In October, we launched our first-ever ThinkTank Roadshow to create an opportunity for communication professionals to connect with their peers and talk about their increasingly critical roles. But we didn’t want to focus on just companies in the U.S.
So, on November 8, we made an international stop in London. Leading the discussion were Mattias Drefs, Marketing Director at Oracle, Gustaf Rydelius, PR and Online Media Specialist at Volvo; and Jim Cockin, Head of Group and Employee Communications at Sky. Robyn Hannah, Senior Director of Global Communications at Dynamic Signal, moderated a wide-ranging conversation that covered everything from unique challenges each of them are experiencing, their philosophy to approaching communication strategies, and other helpful advice.
We’re committed to improving workforce communication and creating greater awareness for the important work comms pros are doing. The night was filled with great insights from the communication leaders on our panel who graciously made time to share their journeys. In fact, the conversation was so good that we want to provide a recap so you can see some of the highlights.
1. We are in the Golden Age of storytelling. . . but you have to keep pace.
Cockin noted that there has never been a better time to be a storyteller. There are more tools and more avenues in which people can share unique, captivating stories. But the challenge is that consumers are getting their hands on new technology more quickly than the corporate world. As a result, it takes time for companies to catch up to what their employees already are using. To be successful, companies must be able to meet their employees where they are in terms of communication. This requires companies to have a firm understanding of how the workforce wants to communicate., Getting a clear picture of what tools they use and how you can be most effective in creating an authentic connection is a key step in better communication.
2. Timing is everything.
The accelerating speed that news and information are disseminated online creates a unique challenge for large companies that want to share content with their employees first. No business wants employees to learn something about the company where they work from an outside news source. Granted, there are additional challenges for publicly traded organizations. But outside of the most critical information, the companies themselves should be the source of timely, relevant and authentic information. Creating an avenue to connect with employees is critical to ensuring the right information is going out at the right time.
What a morning! Our London ThinkTank was packed with communication professionals and big topics. A big thank you to our speakers and everyone who came out! Head over to Twitter to see some of our favorite #dysithink call outs. #standingroomonly . . . #communication #employeeengagement #tech #technology #hospitalclub #london #emea #discussion #panel #volvo #internalcomms #comms
3. Tying internal communication goals to overall business objectives is critical.
For all businesses, but especially for global organizations that have layers upon layers of priorities, it is absolutely necessary that you build a strong connection between your strategy and the strategic goals. Executives will want to know why engagement is important and what advocacy has to do with their bottom line. The best way to do this is to rely on quantitative data. Anecdotes can play a supporting role in the narrative. But at the end of the day, you need figures to prove the value.
4. Never ignore the Trust Factor
It may be tough to fully measure the level of trust employees with your organization, but it’s still a critical metric. In general, trust in CEO leadership is dropping. Consumers tend to trust peers over brand names. The impact of creating a more effective and authentic line of communication within the organization can have a profound impact on employee loyalty. But it also can help develop a more positive external brand message as well.
After the great conversation at our first ThinkTank in London, we’re sure to be heading back soon! In the meantime, stay tuned for upcoming announcements about when we’ll be coming to a city near you.