Random Acts of Content Creation and Millennials
HR and corporate communications leaders at many companies face an increasingly fragmented landscape of internal communications and social media platforms. During major corporate events—a cultural shift, management change or a merger and acquisition—the need for greater brand coherence in communications increases, as does the urgency of reaching all employees in a timely manner. As new competitive threats emerge, the need to better align employee communications with communications to external audiences becomes more imperative.
Divisional demands to push specialized content out, coupled with the urgency of reaching millennials desiring more interactive and transparent styles of communication, can often lead organizations down the path of so-called ‘random acts of content creation’. The challenge business leaders face is how to create coherence in their communications, while also reaching diverse audiences including Millennials and desk-less workers.
As the pressure on business leaders to generate more communications content intensifies, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Have a message strategy and associated communications plan
Leverage competitive data and creative brainstorming to come up with a winning message strategy. Get key stakeholders involved in the planning early on so as to ensure the strategy will be successfully executed. Make sure the needed technology platforms and organizational processes are in place.
- Allow employee feedback and control
It is critical to allow employee interaction in both the creation of the communications strategy and in its delivery. In addition, Millennials desire frequent, quick feedback and transparency. They want to know what’s happening as it’s happening and be an integral part of any corporate change process.
- Eliminate needless words
Cutting out needless words is just as important today as when William Strunk and E.B. White first coined the phrase in the classic writing book, "Elements of Style." Also their suggestion that it may be better to repeat the same words three times than to use too many. And yes, Millennials prefer visual (like Instagram), bite-sized messages (like Twitter).
- Provide personalization by location, message topic and delivery channel
A full sixty percent of employees in America’s largest industries don’t sit at a desk. In addition, Millennials grew up with social media allowing interaction, geographically specific information and continuous feedback; they expect their employers to have the same type of communications capabilities and increasingly are voting with their feet in choosing employers that “get it.”
- Integrate measurement and mobility
Millennials and desk-less workers rely heavily on mobile for their information consumption. In fact, most emails today are viewed on a mobile device. Data-driven message delivery with mobile channel as an option is the smarter way to communicate today. This requires real-time analytics and reporting.
Wendy Grover Rebmann is the Chief Communications Officer and Advisory Board Member at Brighter. Ms. Rebmann is also a board member of the Washington Business Alliance and has more than a decade of experience at the SVP/VP level leading corporate communications functions and large divisions for Fortune 100 companies.