging, heightening the effectiveness and readership of the other content that you and your team still need to post.