Earlier this year we surveyed internal communications professionals working in the healthcare industry. Almost 60% responded that lack of staff for new initiatives is one of the biggest challenges they face. This lack of resources is underpinned by a larger problem facing internal communicators in all industries.
Newsweaver recently published the interim results of a survey conducted with more than 700 communicators around the world and found that 73% of communicators say that they spend most of their time writing, sending or getting feedback and approval for content. Compounding this problem is the fact that survey participants stated that they spent on average 45% of their time on unplanned communications.
If we consider how time consuming content production and approvals can be coupled with the fact that so much is unplanned, it is no wonder that internal communicators feel stretched and under resourced.
Internal communicators continuously strive to save time, increase impact and streamline each channel. To make best use of the available resources, it’s important to focus on the most impactful channel and get that right before venturing into any other channels. The aforementioned survey revealed that email is the most powerful channel for communicators in healthcare organizations.
Here are some tips on how to economize the time spent invested in non-value adding tasks within the email channel:
- Keep it simple – Do not over complicate the process. Keep your purpose, message, and production simple.
- Have a timeline – Create a calendar for your communications and ensure every email you send clearly connects to your overall goals.. Plan your send backwards from your deadline date and map out a realistic timeline. Include time for test and review.
- Segment your audience – Who do you want to receive the message and what do you want core information do you want them to take away? What do you want the recipient to do next? Ensure the language used resonates with that audience.
- Consolidate your sends – Rather than flood the inbox of of each employee with multiple emails, consolidate them into a tailored newsletter. For example one of our customers in the was able to consolidate the 200 – 300 message sent each month into one 25-30 article newsletter. Through segmentation, personalization and incorporation of audience preferences, the recipient sees on average 3-5 articles.
- Design for an on-the-go audience. As an internal communicator trying to reach and engage employees, you only have a few moments to capture the reader’s attention with an email. Ensure your headlines are brief (Google recommends a 55 character limit) and that introductory text is attention grabbing and pulls the reader in. Remember you have less screen space so editing your content is key.
- Act on your insight – Carry out a post-communications analysis so you can make improvements going forward such as what content employees engage with, what format is best etc.
- Share with stakeholders – The more you actively communicate with stakeholders and offer them the resulting business insights, the greater your chances of increasing your own (and your department’s) visibility as vital contributors to the organization’s success.
For more information, visit Newsweaver.
Hear more from Newsweaver at the Strategic Internal Communications for Health Care September 26 – 28 in Washington, DC.