Jan 20, 2015

Three ways HR and communications teams can use digital body language to enhance the employee experience

The other day, I googled a certain brand of eyeglass frames online based on a friend recommendation. I had never heard of the company before, but was very impressed by the catalog. What I found interesting, however, was that not even five minutes later, when I checked my email, I started seeing targeted ads from the same company. Sure, I didn’t click any of the ads, but I did end up going to the store on a trip out and making a purchase. The question is, why did I start seeing these ads? It’s because the company had a good strategy to respond to my digital body language.

In short, your digital body language is the activity you do online, including clicking links, downloading papers, and providing your email address. This body language tells marketers something about your interests, and they can set up processes to respond to your language with hopes of increasing your intent to buy or your actual purchase of products. Click here for a great article on digital body language (Source: Oracle Eloqua).

What does this mean for Internal Communications and HR professionals? Below are three ways these external practices of leveraging digital body language can be applied internally.

Think of your employee experience as a customer experience. The lines between internal and external environments continue to blur. Employees expect their experience within a company to be as sophisticated as their experience in the consumer space. Get some help from your marketing teams to understand how they map the customer experience – then apply this internally by building tools and processes that get them to your products, which include training courses, benefits, ambassador program information, updates about company financials, and more.

Offer your employees/customers  something compelling. An audience is an audience. And at the end of the day, they want to read valuable content. If it is interesting or useful, they will read it. Figure out how to provide content in a useful and interesting way that mirrors the kind of offering provided in the consumer space. For example, why not have your CFO do a blog or be featured in an article responding to economic trends, highlighting what they mean for her personally, as well as commenting on what they mean for your company. Or how about publishing a short article titled “Three tips to make the year-end appraisal process easier for you,” and target it toward managers.

Respond to your employees/customers with targeted information. Based on the digital body language of what people are reading, why not work with IT or your vendors to have your internal tools recommend useful follow-up content. For example, if a person reads about a smoking cessation program, how great would it be if your tools suggested additional reading about the health risk assessment. Or if someone read an insider’s view on new trends to manage cost in the transportation industry, why not recommend relevant courses from your online training catalog around cost management, company financials, or your CEO’s latest internal earnings statement, where she spoke about the need to more effectively manage the bottom line.

As we move further into a world where the Internet of Things includes workplace technologies, we don’t want to miss out on understanding our employees’ digital body language so that we can respond appropriately in ways that are relevant to them and their expectations of the employee experience. This is what customers, hence employees, are starting to expect. And as you continue with annual and long-term planning, now is as good a time as any to start fostering three-way dialogue between HR, IT, and Internal Communications around these types of trends.

Oct 2, 2014

How to Tell the External Story Inside the Organization

Before I jump into a quick recap of our recent ICLC Atlanta forum, I wanted to give you an update on what we’ve accomplished since our last forum in May. After completing our ICLC interest survey, we received a lot of interest in starting additional chapters. That said, we will soon have active chapters in Houston, London, and Singapore. This is very exciting, and we hope to see other chapters develop in the near future too. If you are interested in starting a chapter or getting involved with one of the already existing chapters, please visit the ICLC website.

Now I’d like to make sure you have access to materials from our Atlanta forum that took place in September. It was an extremely engaging session, led by visual strategist Jenny Trautman, which focused on “Telling the External Story Inside the Organization.” A key topic for us as communicators, as the line between internal and external communications is blurred, is to help make sure our employees are brand ambassadors who can drive the commercial agenda of the business.

We learned about great tips and tools from both GE and IBM, as well as what guiding principles we should follow. Click here to view the recap with these details. The below infographic will also help to explain the session.


And lastly, we have a lot of great photos as well as a video, so be sure to check them out as well.

ICLC Atlanta September 2014 Forum – Photos
ICLC Atlanta September 2014 Forum – Video

For more information about the ICLC, take a look at the ICLC website.

Sep 23, 2014

What Will Uber Teach Communicators about Data, Analytics, and Storytelling?

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article in the New York Times that made me think about a blog post I wrote last October called what we can learn from political campaigns. In it, I suggested that communicators could learn a lot about how to use data to shape communication strategies by studying how David Plouffe masterminded Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign. Like no political campaign before, Plouffe led a strategy to drive voter engagement, bolster volunteerism, and boost ballot box activity. And now, Plouffe is headed to Uber to lead their strategic planning, communication, and policy efforts.

With the amount of data that Uber captures, it will be amazing to see how Plouffe uses that data to develop targeted campaigns that both frame people’s perceptions about the experience of using Uber and draw on public opinion to push for legislation to give Uber access to parts of the world where it’s currently not operating.

He says in the New York Times, “This is a company that loves data and utilizes it, which is something that I’ve utilized a lot. If we can use data in smart and appropriate ways to tell our story better, people are more likely to use Uber for transportation.”

Watch this space. I think we’re all set up to learn a lot in terms of how we can apply data analytics to our communication strategies. To read the full New York Times article, click here.

Aug 27, 2014

Connecting Communicators across the Globe – The ICLC Expands

I know we’ve been chatting a lot about analytics over the last several weeks. However, I’d like to interrupt the series briefly to talk about another one of my passions. As you may or may not know, I am very passionate about connecting communicators across the world so we can evolve our profession and future-proof it.

To allow for these connections, I founded the Internal Communications Leadership Consortium (ICLC) in December 2013, which started out as a forum of companies in Atlanta that gathered once a quarter to talk about exciting topics related to communications. These sessions have been engaging and good for all involved.

After the success we’ve seen in Atlanta, I thought this might be an interesting concept for other communicators across the world, so I conducted an interest survey. The overarching message from this survey is that lots of people think the consortium concept is a great idea. You can take a look at the survey results here.

Based on this positive feedback, we’re launching this consortium in other parts of the world. Feel free to check out the ICLC website to see if there’s a chapter near you. If not, and you’d like to start a chapter, please let me know (rodjordan@cokecce.com).

Want to learn more about the Internal Communications Leadership Consortium (ICLC)? Take a look at some of the other related blog topics I’ve posted:

You can also follow the ICLC on Twitter: @ICLC_EO.