TopIC Banner - Knowing your internal communications audience
30th Nov 2018
3 Min Read

Knowing your internal communications audience

Lisa Hawksworth
Lisa Hawksworth
Culture & Insights

As internal communicators, a key part of our role is knowing our audience.

Part of this means knowing who needs the detail, and who doesn’t have time. Who has a work phone and who hasn’t got Wi-Fi. Who works nights, and who’s part time. It’s knowing that a manager in a store has a far different experience with their team from a manager in an office.

It’s that granular understanding of our colleagues – knowing them inside and out – that shapes our content and our campaigns, guides our IC strategy and keeps our stakeholders on point.

Just as our work reflects our audience, our measurement should too. If we know how our different audiences interpret content, we can engage our stakeholders and make meaningful changes that really matter to our audiences, colleagues and the performance of our businesses.

And that all starts with knowing who you’re talking to.

Establish your audience profiles

What channels do they have access to? How do they digest content? What’s important in their role? How do they communicate as a team? What do they need to know about the business? How do they keep up to date outside of work?

What makes your audiences different will differ by organisation, but by establishing a few key parameters – and testing them – you’ll start to build a picture of what your two, three, or five audience groups really look like.

Upskill your stakeholders

When you’ve got your audience profiles, make sure your stakeholders know about them. Do the team in vans have the bandwidth to watch a video? Do distribution teams delve into an infographic? Do finance like face-to-face time?

By upskilling your stakeholders on audience profiles from the start, you can position yourself as a strategic advisor, and make sure that IC really works.

Analyse by audience profile

With the foundations in place, it’s time for your audience knowledge to accelerate your internal communications. Your audience profiles will guide content and channels to make sure they’re right for the recipient, and they should be the basis of your measurement too.

Measuring how your content is received by your audience will help you understand where to make changes, while all the time building a richer picture of who you’re really talking to.

The final word

Whether you’re a measurement maestro or just edging into the world of evaluation, there’s one thing that always rings true – think audience first.

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