Ask a batch of internal communicators what their objectives are and you might get a batch of interesting answers. My educated guess is that most of the time, they’ll be outputs – do “this” many intranet articles on that business unit, do “that” many issues of the newsletter – or they’ll be hopelessly general – support the benefits rollout, add value to the sales process.
To forestall such time-wasters, in the last #icchat, the Twitter-based discussion on internal communications, we focused on internal comms outcomes. We surely can describe what happened in the chat as a chat – there were five participants (see my previous post for the musings that this fact prompted) – and we learned a fair amount. Here’s a rundown.
That was easy. Full agreement that both awareness and alignment were critical outcomes. We’re differentiating those sort of outcomes from business results – it’s the outputs-outtakes-outcomes or outputs-outcomes-business results meme.
How do we enact those communication outcomes?
@BaehrNecessity A1: Publishing stories of employees who exemplify ideal behaviors. #icchat
Chris makes an important point. We need to be “all-in” with our HR colleagues to make these things stick – for some reason, many companies are reluctant to include communication skills in the portfolio of requirements for managers. Yet, research shows that many performance issues are a consequence of poor communication. Communication is a vital part of management.
The second question dealt with one of my major themes – connecting communication outcomes to business results.
The planning process should include end-clients of your internal comms work. Stakeholders include the leaders running the businesses you support, and their goals/objectives need representation in your process. So, too, do the ordinary employees expected to implement.
This is a very tactical view of our work, and Judy’s depression at having everything lumped together tactically is a drag! Hence, Q3:
The ongoing battle between marketing and the rest of us over “control” is so much navel-gazing – many folks are disgusted with the whole process (see our friends at @CommScrum, e.g.) But @BethHarte and the integrated marketing communications people keep pushing the notion forward that marketing is supreme. Even my esteemed colleague at Kent State University, Dr. Bob Batchelor, is a devotee of the concept.
We didn’t solve the issues, but we surfaced a ton – join us when we meet again, May 19, 10 a.m. North American Eastern Time. And, weigh in on your “best time” for #icchat – take the poll: http://twtpoll.com/9xlkbq .