Creating a connection through digital media is a challenge, and giving employees access to information is key. But there is more to internal communications than channel management.
A large piece of the puzzle is creating an executive presence and executing large corporate events and telling a cohesive story in that environment.
Your messaging matters. No group needs authentic messaging more than your internal audiences. If you find the right message that aligns with your purpose, mission, values and corporate incentives, you can truly create culture, which makes magic, like we did with our internal fundraising campaigns at Fifth Group and a finally harness the power one of your organizations most worthy resources.
Every year at the IHG Owners and Investors Conference where we’d host thousands of franchisees to sell them on the next round of innovation for their brands. We’d produce slick engagement videos and results-oriented interactive learning sessions. This was always one of the great challenges for the brand teams, and I’m proud to say we delivered results. The last three conferences I produced at IHG (three different sessions for different leaders supporting different brands) received the highest scores three consecutive years.
But messaging, charisma and creative will only get you so far. You need the channels to support your people and help you deliver objectives. There are so many choices for teams on how to communicate and where to store important information. From their inbox to shared cloud-based storage, more choices and better tech doesn’t automatically equal better outcomes.
When we launched the IHG Merlin global intranet and enhanced IHG Mail as part of the global Holiday Inn repositioning, I facilitated the launch of IHG’s first ever global intranet and managed, redesigned and relaunched IHG’s hotel relationship management program, IHGMail.
If you have an hour to fix a problem, spend 55 minutes on the problem. I love building products for internal audiences. Everyone wants to start with tech. “We need an app!” they say, but in the world of strategy, tech comes last. That way, you’ve built a solution rather than just implementing a technology. There is a big difference and its usually results. With Merlin we connected six continents and hundreds of thousands of colleagues increasing readership and employee engagement over five percent. Plus, launched three rounds of global platform enhancements in the first six months of managing the program with the insights we gleaned from user behavior.
Our new regional intranet also included IHG digital firsts like a C-Suite video blog series, an internal news aggregation website, real-time hotel performance embedded dashboards and private internal communities for the global company’s first Social Media Ambassador Program.