I’m super happy to share the second part of our strategy talk about internal corporate communication strategy. With this interview part, we focused on today’s shortcomings many companies have in the field of corporate communication and related strategy. However, I also provide very practical advice on how to improve.

Corporate Communication Stratey

I do hope the strategy talk provides value and, as always, would love to get your feedback and opinion.

Enjoy!

Interviewer: Let’s directly get down to business, Benjamin. What’s wrong with today’s internal corporate communication strategy?

Benjamin: In my opinion, companies —or internal communication departments— are making a fundamental mistake. Most of them haven’t understood the era we live in and this massive cultural change in communication in recent years. On the contrary, they prefer to handle internal corporate communication as it is 1997.

Interviewer: What do you mean exactly?

Benjamin: First and foremost, the way we communicate and consume information has changed completely — and I really mean entirely. 180 degree. And from my point of view, most companies haven’t kept up with that development. I give you two examples to make it tangible and provide value to the readers. First, when was the last time you sent out an email in your private life?

Interviewer: Not sure, probably last month?

Benjamin: Exactly. Email is simply no longer the tool of our choice — at least for most types of communication. Of course —from time to time— you have to write an email. However, usually, we stick to other types of communication. Communication via social media, chats, or very contextual communication means liking, sharing, and commenting on social media. And by the way, people often oversee that liking, sharing, and commenting is about communication. Nonetheless, in business life, and with regard to corporate communication in particular, email still —predominantly— is the way how communication happens. Another question: How do you keep yourself up-to-date with news and information?

Interviewer: I check my news apps on my smartphone or social media channels. And of course, I get those nice push update on my mobile.

Benjamin: 100 percent. The vast majority of people get their news, their information, their updates on the smartphone. Again, let’s take a look at business life. Most companies still haven’t made that step. They are still relying on outdated tools —for example, the intranet— and try to adopt that to the smartphone. That doesn’t work.

Read the first part of this interview: Strategy Talk: The ROI Of Employee Communication.

Interviewer: Moving away from technological aspects. What do you think is the biggest issue with internal corporate communication and related strategy nowadays?

Benjamin: I think that the most significant part of companies has the wrong goals for internal corporate communication. When I discuss corporate communication strategies with companies, way too often, it is —solely— linked to informing employees. However, the world has changed. Particularly concerning COVID-19, companies face entirely new challenges—the office as a place to motivate, create knowledge or insights, and communicate lost relevance. Therefore, companies have to broaden their scope to these aspects. And subsequently, their corporate communication strategies have to incorporate this “new normal” and the resulting challenges.

Interviewer: So what’s your advice when it comes to motivation and creating insights or knowledge.

Benjamin: This —again— is about technological solutions. As already mentioned, I am a massive advocate of mobile approaches. A considerable portion of our lives happens on the smartphone. Therefore, companies have to utilize mobile solutions. And by the way, I believe that mobile solutions offer so many possibilities many companies could only dream about some years ago.

Interviewer: What possibilities do you have in mind?

Benjamin: Contrary to traditional, technological, or mobile approaches —first and foremost— offer scaled and personalized concepts. First, you can create an endless amount of content from internal and external sources and deliver it very personalized to your employees. This is so much more efficient compared to traditional approaches. Same accounts for feedback. A mobile app that lets your employees like, share, and comment content creates a source for feedback that has never existed before. All you have to do is to analyze the social activities. And by the way, this can happen on a very detailed level. I love the phrase “feedback-at-scale” in that context.

Interviewer: But why do so many companies leave that opportunity on the table and continue with their established corporate communication strategy?

Benjamin: Because it is a huge change — a cultural change. And we all know changes are tough to implement. Many companies have the conviction that today’s corporate communication strategy work. Email works. Intranet works. And they prefer to invest in overpriced email and intranet solutions instead of exploring new possibilities. For me, it is super-evident that this is the only way to go. For me, investing in traditional technologies feels like this guy who bought 8000 horses right before the car broke through. And second, companies tend to overthink things. They create strategies, build business cases, and so on — instead of just executing.

Read the first part of this interview: Strategy Talk: The ROI Of Employee Communication.

Interviewer: What’s the risk?

Benjamin: I genuinely believe that companies that stick to traditional internal corporate communication become vulnerable — immensely. Having the right set of tools to motivate, create knowledge, and communicate with your employees will be the number one differentiator and advantage in tomorrow’s world. Period.

Interviewer: Thanks for your thoughts.

What’s Your Opinion About Corporate Communication Strategy?

Always happy to get your feedback and discuss your thoughts. Just hit me up on Twitter or get in touch on LinkedIn.

Want To Know More? Here’s Where To Start!


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Mashing It Up — AskBen Episode #9

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Future Perspective — Employee Engagement + Corporate Communication

CEO

Benjamin is an information-enthusiast, a content-maniac, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions with the aim to change the way companies use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry, and working with renowned companies all over the globe.