How to design a high-value internal comms process

By Aimee Happ
September 11, 2021
6 min read
Woman writing her internal comms process in a notebook

These days, internal comms professionals are feeling the pressure to maximize their time and keep their efforts high-value. But with limited resources (specifically time and budget), how can you effectively engage with your employees AND do more with less? 

If this situation sounds familiar to you, you aren’t alone. Gallup found that sales increase 20% when employees are actively engaged. Whether you’re the lone internal comms expert on your team or someone in HR who handles it on the side, it’s time organizations recognize the importance of investing in internal comms.

In this blog, we’re outlining the methodology you can use to create an internal comms process that creates value at every step and frees you up to work on strategic initiatives, all thanks to modern innovation and technology. Let’s dive right in!

It starts with a time-tested methodology

If you’ve perused our site, you might have noticed us name-drop our trusted 7 Principles Methodology a few times. In a nutshell, it looks at 7 core principles—or best practices—that make up effective internal communications, beginning with strategy and ending with data and analytics. 

Creating a high-value, time-efficient internal comms process is possible using a similar approach! Don’t worry, it’s easy-peasy. Let’s go through the steps.

1. Create an internal comms strategy

While you’re probably familiar with the importance of an internal comms strategy, creating one that’s truly high value requires delving a little deeper. Firstly, you need a mandate! While the language of a mandate can evolve to meet your organization’s needs, it should start with a clear definition of priorities, support, and expectations.

Note: there’s no rule for what a mandate looks like—different organizations can have wildly different expectations and goals, thus wildly divergent mandates. Regardless of the structure, knowing your mandate from the get-go will inform your function and relationship with your leadership team.

Related resource: download our handy Mandate Questionnaire

2. Segment your audience 

Next, consider your audience’s needs. After all, they’re the ones on the receiving end of your messages. What better way to create value and do more with less than deliver targeted messages guaranteed to reach (and resonate) with the right people? 

Here are a few questions to ask when sending internal messages:

  1. Who needs to see this message?
  2. Why do they need to see this message?
  3. What are the characteristics that make this audience distinct?

Let’s say you’ve got your ideal audience segments in mind and have done the homework. This is where modern technology comes in to take care of the heavy lifting! Thanks to software like our intranet with multi-channel messaging, you can use features like the Audience Builder, Audience Sync, and User Management to create tangible, custom lists of your audiences and deliver your messages with ease. 

Audience Builder screenshot from Reach

3. Create value-driven content

While content itself needs no explanation, it’s important to note that it’s not just text; these days, content also includes audio, video, and visuals that are engaging and innovative. 

Content is one of the most powerful internal comms tools in your process. It provides an opportunity to connect with your teams, create a unique and dynamic company culture and brand identify, and deliver your messages in a way that strengthens the employee experience. To craft strong, high-value content, consider the following: 

  • What is the key message you are trying to communicate?
  • Who is the message for?
  • How are they getting it?
  • What do they need to do with the information and when?
  • How will you structure and present your message to maximize its effectiveness?

Modern technology makes delivering your great content smooth, seamless, and organized, so you’re never wasting time juggling multiple platforms like Slack or Microsoft. 

Click here to download our tone-of-voice worksheet.

4. Choose the right channels

Internal communications channels are the vehicle for how information moves around in your organization. If your audience isn’t active on the channel you send your message through, it doesn’t matter how engaging and exciting your message is; it won’t be as effective.

Not sure where to start? Note down all the current channels your organization uses, and perform an audit of how each is performing. From there, you can establish which ones are worth your valuable time.

With IC’s software, you can utilize channel-focused tech like end-user channel preference and channel sync to merge your staff’s go-to channels, from Microsoft Teams and Slack, to email and SMS. 

5. Send messages at the right time

Let’s face it, no one wants to receive emails at 4:30 PM on a Friday! The timing of your messages is another important part of creating a high-value internal comms process. Not only does it allow for happier, more engaged employees, it also ensures messages don’t get lost in the shuffle and you aren’t spending valuable time trying to track down responses from employees.

Modern technology streamlines the timing of messages and helps you keep track of time, responses, and more, so you can feel confident your messages are being delivered at optimum times. 

Team meeting around a table

6. Use metrics to perform data analysis

Last but not least, make space to conduct periodic data analysis of your internal comms efforts, using metrics! Ask yourself, what constitutes a successful internal communications campaign? The number of email opens or interactions? A happier office? Message responses? 

Once you have established these metrics, you will be able to tie your internal comms activities to your broader organizational goals. You will also have tangible data to analyze that will help you determine what is going well and where you need to improve.

Software like IC’s makes it simple to determine who is reading your messages, on which channels, and to see which audiences are the most engaged. You’ll also have access to a metrics dashboard that gives you all the information you need to know at a glance, giving you clear visibility into how your content performs.

From there, our multi-channel messaging feature allows you to build out comprehensive reports and dashboards to share with your manager or leadership team. After doing some analysis, you should also connect your results back to your initial internal communications strategy and demonstrate your process’ value. Don’t be afraid to pivot your strategy when needed to ensure that you’re continuously improving, staying relevant, and always top-of-mind for your employees.

Improve your internal comms process with IC’s intranet software

There you have it—the primary way you can do more with less in your role is to make your internal comms processes more efficient. And to do that, you need the help of purpose-built internal communications software like ours, and a time-tested methodology to go with it!

Download our new whitepaper for a detailed guide on how to use our 7 principles methodology to create a high-value internal communications process. Or, see the software in action by booking a free demo!

By Aimee Happ

Aimee Happ is proud to lead the marketing team at IC and enjoys working with the dynamic and diverse team that surrounds her. She is inspired on a daily basis by the company's mission of empowering internal communicators. Aimee holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and loves to travel.