What comes to mind when you hear the word “marketing”? If I were to guess, it would most likely be something along the lines of “communicating the benefits of products or services in a way that delivers value to customers.” Despite the innumerable definitions of “marketing” bandied about everywhere from conference rooms to cocktail parties, most business decision makers never think to include their employees among their audience.
The truth is that internal communication is just as important as your external outreach. Not only is it integral to keeping your staff in the know with company news and happenings, but informed employees are often happier ones simply by feeling more connected to your organization.
Unfortunately, internal marketing is often overlooked due to the lack of time and resources. It can be especially challenging for Human Resources departments since they typically don’t have a dedicated marketing presence on staff. If you’re experiencing similar woes at your company, here are some tips to help you get the word out in straightforward and engaging ways—so your employees don’t miss a thing.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
When communicating with staff, it’s important to keep your content clear and concise, just as you would with your customers. Your employees are too busy (or at least you hope they are) to slog through unnecessary filler to get to the point of your message.
Draw readers in with a compelling headline or eye-catching graphic, then tell them what they need to know and why it’s relevant to them. And if there’s something your team needs to do next, punctuate your notice with a strong call-to-action containing a clear directive and deadline.
Of course, some information, such as benefits or policy updates, is too dense to convey in a streamlined or simplified format. To keep your audience engaged, consider breaking up the monotony of a long read with colorful infographics, icons, or illustrations that give your piece some visual appeal. Using light humor where appropriate is also an effective way to wake up or humanize an otherwise tedious message.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Information overload is often an invitation for your audience to tune out. Still, you want to make sure that your employees know what’s going on and how they can be more involved with your company’s programs and culture. A great way to say a lot without overwhelming your staff is to develop a unique brand identity for different types of information such as benefits, health & wellness, and community outreach.
Segmentation can be as exotic as creating a separate name and logo for each category, or as simple as color coding information based on the content. This approach keeps your communications fresh and inviting even when they’re all coming from a single source.
PUMP IT UP
You want your employees to feel great about where they work. And if there’s something to get excited about, you should build that energy into your communications. Enthusiasm is infectious. So, whether you want to highlight the employer match in your retirement plan, promote a company-wide contest, or unveil a new employee benefit, sharing your exuberance can ignite spirits—and participation—across the floor. It also serves to highlight your evolution as a company and that you really do consider your people as your most valuable asset.
We recently had the opportunity to practice what we preach by launching two internal marketing campaigns for one of our local clients, New Era. New Era’s benefits department knew that Open Enrollment was widely viewed as a dreaded time of year with a spirit-crushing amount of information to digest and paperwork to complete. But with upcoming policy changes that were cause for celebration, they wanted one flight of communications designed to generate excitement before Open Enrollment, then a second wave to keep staff engaged through the end of the year.
Both campaigns used various mediums to reach New Era employees, including colorful teaser and follow-up emails, animated graphics shown throughout the office, web banners on their intranet, and flyers posted in public areas. All of the elements had a unified tone, look, and feel so that the message would be continually reinforced through multiple channels.
To prevent the communications from growing tired, we used a range of witty headlines and catchy calls to action that were relevant to the sports apparel industry to capture attention and drive response. According to New Era, our efforts were a success based not only on the positive employee feedback but also because we gave the benefits department a vibrant new voice and bold identity that resonated with the rest of the company.
What you say to your employees should be just as compelling as what you say to your customers. If you’re not happy with the story you’re telling, let us know. We can help you write a new one.
Senior Account Executive