Communication Whats it worth HEAD
21st May 2019
3 Min Read

Communication. What's it worth?

Alastair Atkinson
Alastair Atkinson
IC & Engagement

We’ve all heard the expression ‘time is money’. It sounds like a cliché from the Gordon Gekko school of business, but, for internal communicators, it might be one snippet of 80s-style lore worth resurrecting.

How many times has someone in your team been asked by an internal customer to post an article on the intranet or send out an email? Being seen as an internal version of the postal service is still the curse of many IC professionals. But a recent webcast from the team behind Gorilla Games provoked a conversation about a different way to tackle this problem.

The scenario

Imagine that a senior manager approaches a well-meaning IC professional in your team. The manager asks your team member to publish an article on the intranet. Based on your comms analytics, your IC person estimates that 10% of the 10,000-strong workforce will read it. She also guesses it will take each person around two minutes to read the piece. That means the article is consuming around 33 hours of working time.

Think about that for a second. It’s the equivalent of almost an entire working week for one full time employee.

The question is, if you put a rough monetary cost on that time, is the article worth it? Will it give you an acceptable ROI?

Priceless thinking

Calculating the monetary value of time is a tricky endeavour, and businesses do it in a variety of ways. For the sake of argument, let’s base it purely on people’s rates of pay. If the average hourly rate in your business is £14, the above example means your organisation is going to spend almost £500 paying people to read it. And that doesn’t take into account the opportunity cost of taking those people away from other tasks.

The bottom line

IC people can, and should, be savvy commercial operators. Offering this kind of rational, business-focused challenge to stakeholders might make them see IC as more Steve Jobs and less Postman Pat. What’s more, it will help to cut down the noise and free up time for your IC professionals to add real value. Now that makes business sense. Eat your heart out, Gordon.

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