February 25, 2022

How to target your internal communication?



5 min reading

Only 45% of employees are satisfied with their company's internal communication!

According to a study by Opinion Way, only 45% of employees are satisfied with their company's internal communication. Yet, internal communication is a major issue for a company to thrive. Gartner has shown that the most informed employees outperform their peers by 77% in terms of effectiveness (Source CEB / Gartner).  

Thus, to gain market share, it is not enough to communicate with customers, you must also pamper your employees. They need to be informed, highlighted and recognized throughout the year. To send them relevant communications, it is therefore necessary to have a good internal communication strategy. The key to this is to segment and personalize communications according to each target. Knowing how to target your communication is a key skill that will increase the reach of the content disseminated by the communication department.  

We have designed this article for you, as a methodological aid to become a pro at targeting internal communication. Who are your people? What do they expect? How can you adapt the communication aimed at them? That's what we're going to see, in 4 steps.

Preparation - knowing your audience

In order to adapt your communication, you need to know your internal communication audiences well. Just as you would when creating an external communication plan, you start by creating personas that represent each type of employee. To do this, list your company's stakeholders, business units, generations, professions, etc.

Which of them have specific expectations regarding internal communication? Write them down in a table like this one below and go out and meet your colleagues to understand what they expect from internal communication. This table will serve as a reference for the following steps.

Targeting internal communication
Targeting internal communication

If you have statistics on the impact of previous internal communications, you can use them to complete your analysis.

Now that you have a clear picture of the segments that make up your audience, you are ready to create personalized communications.  

Create a personalized internal communication

Step 1 - Define the target of the message

Who is this message for? Go through your table and select the groups that will be interested in the content you are going to prepare. Depending on the topic, you may not choose the same targets.

There are several targeting options available to you.  

  • Target communication according to a geographical area: if, for example, your company is located in several countries and you wish to communicate on an internal event specific to that country.
  • Targeting communication to a business direction  
  • Targeting communication by hierarchical level: in this case, certain communications may be exclusively intended for management or for trainees and alternates

Step 2 - Choose the internal communication channel

74% of employees feel that they miss out on company information and news. This figure shows that the channels used are not always the most appropriate. You can use several channels to reach your targets. Depending on the position, the most relevant channel will not be the same. For an office worker, communication via the intranet seems to be a good option. For field employees, communication via a mobile application seems to be more appropriate. Thus, communicating internally requires adapting to the target by proposing an approach adapted to each channel.

Some of the internal communication channels are:  

  • The idea box and the survey: very practical for involving employees in internal communication.
  • Internal application and/or corporate social network: implementing an internal application allows to reach employees who do not have access to a mailbox because they are easily accessible on mobile
  • Display screens within the company. They are used to display information in real time in high traffic areas.
  • The Digital Workplace: this platform, which is much appreciated by employees, allows the communication department to disseminate information, particularly in the form of articles. We will be describing it in detail shortly.
  • The corporate social network which allows for a change in communication practices by allowing employees to express themselves.
  • The internal webinar: it allows exchanges between geographically distant sites, but also in the case of hybrid work. Organising a digital event for employees is a good way to communicate.
  • Meetings to feed back information, it is important to meet with top management. This is an opportunity for employees to ask questions and for top management to disseminate the results and its vision.
  • The newsletter: 91% of employees say they appreciate receiving information by email, yet this channel is often unsuitable. However, the newsletter remains a means of summarising information, making links to the intranet, and highlighting certain key information.
  • Mailing : some information cannot be communicated in the newsletter, because of its urgent nature or its level of importance. This is the case, for example, with Coronavirus or structural information. This channel is destined to be used less and less in favour of the news wall on the intranet and other functionalities offered by the Digital Workplace such as the notification centre.
  • The newspaper: this highlights the company's activity through a physical newspaper distributed to employees or made available at the entrance to the buildings.

Step 3 - Choose the format and message

This is where your communication skills will come into their own.  

Depending on your target audience and the medium you choose, you can create a tailor-made communication. By using the tone and codes of your audience, you can design a communication that appeals to them. Put yourself in your target audience's shoes and imagine what they expect in terms of tone, context, length, approach, language and energy.

If, for example, you had chosen to communicate the results of the year N-1 to your teams:  

  • Executives can opt to integrate automated reports from Power BI and access them from their Digital Workplace;
  • Innovation teams will appreciate a news item posted on the intranet explaining the context of the sector;
  • Field teams will prefer a dynamic video posted on the company's internal social network;
  • Your Finnish business unit teams will need an English version;
  • Etc.

All that remains is to send each communication to each target, but not at just any old time!

Step 4 - Choose the broadcast window

As your colleagues may have mentioned during your survey, they are not always receptive to corporate communications. Their availability is very much affected by the time of day, deadlines for the month, departmental highlights, etc.  

To maximize the reception of your message, schedule your communication where the targets are most likely to give you time. The Digital Workplace makes it possible to choose the ideal time slots for disseminating information.

Do not hesitate to test for each target and analyze the readership statistics of your communications to improve your results.

The contribution of the Digital Workplace to internal communication

By adding functionality to your intranet, the Digital Workplace allows you to better target your internal communication messages. Indeed, it allows you to create audience groups and to easily select who will receive each communication and on which channel. Thus, the information put forward will not be the same for everyone. Everyone will receive the information that is relevant to them and will be more likely to see important communications.

But the Digital Workplace goes even further and makes it possible to add metadata to communications. This allows communications to be organised and information to be retrieved in a few clicks. In addition, these tags allow employees to subscribe to themes. Thanks to this functionality, they will see the communications that interest them first.  

Things to remember

📌 Only 45% of employees say they are satisfied with their company's internal communication.

📌 Targeting your communication is the way to ensure you reach the right person at the right time.

📌 It is necessary to choose the right communication channel for each target.

📌 The Digital Workplace allows you to target your messages, make communication interactive and cross-functional.

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