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How to Maintain the Ongoing Success of an Internal Communication Campaign

Ongoing campaign socialization is a pivotal factor for maintaining a successful internal communication campaign. We explain why and how.
Written by: Penny Swift
internal communication campaign
Published: April 15, 2024

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The key to maintaining the ongoing success of an internal communication campaign lies in achieving continuous campaign socialization. By ensuring employees not only receive the message but actively engage with it, discuss it, and integrate it into their work practices, we can create lasting impact and achieve the goals of internal comms campaigns.

Internal communications are imperative for any organization, but simply delivering information is not enough. You need to ensure employees understand, discuss, and internalize the message for long-term impact. One problem is that because there is so much information to share with employees, it’s difficult to get it to the right people at the right time. 

In addition, empirical evidence published in PubMed Central shows that information overload is positively related to strain, burnout, and various health complaints. It is also negatively related to job satisfaction. Furthermore, information overload is associated with serious performance losses, especially in connection with disruptions and interruptions.

This is why ongoing campaign socialization is so important. It isn’t a one-time event, but rather a continuous process that requires consistent effort throughout the campaign lifecycle. It involves using various communication channels, fostering discussions, and addressing employee questions as they arise.

The need for ongoing campaign socialization was one of the 10 top challenges Maddy Rieman, Cerkl’s Head of Customer Success, identified during our workshop at the 11th Annual Strategic Internal Communications – West Conference in San Francisco in February, 2024. 

This is our eighth post in a series of 10, and it talks about ongoing campaign socialization in the context of a successful internal communication campaign. We share information about planning and creating internal comms campaigns as well as best practices for promoting and implementing internal communications campaigns. Because socialization and ongoing metrics work together, we also cover ways to measure and use campaign results. 

What is an Internal Communication Campaign?

An internal communication campaign is a series of coordinated messages aimed at informing, engaging, or influencing employees within an organization. It’s a strategic approach to ensure everyone in the company is on the same page about important initiatives, changes, or cultural aspects.

These internal communications might involve promoting a new policy, boosting app usage, or increasing participation in benefits enrollment. The campaign uses clear messages delivered through various channels like email, intranet, or even in-person meetings. The aim, of course, is to maximize employee engagement and retention. 

what is an internal communication campaign

Ben Wigert, director of Research and Strategy, Workplace Management at Gallup, predicts that employers and employees are “heading for a relationship reset” in 2024. In an article, 6 Workplace Trends Leaders Should Watch in 2024, he states that even though employee engagement is rising worldwide, global stress among employees is still at a record high. Furthermore, a concerning trend is “the decrease in employees who feel connected to their organization’s mission and purpose.” 

Asked whether the mission or purpose of their companies makes them feel that their jobs are important, 32% of respondents said they strongly agreed. Hybrid workers are a little more positive (35%), followed by remote-capable on-site workers (33%), and only 28% of exclusively remote workers.  

Employees in the U.S. continue to feel more detached from their employers, with less clear expectations, lower levels of satisfaction with their organization, and less connection to its mission or purpose, than they did four years ago.

So, if employees are poorly engaged, and overloaded with information, how can internal communicators dispatch their messages without overloading employees, motivating them to contribute to the specific organizational goal?

“To win in 2024, leaders should consider re-tooling their management strategies to better support the changing needs of their workforce and organizational culture.”

Ben Wigert

What is Ongoing Campaign Socialization?

Ongoing campaign socialization is a crucial strategy for ensuring that any long-term campaign has a lasting impact.

The name itself is self explanatory. Socialization is a process that involves sharing information and ensuring people are familiar with something. An ongoing socialization campaign is a campaign that happens over a sustained period and is not just a one-time event. It’s a two-pronged approach that involves spreading awareness and maintaining engagement. 

  1. To spread awareness, the goal is to keep the campaign message and goals in front of the target audience over time.
  2. To maintain engagement, you need to keep people interested and involved in the campaign as it progresses.
internal communication campaign socialization

For instance, a company running a year-long sustainability initiative might hold regular workshops and events to educate employees about the program. Alternatively, a non-profit advocating for policy change might release regular social media updates and infographics to keep the issue in the public eye. Both fit the bill of ongoing campaign socialization. 

As Maddy says, “Essentially, no campaign is ever a one-and-done event. There’s a lot of prep work to get the ball rolling on a new campaign, but it doesn’t end there. You must understand what your intentions are for any given campaign and continuously monitor your approach to ensure you are achieving those goals. If the goal is to get everyone to switch over to a new system, or for employees to complete open enrollment, then what are your weekly metrics for these campaigns? How are you disseminating those metrics to those parties who matter most?” 

