Overcoming E-Mail Noise to Get Corporate Communications Front and Center

employee engagement HR Management & Compliance

According to global marketing firm IDC, your employees are receiving, on average, 576 billion e-mails annually! Yes, that’s “billion,” with a “B,” and that’s a lot of e-mails! How can companies successfully develop and deploy a corporate communication strategy to keep their workers informed?


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That’s the focus of a recent research report by IDC and GuideSpark, a communication solutions software company. The report, “Strategic Corporate Communication: 5 Steps to Overcome the Noise and Increase Impact,” features survey findings from 300 organizations in the United States across a broad range of industries. The purpose of the survey was to examine the hypothesis that U.S.-based employees are barraged with corporate communications—and the above statistic proves that point.

The report’s main focus, however, was to uncover how employers can get past all the noise to effectively communicate key strategic information to employees. According to the report, “Strategic corporate communication [SCC] is essential to successfully generating action and achieving business objectives.” Before we get into the strategic information, let’s take a closer look at some of the findings.

Risks and Benefits Associated with SCC

The IDC/GuideSpark report found that there are benefits and risks when it comes to corporate communication. When SCC is successful, businesses are able to promote adoption of strategic programs, accelerate change, improve employee engagement and productivity, and increase enterprise agility/responsiveness.

While the benefits of a successful SCC are great, you must also factor in the risks associated with an unsuccessful SCC, which include reduced alignment and coordination, increased employee frustration, and reduced employee performance from unclear or conflicting expectations. Therefore, it is essential that your corporate communications be successful. But how do you do that?

What Makes SCC Successful?

SCC is a lot like e-mail marketing: It depends on the target audience and the message you’re trying to send. So, what makes SCC successful? IDC identified three characteristics found among successful SCC, which include localization (or the relevance of the message), targeting frequency of messages, and sending a campaign or series of messages.

But wait—there’s more! While these are just the top three that were identified in successful SCC, IDC also identified a few more traits. In order of importance, IDC says these are the most important characteristics:

  • Localization (to ensure relevance)
  • Series of messages to introduce and reinforce
  • Frequency
  • Audience segmentation
  • Call to action
  • Known/respected sender
  • Tone
  • Establish context
  • Appropriate delivery channel choices
  • Timing
  • Limited or no jargon
  • Personalization
  • Sequencing multiple messages
  • Length of e-mail
  • Multiple forms of communication

IDC also discovered that specific communication types had their own characteristics that improved success. “For example, localization and frequency were both important to the success of security and onboarding communications. But a call to action was important for onboarding, but not for security,” says the report.

Going down the list above, how many of these characteristics are apparent in your SCC? If you’ve found that your corporate communications are falling flat with workers, maybe it’s time to adopt some of these traits into your campaigns.

5 Steps to Increase Communication Impact

Let’s face it: With most organizations being forced to go remote, e-mail communication will be relied upon more by companies staying connected with employees, which is why it’s vital that you adopt a strategy to keep your workers engaged and informed.

The IDC report adds, “Information overload is having a negative effect on employees’ ability to understand change, leading to strategic priorities and programs not getting the attention and action they deserve.” It offers five steps you can take to increase the impact of your corporate communications:

  1. Use strategic internal corporate communications to create a shared understanding and motivation.
  2. Make the importance and purpose of the message clear to employees.
  3. Design your communication efforts to reflect the desired actions and audience requirements.
  4. Increase understanding, motivation, and action by creating campaigns that contain a series of messages.
  5. Evaluate each campaign’s success by considering its specific purpose and intended action.

Before you fire off the next companywide e-mail, take the above information into consideration. You’ll discover that by adopting the steps to create a successful SCC, your employees will be more informed and engaged. To learn more about this report or to download the full findings, click here.

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