Calling all internal communications professionals: put engagement at the heart of what you do!

We know you are expected to foster employee engagement and experience, collaboration, knowledge banks and if at all possible, boost productivity - all in a day’s work, across many different channels. Remote working in the COVID era has not made your job easier. Find some ideas around how you can increase the time you spend on value-add activities like engagement, in this blog.

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This is a risky statement as we might insult you. We don’t want to do that, of course, but we needed to get your attention between all the channels that you have to focus on in your day-to-day job.

We know you are expected to foster employee engagement and experience, collaboration, knowledge banks and if at all possible, boost productivity - all in a day’s work, across many different channels.

Modern times

Remote working in the COVID era has not made your job easier either - with the expectation that the number of remote workers will remain double of what it was before these unprecedented times (Gallup Research).

In addition, the information shared online has exploded. This means the task for communication professionals and consumers alike of filtering out relevant information is becoming more onerous. According to Gallup, even before the pandemic, 74% of employees had the feeling they were missing out on internal company news/ information.

Whether you believe any of this is true or not, there is no way we will go back to ‘precedented times’, and IT will not stop evolving either.

A new era needs new tools. With applications increasingly moving to the cloud, more is possible than ever before in terms of integration and automation. As with everything, it’s the execution that matters most.

What would this look like?

What we mean is that craftily executed automation/ integration projects can save large amounts of time and allow you to spend your time (and money) on boosting engagement and attaining other important KPIs. When executed badly, it actually mostly ends up costing you money, and a lot of time.

There are roughly three ways to go about automation/ integration projects. You can do them yourself, outsource them to a third party as a discrete project or use a managed service. Each of these approaches has pros and cons, on which we have written another blog here.

Benefits of new tools

Whichever option you end up choosing, if executed well, the benefits are:

  • Your internal communications channels are aligned and auto-populated
  • This can go as far as auto-populating websites of (external) newsletters from there
  • A further extension of functionality can be:
    • translating content to other languages, which can be especially relevant in regions such as Asia and Europe where many different languages are spoken on the same continent/ between offices
    • writing posts from the tone of voice of different senior stakeholders, automatically paraphrasing the language

The last two extension options would probably need human review at the end and some tweaking, however getting a draft into shape and have the human review tweak the draft, is highly likely more cost efficient than having to start translations and modifications from scratch.

Can you give me an example?

We are enabling communications professionals at companies like KLM-Airfrance to exchange vital sales and marketing information, within their organisation, customers and partners in real time. These integrations save them time and allow them to focus on higher value activities, compared to moving information across platforms. Some examples are:

  • Synchronisation of the most relevant content from the intranet to the Salesforce CRM dashboard.
  • Automating newsletters, by populating the marketing automation platform, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, with content from internal sources.
  • Newsletter subscription visibility in Salesforce, by aggregating and de-duplicating the newsletter subscribers from other platforms, such as the marketing automation platform.

What does this look like in terms of tangible benefits?

Assuming the above example of newsletter auto-population, Organisation X's Communications Team (10 staff) spent approximately 5% of their time manually copying, pasting and formatting information from various sources into the marketing automation platform, before using the Harmonizer service. This was taking these staff members away from their focus on engagement of the broader complement of staff with their content. The manual newsletter population activities equated to 0.5 FTE per year, at an average salary of $120,000.

Using Harmonizer, in this example, Organisation X is able to provide a net saving of approximately $60,000 per year, by investing $500 per month in a worry free, managed premium cloud integration service.

Final thought

There are probably many other benefits of automation and integration, however this should give a good flavour of the art of the possible. Hopefully it inspires you to take a step back from hectic day-to-day activities and reflect on how you might create more space for engagement and other strategic work.

Since we are digital crafts(wo)men, we love to explore these strategic options with you. We are also coffee lovers. So if you’re keen to explore options, the coffee is on us. Ideas are free as well. We want to enable you to work smarter, and embrace a “no worries” lifestyle. If this sounds like an appealing prospect, schedule a conversation with us!

Photo by Wojtek Witkowski on Unsplash

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