October 31, 2017 – Boston, MA – Truly disruptive concepts, such as large organizations shifting communications goals from effective response strategies to embracing openness and transparency, are transforming large organizations, for the better. However, experts caution against attempting to implement radically different corporate communications gradually.
A thorough and complete overhaul of communications strategy is the most effective way to align external and internal messaging, says Cynthia Kay, president of communications firm CK and Company.
“While most companies value a ‘brand refresh’ for external communication they don’t put the same effort into internal communications. The standard approach to intra-company communications is piecemeal. Large companies have lots of different communication vehicles that are often out-of-date or they’re in a format that rarely evolves,” says Kay.
Corporate behemoth GE publishes internal email, verbatim, on LinkedIn as part of its new openness initiative, according to a recent story on Forbes.com by Amanda Guisbond. It’s one of many examples of large organizations attempting to pay more than lip service to the lofty, though sometimes disingenuous goal of ‘transparency’.
As Guisbond says, “GE aims to communicate to its employees about big changes first, helping them understand the personal impact of any change and provide context. In doing so, they’ve built a culture that is open and transparent and have been able to translate that into the external domain.” This is a new approach to culture and communicating through serious change for GE.
Kay, who works with organizations of all sizes, including multinationals, is also a proponent of planning for change.
“I believe in an integrated strategic communications approach and this usually means doing a complete communications makeover,” she says.
The communications vehicles being used are often no longer appropriate and in need of an overhaul says Kay, who begins with a communications audit. Video is the new way for many people to consume information of all kinds, whether via YouTube, Facebook Live or webinars, so companies need to incorporate video into their messaging plans.
Another area of change in corporate communications strategy has been the adoption of regular employees or mid-level managers as internal spokespeople, in addition to executive leadership. Kay, who does one-to-one communications training with c-suite leaders as well as group coaching for other employees, says improved communication skills aren’t acquired by osmosis—they must be learned.
“For example, companies need to understand the new reality of doing business with teams that are located around the globe. Because there is less in-person interaction, there’s a higher expectation for communication that’s effective, engaging and that ‘wows’ people.”
See: http://thinkck.com/ for more information on Cynthia Kay.
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