Internal communication is an important function within successful organizations. The concept was inserted into vocabulary beginning in 1943 when Alex Heron, associate professor at Stanford published the book ”Sharing Information with Employees”.
At the end of the ’40s, researchers expanded upon the concept by identifying goals and criteria to improve internal communications. One of those researchers was Wendell Johnson, who presented a list of five steps for model face to face communications between the listener and the speaker, all of which endured throughout the 20th century:
- 1) event or source of stimulation
- 2) sensory stimulation
- 3) pre-verbal state
- 4) symbolic state
- 5) overt expression
The Johnson model was repurposed in the late 2000s with the rise of modern technology. The launch of social media introduced companies to new communication management systems such as “intranet” sites that are developed for internal communications within companies. Companies use these systems to share criteria with their employees to help all company representatives become the best brand ambassadors possible.
The development of content marketing platforms created engaging, interactive, but most importantly real time updates for all members within an organization. Carsten Rossi, CEO of the German agency Kuhn, Kammann & Kuhn Gmbh, published an article describing how software facilitates live updates within companies.
We reached out to Rossi after he published his post to discuss how the platform improved real time internal communications within his own organization. His response suggested a very positive experience, particularly in regards to streaming video meetings with satellite offices.
“We liveblogged town halls, employee meetings, roadshows, and noticed that employees were more engaged with the real time element. Participation rates improved as a result of real time responses to questions or concerns, building what I call “engagement awareness” within the company.”
Rossi described five features of the platform that were very interesting to his team:
- the ability to receive comments in a stream via front end or email using a specific hashtag
- the use of real time polls that offer quick analyses of employee reaction or interaction with the material
- the opportunity for the employees to engage in deeper conversations around the open thread during a liveblog
- the ability for all internal employees to publish content onto a customized stream using an app
- the customizable features to present the stream in a manner that fits the layout and visual aspects of the project
“Authentic” and “quick” are two adjectives that were used by Rossi to describe his experience with the platform.
Content marketing platforms can be used as effective internal communication tools. An internal communication prediction published by Mike Grafham, Customer Success Lead at Yammer, suggested “internal communication goes from creation to curation,” which helps companies manage internal communications using personal conversations, boosting employee confidence and improving organizational strategies.
Personalized internal conversations also support characteristics outlined by Professor Boris Groysberg of the Harvard Business School. In an article published on the Harvard Business Review, Professor Groysberg listed four conversational elements he says are critical for companies to build internal morale, undertake new strategies and optimize employee performance:
Conversations and feedback that include these traits allow employees to feel secure in their roles, which provides the confidence to undertake new challenges. Professor Groysberg says organizations that implement a safe and secure environment can set new business targets and thrive.