Communicating with your internal audience may not be as easy as sending a mass email to every employee. It is just as crucial to tailor internal messages to each unique audience as it is with external messaging. But where do you begin?
Here are five ways to get to know your internal audience:
1. Learn the basics
Before entering into internal communication, you have to know who you are talking to. Is your internal audience comprised of millennials? Baby boomers? These groups communicate differently and may be more receptive to different channels and messages. Knowing who you are targeting with internal communication is certainly important, but so is understanding how each department and/or job role functions within your organization. For example, your sales force may be out of the office a lot, so messaging to this group may be more effective through mobile channels.
2. Observe them on the job
Go where the action happens. This can help you understand how your audiences’ daily responsibilities affect how they interact with your message. Observing their day-to-day work may show you where you can step in to help streamline their communication.
3. Segment your audience
Addressing your internal audience as a whole may be too broad for your messaging efforts. Different members of your company interact with messages in unique ways, preferring different channels, timing, or even tone. Dividing your audience based on department, management, and other differentiators allows you to tailor your messages based on what resonates best with them.
4. Ask for regular feedback
Whether it’s in the form of surveys, focus groups, or open forums, promoting feedback from your employees encourages two-way communication. Listening to what employees are saying may lead to discovering issues, highlights, and suggestions for your communication plan. Ask them regularly what matters to them and what they want to see from internal communication. This also boosts employees’ sense that their voices are heard.
5. Measure your message
To know whether internal communication efforts are effective, it is important to measure your message. Utilizing different analytical tools may help provide insight on levels of interaction with various messages. Playing with different headlines or timing your messages and measuring which have better open rates can help you understand how best to reach your audience.
Without getting to know your internal audiences, you may have issues communicating effectively. Download our white paper, Five Internal Communication Pitfalls to Avoid, to learn more about these communication complications and what to do about them.