How to write the best internal communications

Make your titles about the employee

The title of your internal communications is THE most important factor to hook your readers and get them to actually read your message. You should be thinking of yourself as an advertiser trying to sell your company’s message to your employees every time you write a piece of communication. Think about what’s in it for them to read what you have to say. For example, instead of saying “Updates to the rota processes policy” you should say “Get more flexibility and ownership of your shifts. Policy update.” This transforms the title from being about you, to telling staff how you can help them, obviously ensure that it’s not misleading.

 

Dumb it down

If you’re reading a magazine or news post which uses lots of jargon, how quickly do you lose interest? This is the same for internal communications, your staff will stop reading if you start trying to sound too ‘professional’ or ‘corporate.’ Keep it simple and imagine you are explaining your news to a ten year old. For example, instead of “Deployment date of new enterprise employee user software” you could say “Your new employee engagement app will be here on the 27th June.” Rewordify is an easy tool to simplify any complicated text you may have.

 

Do you really need to send it?

Really think about if it is absolutely necessary for you to send a piece of information. If you don’t, you could risk your content just turning into a blur of information which no one pays any attention to. Every time you go to press send, think to yourself “Will staff be at a disadvantage if they don’t read this?”

 

The shorter the better

Your staff are busy trying to get on with their work, don’t try to get them to read a two-page piece of content. Ideally it should be half a page, as if it’s longer than a page then you’re better off having a meeting about the topic or creating a presentation so that the information is communicated better.

 

Give it some human life

People like hearing about other people. Just think about how popular Facebook is. Essentially social media is just reading or looking at other people’s life and achievements, so why not take inspiration for your internal communications. Whatever piece of news you have, look for the people or teams which you can highlight to engage your audience. For example, if you’re celebrating the launch of a new store, talk about the employees who will be in that store, how they have found setting up the store and their journey before they got there. This will be a lot more interesting than simply stating the date, why it’s there and what you’re hoping to achieve from it being there. If you’re announcing a new process, you could get a perspective from an employee of why the old process wasn’t working and why the new one will help them in their job.

 

Give them something to look at

Did you know the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual?  This is why a big focus for your communications should be visual. Good examples of visual content can be videos, memes, photos and infographics. Try Venngage or Canva for free infographic creators. Try Filmora or Kizoa for free video creators.

Think like a reporter

You may have received the most boring piece of information, which you now need to distribute to your team. Think about how you would phrase it if you were a journalist. What is the most interesting part of the news item? Use that to hook your audience in. For example, if you’re telling your staff about a new product then think why that product is good, rather than just stating the name. If you’re sharing news of a new charity your company is supporting, state why the charity is such a good cause, rather than simply stating the name.

 

Add personality

We’ve all heard this tip before but just how do we add personality and make our posts less dry?

  • Tell a story, try to think of a personal experience you have that relates to the work you’re talking about. An example could be writing a post about keeping the staff room clean, to make this more of a story you could start with “Don’t you hate it when you go to get a plate to eat your sandwich and there aren’t any left?”
  • Tell a joke or use a pun! Play with the words that you have and to give inspiration for a witty comment this Pun Generator is great to search, if you can’t think of any yourself. They don’t have to be the funniest jokes in the world, sometimes the cheesier the pun or joke the better.
  • Be more conversational, think about how you would be communicating if you were talking to someone rather than writing to someone and use that as the basis for your communication.

 

Once is not enough

Sending your message out once is not enough, advertisers don’t show one advert on TV and assume their message has been heard, so don’t assume the same. A good trick is to change the header and the text slightly so you can send it out again. Think about how you can reinforce the message around your workplace. Oplift’s dash allows you to have banners for important company news, notifications to remind staff of the news, and news summaries so staff can get another round-up of all your company’s news in the last week, just in case they missed anything.

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 15th June 2018