Leveraging The Power Of Communication In Tech Companies
The remote world has set new trends. In addition to the next generation of business models and hybrid approaches, I also urge companies to reinvent their communications.
I see a dire need for a personalized human-to-human approach in times when physical distance has grown to levels we haven’t seen before. Communications help to convey the added value of a business, and therefore, it’s important to use them properly.
When they apply new communication strategies, companies can see how seamless interaction impacts overall performance. A strong link between internal and external communications is evident to me. There are two complementing elements of brand consistency. According to a 2019 survey from Lucidpress, brand consistency can increase a company’s revenue by 33%. Meanwhile, disengaged employees may cost the U.S. around $450 billion or more in lost productivity every year, according to 2013 Gallup data.
Tech companies need to be especially creative in bringing together communications and technology. Internal and external communications should work together and reinforce each other to align the brand from the inside out.
The Real Value Of Internal Communications
Surveys and analysis play a pivotal role in internal communications. Asking the “right” questions is of significant importance. The AVID model (Alignment, Voice, Identification and Dialogue) incorporates an ethical aspect by putting employee voice and preference at the core. It outlines a simple 10-question survey called the ICQ10 that companies can use to assess internal communications.
Open and plain dialogue happens via multiple platforms and tools; therefore, the ICQ10 survey puts channels first — it is essential to know which of them are the most effective for employees.
An outcomes-focused approach is a good way for companies to tweak processes and increase engagement. When paired with employee interviews, this method can provide an in-depth understanding of what really works in your company, what doesn’t and what the pain points are. Moreover, this approach will help you reveal potential brand ambassadors.
Brand Ambassadors And Social Media
To compete for brand awareness, you should leverage employees as brand ambassadors. Nowadays, not only do companies often have a global reach, but every employee is also a potential channel-media partner. Give a voice to the people who comprise the business and help it grow and expand its influence.
To develop an effective brand ambassador program, you should consider that your employees can fall into four different categories: stakeholders, influencers, representation risks and brand identities. Educate your employees, encourage them to share their stories and measure the results of their efforts. I’ve found that brand ambassadors are critical in the new reality; in fact, 2016 research from user-generated content platform Olapic found that “of the respondents who trust UGC more than other content, 76% of them believe it is more honest.” Beyond social media, brand ambassadors can represent the company at events and participate as speakers at conferences. Therefore, a robust ambassador program can help you nurture employees’ personal brands.
Employees’ Personal Brands
There is a strong connection between a personal brand and a corporate HR brand. Companies should appreciate having charismatic and talented employees. Instead, organizations tend to engage only top managers and key personalities as their brand ambassadors. Your audience likely wants to hear stories from people like themselves; therefore, the personal brands you leverage should go far beyond leadership positions and spread across all levels.
Turn your employees into internal entrepreneurs. This can empower them to take on more responsibility and seek extra opportunities. Potential brand ambassadors should be the employees who are communicating, sharing, leading, learning and evolving. They should have no barriers to gaining knowledge or expertise; they are the ambitious and restless employees. Begin by making your own high-quality events or a hub that gives ambassadors a springboard for sharing their expertise. Invest in technology that helps boost awareness and employees’ personal brands.
Virtual And Hybrid Events
With the closure of physical offices, virtual events have become pervasive (to say the least). According to The New World of Tech Communications report from Platform (download required), 71% of media representatives and analysts surveyed said virtual events have generally been more useful than pre-pandemic physical events. Yet around half of those surveyed stated that it is sometimes hard to ask questions and get the necessary input during virtual events. Therefore, events should be informative and provide attendees with a seamless, interactive experience. Technologies like mobile event apps and virtual event platforms could help boost audience engagement.
I’ve noticed that tech companies are increasingly leveraging cross-platform capabilities and ensuring there is a smooth transition between devices and applications that are relevant to the present-day dynamics. Interactive solutions can work miracles for engagement; gamification or other activities can help ensure your audience is invested in the event. In my opinion, a hybrid event is successful when both physical and online audiences are provided with the same immersive experience.
By using an AR app, for example, you could invite the attendees to view more elements of the event. VR can transport your audience to a physical location captured in 360 degrees. You can use voice recognition to aid non-native speakers or individuals with hearing issues in understanding the content, while facial recognition can be useful for virtual registration. You could incorporate AI for matchmaking and networking by using it to collect data from attendees via various channels and offering relevant contacts.
Reinventing communications is a hard task. However, it can be less daunting when you are aware of the latest communication trends and use state-of-the-art technologies to engage and retain people no matter who they are — employees or clients. Apart from the strategies listed above, tech companies can also nurture communities. Building an environment of trust and constant development is a great way for businesses to grow their identities from within. At this point, communications are not only the voice of a company but also a representation of a community’s unique vibe.
By Olha BoikoForbes Councils Member I Forbes Communications Council I first published at https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2021/04/07/leveraging-the-power-of-communication-in-tech-companies/?sh=395319cb6bb9 Apr 7, 2021