It’s become a necessity now to choose the right communication channels that can support the objective that your business has or the ones that you are trying to achieve.
If people get used to something, they rarely let it go and they usually consider change to be a bad habit. That’s what makes people make mistakes and never recover from them, especially in the business area, which is extremely sensitive to these changes.
We’re not talking about the type of coffee that you drink in the morning or the news sites that you read – we’re talking about the communication means that can really make a difference in the business area.
Selecting the best communication channel could be hard, especially because you want find the one that encourages and promotes a certain outcome or behavior. You’ll need to consider what unusual channels are best to be used for reaching the remote employees or different employee audience. Employees can receive a lot of pressure with feedback and complaints from customers through their own customer support channel. This is why most companies have hidden contact information for certain office departments to avoid receiving too much phone calls.
Using more popular channels is the key to reaching a specific audience. For this, you’ll need to make your research on the current stakeholders’ behavior in newer channels, like the social media – for example, what channels are they using and which prove to be the most influential.
Experimenting with new channels before you determine if they are effective or not is important, because this will prevent you from using the frequently if they’re not appropriate. Measuring the use of them is also an important element.
Once you know all these things, you can select a channel mix that works best for achieving your target audience and your objective for the message.
The Channel Types
The central communication channel, is a “one to many” channel, and you can consider here the press release, the email the memo or the intranet post. It’s scalable and it can reach multiple stakeholders.
The leader presentation is also a “one to many”, like the media interview, the press conference, the town halls or the CEO video/blogs. It’s a good way for addressing issues and it can be a highly credible source of information.
The manager cascade is a “one to few” type of channel, and it’s used for communication in team meetings and emails. It works as a trusted source and it’s considered to be more personal.
The Manager dialogue is interactive, and it’s used for group discussions. This channel helps resolving issues and drives behavioural changes.
The mobile and social media updates is a “one to many” type of channel, and you can note here the company blogs, the intranet, the twitter account, the SMS or the company Facebook page. It allows for ease of access to information and it gives off a tracking sentiment.
The social media participation is an interactive channel, used in discussion forums, blogs, or Twitter. It helps in building engagement and gives a human face to the company.
The enabling advocates is a “many to many” channel and it’s used by employees, suppliers and customers. It’s a channel used for trusted sources, it has high resonance and also high stickiness.