Widening The Communications Bottleneck

Widening the Communications Bottleneck

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This dilemma probably will sound familiar to any corporate communicator.

Adding to the usual day-to-day duties of telling the brand story, a fire (figuratively speaking) has broken out. Maybe numerous fires. Perhaps it’s a critical need to update the website. Or it’s communicating information about a data breach. Or explaining a management change. Maybe it’s all of them. Suddenly, there’s a laundry list of tasks that overwhelms the resources-strapped comms team.

When internal stakeholders like HR, public relations, and investor relations can’t get immediate assistance from comms, they might turn to agencies for help with their messages. That’s when trouble can happen.

“Suddenly you might have five agency partners outside of the organization helping develop content to solve unique challenges,” said Madison Steele, Associate Director, Strategic Growth, at Investis Digital. “All of those agencies are creating content based on their perspective of that brand, and nothing is tying those perspectives together.”

Here’s the part that keeps communicators up at night.

“When that happens, comms loses control of the message,” Steele added. ­­­­

Every communicator understands how difficult it is to maintain that clear, consistent message to everyone. Investis Digital, a leading Global Digital Communications Company, works with comms teams to achieve that by centralizing their brand stories. The agency works with about 2,000 companies in more than 30 countries, combining a mix of expertise, technology, and service for clients.

Like Investis Digital, Dynamic Signal is solving problems that a Chief Communications Officer encounters every day. Our platform ensures that employees get need-to-know information immediately – wherever they are, and on the channels and devices they prefer.

We sat down with Steele to learn more about Investis Digital’s innovative approach because our companies are aligned in how we help corporate communicators. She explained how they’re challenging the traditional agency model as they focus on the root of the problem:

The communications bottleneck.

What exactly do you mean by the “comms bottleneck?”

“Communications teams are often lean and under-resourced, with communicators overworked, under a lot of pressure from leadership, and dealing with a large number of internal partners who need help – often right away. So, the communicator is trying to juggle multiple audiences and drive action across the organization. There can be a list of 40 different things that need to get done. That creates the bottleneck. They’re struggling to prioritize what challenges to solve and what stories to tell.”

So, it becomes like an hourglass where the output doesn’t match all the asks? 

“That’s the fundamental challenge we see in the market, and companies need to centralize their communications to overcome that. To ensure holistic messaging, the corporate communicator needs control over who gets to publish content when and across what channels. Investis Digital is the glue that aligns internal stakeholders around the same message to drive measurable results. But that alone doesn’t address the problem of rapid fires and lack of resources to solve unexpected challenges. So, to enable communicators to problem solve at scale, we offer technology, design, content, and strategy capabilities – hence widening the ‘comms bottleneck.’”

Can you give us some examples?

“Maybe your company just had a data breach, and you need help coming up with a strategy and the messaging to drive action quickly. We can turn loose a content developer, a digital strategist, and a web designer for a quick stand-up landing page that addresses the crisis. And when the crisis has passed, you can take it down. That’s just one way that we enable comms teams to react as quickly as evolving audience expectations.

“Another that comes to mind is our work with Rolls-Royce. They needed help engaging quality applicants for highly technical positions. The digital team brought us in to raise general brand awareness and generate interest by sourcing stories, insights, and expertise from across the business, thus bringing the incredible work happening at the company to light. In collaboration with HR, we aligned Rolls-Royce’s employer brand to meet the newly evolved corporate narrative, which meant pushing the tone of voice, rethinking messaging, and creating a distinct visual language for data and digital. And finally, after capturing the interest of prospective talent, we reconvened with the digital team to create an omnichannel campaign – Race Your Code – that challenged potential applicants to test their coding and development skills in a real-life robot race. The campaign facilitated applicant conversion with over 200 potential applicants signing up for the race.”

It sounds like you’re helping communicators ensure that somebody else won’t be telling their brand story for them.

The goal of communications is to put messages out into the world that have an impact. Fragmentation in audience perception renders the communicator both unable to control the brand story and powerless over audience behavior. That’s why companies bring us in to help achieve brand alignment. Only when the brand is aligned can messaging drive audience action.

You’ve mentioned measurable results. Why are metrics so crucial for communicators?

“What you don’t measure, you can’t improve – let alone prove. It’s as simple as that. With data driving today’s business decisions, it’s necessary to associate effort with lift in revenue to justify spend.”

At Dynamic Signal, we’re committed to the idea of better communication internally while also giving employees the ability to share the brand story externally. That sounds very much in line with how Investis Digital views the business world.

“Right now, we’re in the attention economy where every company is fighting for eye-time in a sea of digital noise. Attention spans are shrinking, and behaviors are shifting. People are spending more time in digital spaces and they’re doing things like clicking, texting, and sharing to get attention. The whole idea has become about adding value. How do you make communication more meaningful? Taking rich content that has been generated internally and amplifying it externally yields synergistic impact. People care about what others in their network are thinking. It makes them want to engage with the content. That’s very powerful.”

You have a science background and a degree in biopsychology. How does that relate to what you do now at Investis Digital?

“Creativity is the common thread. Through science, we find new ways to push the bounds of existing knowledge and break into the unknown. The way I look at what we do at Investis Digital is that we’re pioneering new solutions to help communicators reach new heights. For me, it’s very similar.”

 

Learn more here about how award-winning Investis Digital combines storytelling and engaging digital experiences to help businesses like Rolls-Royce, Fruit of the Loom, and Wyndham communicate clearly and authentically with their audiences using cutting-edge technology.

Post Author

Mark Emmons

Mark Emmons is the storyteller at Dynamic Signal. He previously was a newspaper reporter at the Detroit Free Press, the Orange County Register and the San Jose Mercury News. He reluctantly uses the Oxford comma.