Letting go

Jenni Field

Having worked in internal communications for over 5 years it’s difficult to know how to adapt to the changing landscape of social tools. I’m a huge advocate of social media and applying that internally but can you ever really let go of controlled communication?

I write this as a colleague sent a mass email to people about an operational issue that will occur during a large sporting event later this year. He was being helpful, giving them information they needed. But I can’t help but tense because this communication should have gone on our intranet for everyone, and we have a comms plan for the event that we should follow. Am I being unreasonable? Am i too used to everything being joined up before going out to the masses? And how on earth do I get passed this?

I like structure and process and a comms plan, so does all that go out the window when you introduce and integrate social tools in a business? He could have posted this on our intranet, but even then would that be ok if the comms plan has timescales and other channels included for messages?

I genuinely don’t have the answer but it’s made me realise how easy it is to pay lip service to social tools in internal communications and how the reality of change is actually quite daunting!  Here’s hoping for some discussion on this at the Social Workplace Conference in May!

2 comments on “Letting go

  1. You’re not being unreasonable about the all-staff email. They are the bane of my existence because they only exist at the moment in time that they’re sent. Nobody can search the intranet for them. Employees who come on board after the message is sent can’t search their email archives for it–same goes for employees who delete it.

    Also, if enough all-staff messages go out, employees start to view them as spam and ignore them all. It’s not an issue of control; it’s an issue of knowing what kind of communication is effective. Speaking of that, another problem with email is that there’s no way to tell how effective it was, but webpage visits can be measured and tracked, allowing for the communication to change if it’s found to be ineffective.

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