Internal Communications Have #Failed
How will your employees become your most powerful brand advocates?
In our recent research exercise, which has become known as the “Dawson Walker Communications Influence Index”, we were astonished to discover that 44% of the senior internal communications professionals we surveyed said that under half of their colleagues understood their brand values. On the face of it this would seem to be an admission of failure on their behalf – given that brand values would surely be an important subject to communicate internally.
Most people would know me as a “glass half full” type of person and so perhaps I should be celebrating the fact that 56% of respondents are confident that the majority of their colleagues understand their brand values. But even my rose tinted specs cannot enhance this failure – as my Headmaster, Slobbo, regularly also used to say to me – “I’m appalled”. If there’s a bright side I guess we should applaud the openness of our respondents some of whom later joined us for a lively debate at a workshop:“Harnessing the power of your employees”.
We’re very interested in this subject because it’s clear to us that the people in charge of internal communications are actually also in charge of the most powerful channel for external communications – your employees (as simplified below).
We’ve already explored some eye watering horror stories in a recent post:The pizza topping jokers, eyebrow raising CEO and hated investment banker could have been your brand ambassadors.
When you read this it’s perhaps not surprising that most companies are focused on “policy” and “discipline” rather than advocacy. But we think that’s rather short sighted and that there’s a real opportunity being missed. Our “Influence Index” also revealed that only 11% of our respondents reward their employees’ positive social media behaviour, whilst somewhat perversely 1/3rd of the same audience have disciplined employees for their social media mis-behaviour. Don’t you agree that there’s something going wrong here?
It’s time to encourage authentic advocacy, put away your sticks and get out your carrots.