Walt Mossberg in his recent post, The tyranny of messaging and notifications, put into words one of the most dreadful aspects of internal communications-the daily communication tsunami. Mr. Mossberg perfectly described how he has suffered from a never ending tidal wave of emails, instant messages, updates, pings and just about every other kind of electronic notification. You and I know his experience is typical. It’s what any employee receives on any given day. No wonder employees disengage! How does anybody know what to pay attention to? Yet, this messaging environment is exactly what Internal Communications pros are called upon to embrace, navigate and make the most of every day.
Talk about pressure.
You can manage a little of this tidal wave, however, by establishing an enterprise-wide internal communications calendar that is grounded in your organization’s regular business communication cadence–like, quarterly business results. (By the way, this is an opportunity to connect with your external communications colleagues. Remember? Everything said inside the organization goes outside the organization.) Your calendar could also include those predictable communications activities, such as, important industry events, which your company participates in, or annual benefits enrollment in the U.S. You don’t have to decide what tactics you’ll employ to support those activities, but you will have a picture of what’s happening when.
The benefits are many. You’ll be able to deconflict content and messaging, avoid unnecessary noise, and keep the focus on what’s important for employees to know. In the future, you can use it to develop an internal editorial or thematic calendar, and plan an internal communications network or an influencer network.
Even at its most basic level-a list of dates-an internal communications calendar is useful. In fact, you might find it particularly useful this month, because if you’re like many companies, you’ve kicked off the 2017 budgeting season. Departments are planning what they’ll focus on for the coming year. Your internal communications calendar can serve as a helpful reference point as your work group assesses business objectives, and thinks about communications needs.
Take pity on the poor employee. Build an internal communications calendar and share it with your internal customers. It doesn’t address all of Mr. Mossberg’s concerns, but it does help. Let me know how it goes!