I thought I would start sharing how I’m incorporating social media into my internal communications piece by piece.
Deciding to start small, I researched how to incorporate a blog into the strategy. I had done this at a previous job, but incorporated it as a communications piece. This time, I took a hard look at the business case and ensured the blog would help the business achieve its goals. This time, the leaders would take turns blogging.
My business case for the blog included the following factors:
- Employees want two-way communication
- Employees are spread out across the globe
- Four generations make up the workforce
- Help the business achieve its goals
Employees want two-way communications: Findings from an employee survey proved that they wanted two-way communications. While town halls and other forums are used, but they aren’t always successful because people are not always keen on asking questions in public venues for a variety of reasons.
Employees are spread out across the globe: As with many corporations, employees work in different countries and time zones. This is one way to encourage interaction and discussion without waiting for a formal opportunity.
Four generations make up the workforce: We are all discussing this topic. The generation entering the workforce uses and has been using social media tools as part of their normal, everyday lives. It is one of their main communication tools, just as my husband lives for his cell phone (he is in sales). A major discussion point is the so-called “generation gap”. One goal is to ensure that even if there is a generation gap, messages and conversations are not missed out on because only one vehicle is used. It takes many vehicles with the same message to reach more of your audience.
Help the business achieve its goals: This is key. We already know that educating and persuading leadership on social media and how to use it is a hurdle. Showing how the blog would be a strong way to engage employees in a less formal way and educate them on the various projects and initiatives that the business as a whole was deploying. If employees understand how the projects will affect them and help them do their jobs so that the business is successful, the idea is that they will be more engaged.
The social media portion was included in the overall communication plan from the beginning. I sat down with each leader and walked them through the plan. When pitching the blog, I took a positive approach, but kept it all about the business. (Getting giddy is not impressive to management.) For the most part, they were skeptical, but agreed to give it a try. In addition, I committed to them that I would measure participation on the blog. I did educate them (and continue to do so) that this a new behavior that is being learned and it’s not going to happen overnight. I’m originally focusing on the number of unique views as well as the number of comments. (Just as in the blogosphere, some posts resonate more than others.) These numbers support the fact that people are reading the posts and are staying up-to-date on what is happening with specific intiatives. And, they don’t have to wait once quarter for an update from a leader.
What thoughts and comments do you have? What would you do differently? What would you add or delete?