Don’t worry if you can’t answer these questions. You can find out more in the first of our Top 10 Internal Comms Challenges, Communicating with Executives: How to Show Them the Value of Comms. The post is all about the importance of internal communications and how to show return on investment (ROI) to those at the top of your organization.

What are Examples of an Internal Communication Campaign?

When focusing on ongoing campaign socialization, there are many topics that internal communicators can tackle. But, says Maddy, “any initiative you are working on should have ongoing metrics and socialization paired together.”

She highlights examples that include:

  1. Introducing effective internal comms campaigns
  2. Focusing on employee engagement and retention
  3. Updating open enrollment 
  4. Enhancing a culture of innovation by asking employees for new ideas
  5. Downloading employee mobile apps
  6. Participating in employee health challenges 
  7. Completing employee engagement or satisfaction surveys 
  8. Resetting passwords for specific systems
  9. Migrating to a new system (HRIS, internal tooling, and so on) 
  10. Having employees set (or reset) their preferences, which is something Cerkl Personalization does very effectively 

Possible Communications Strategies for Internal Initiatives

There are many forms of internal communications that HR and communicators can use to increase awareness and employee engagement. Let’s look at three broad examples from Maddy’s list above.

Hosting Internal Comms Campaigns

  • Communication: Utilize a mix of channels like email, company intranet, internal social media platform, and digital signage to reach a wider audience. Tailor content based on employee demographics, departments, or interests for better engagement. Video content and employee testimonials can be particularly engaging. 
  • Awareness: Host polls and quizzes and encourage friendly competition between departments to boost participation. Feature stories of individuals who exemplify campaign goals.
  • Engagement: Consider inviting campaign leaders for live chats or town halls to answer employee questions in real-time. Create platforms for employees to contribute ideas and feedback on the campaign. And offer rewards or recognition for employees who participate in campaign activities.

Improving Employee Engagement 

  • Communication: Share leadership messages, company news, and future plans to keep employees informed. Publicly acknowledge and reward achievements to boost morale. Encourage regular communication between managers and employees through open office hours or anonymous feedback options.
  • Awareness: Conduct surveys to understand employee needs, concerns, and preferred communication methods. Organize team-building activities, social gatherings, or volunteer opportunities to foster a positive work environment. Encourage employee resource groups and support these groups led by employees to create a sense of belonging for diverse communities within the company.
  • Engagement: Workshops, or mentoring programs help employees grow their skills, increasing professional development opportunities. But it’s also important to promote internal job openings and career paths to encourage growth within the company. Offer flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, or employee assistance programs to demonstrate your commitment to employee well-being.

Updating Open Enrolment

  • Communication: Provide clear, concise explanations for complex benefit terms and options using infographics. Segment comms according to employee demographics relevant to different benefits. Provide employees with FAQs that address common enrollment questions.
  • Awareness: Provide employees with different plan options. Highlight benefits that have changed or new options that have been added. Host interactive session (live or online) to explain changes and so on in real-time. 
  • Engagement: Engage employees with one-on-one consultations. Incentivise early enrollment with some sort of rewards for efficiency. Feature employee stories (anonymous if they wish) to showcase the value of specific benefits. 

How Do You Plan and Create an Internal Communication Campaign?

Whatever strategies you decide to use, crafting a successful communication campaign involves a clear roadmap. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps to plan and create one.

Define Your Goals

What do you want to achieve? Is it brand awareness, increased sales, or a shift in employee behavior? Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to give your campaign direction and a way to measure success.

Know Your Audience

Who are you trying to reach? Understanding your target audience’s demographics, interests, and preferred communication channels is crucial. Tailor your message and tone accordingly.

Craft Compelling Messages

What’s the core message you want to convey? Keep it clear, concise, and benefit-oriented. Use strong calls to action (CTAs) that prompt your audience to take a desired step.

Develop Content and Collate Materials

Create engaging content that resonates with your audience. This could be blog posts, videos, infographics, presentations, or social media content. Ensure visuals are high-quality and support your message.

Use Tools to Help You Get it right

Maddy advises creating a priority matrix for all campaigns. “I personally like the Impact Effort Matrix.” This tool will help you to analyze priorities using a quadrant:

priority matrix

Maddy advises outlining what each of the quadrants means to your organization. “Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to the amount of effort and value the campaign will be given and ultimately, give in return to your organization. Each quadrant should have a defined amount of comms efforts and example socialization steps that are taken for each version.” 

Set a Timeline and Budget

Establish a realistic timeframe for your campaign and allocate resources accordingly.

Establish KPIs and Metrics

Set internal communication campaign metrics to measure performance. This will help you understand what’s working and identify areas for improvement. As Maddy says, it’s vital to pair socialization and ongoing metrics when you work on any internal communications initiative. 

Practices For Your Internal Communication Campaign

Once you’re ready to kick off your internal communications campaign, you need to find the best way to implement and promote so your efforts are not in vain. As Maddy points out, there’s so much that organizations need to communicate to employees, it’s difficult to get all the pertinent information in front of each employee at the right time.  

She shares some of her best practices along with a few tips to help you get it right.

Create a Priority Matrix for All Campaigns

It’s important to create a matrix for each internal communication campaigns. As mentioned above, Maddy recommends using the Impact Effort Matrix. 

“It’s imperative to get your matrix and definitions that relate to each quadrant in front of your major stakeholders before they submit their first campaign. Most importantly, it’s vital to identify what isn’t required. Getting buy-in on the process and having everyone sing ‘Kumbaya’ beforehand will help you when you’re in the thick of it.”

This is such a simple tip from Maddy, but one that can make an enormous difference.

“Use hyperlinks at the top of all your email sends throughout a given campaign to ensure it’s easy for employees to access those links even when they aren’t thinking about that specific campaign.”

Identify Employee Needs and Practices

She also suggests identifying where employees spend most of their time and what systems they use. Recognize what tools they need to clock into or use to do their work every single day. 

It stands to reason that identifying employee needs and practices will enable you to tailor communication messages to be relevant and engaging. This increases the likelihood that employees will pay attention to the information and find it valuable. Identifying employee practices can also help you choose the most effective communication channels and target them directly within these platforms. 

Furthermore, understanding employee needs allows you to anticipate potential concerns or challenges related to the communication campaign.

Boost Campaign Visibility with Eye-Catching System Banners

Maddy asks, “Can you add a small banner or image to those systems to grab the attention of your employees around pertinent campaigns?” 

There is no doubt that using short, clear messages and compelling visuals on banners can effectively capture employee attention and encourage them to want to learn more about the campaign. In fact, strategic placement of visuals within the systems employees use most frequently can significantly increase campaign awareness and engagement.

best practices internal communication campaign

Measure and Assess Campaign Results

The success of any internal communications campaign hinges on your ability to measure its effectiveness and adapt based on the data.

According to Grammarly’s 2024 State of Business Communication report, 84% of business leaders and 70% of knowledge workers have been communicating across more channels at work in the past 12 months. It also reveals that emails, virtual and in-person on-site meetings, and text-based chat account for more than nine hours or about 23% of the workweek spent communicating through collaboration tools. The result is that 80% of professionals now face communication challenges including information overload. 

The solution is for organizations to “develop strategies to standardize communication across tech stacks and decrease the disruption employees experience simply navigating their suite of workplace apps.” But it’s also vital to measure results, especially when introducing new approaches. 

Leverage analytics tools provided by your chosen communication channels to gather data on campaign performance – including email software and social media platforms. 

Remember that data is powerful, but only if you interpret it correctly. Analyzing campaign data to uncover trends and areas of strength or weakness allows you to pinpoint what’s working and what needs improvement.

Then, adapt and optimize. This is where the magic happens. Based on your analysis, you can refine your message, test different tactics, or even explore alternative channels to optimize the campaign for better results.

Improve Success with the Broadcast Internal Communications Campaigns Feature

Cerkl Broadcast is a versatile platform that caters to a broad range of organizations of all sizes. It offers a multitude of features to help improve internal communications. These include:

But in the context of ongoing campaign socialization and successful internal communications, Cerkl’s Broadcast Campaigns will give you an edge. 

We introduced this feature in 2023 to allow users to group and analyze communication blasts for different topics or audiences. So, if your organization is looking for a sophisticated solution, Broadcast Campaigns will help you achieve your goals and drive strategic initiatives effectively.

Rachel Folz, Director of Product at Cerkl, explains the impact of internal communication campaigns, such as organizing and measuring communication effectiveness, in this video. 

What’s Next?

You can come on board and sign up for Broadcast right now. Or you can calculate your current ROI and consider what you need to do to improve it. 

It’s vital to measure results for all internal communications campaigns. This is the only way you can assess where you are positioned and then decide how to move forward.

FAQ

What is an internal communication campaign?

Internal communications campaigns involve a series of organized, ongoing messages aimed at informing and engaging employees about company initiatives, changes, or goals.

What is an example of a communication campaign?

Launching a new employee benefits program will commonly involve a campaign that might incorporate videos, emails, town halls, and intranet articles explaining details and benefits.

How do you plan a communication campaign?

Start by defining goals, identifying the target audience, key messages, communication channels (including email, intranet, and so on), timelines, and budget.

How do you run an internal communications campaign?

Execute the plan, monitor progress, address employee questions, and make adjustments as needed.

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