5 ways to overcome the challenges of mobile communication

A new survey shows that people know they need mobile but face challenges getting started. Here are some tips for overcoming roadblocks.

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You think you have problems reaching your staff? Try communicating to 12,000 employees when 80 percent of them are not desk-bound—or even earthbound.

That’s the challenge that communicators for Canadian airline WestJet faced when they decided to amp up mobile messaging to its far-flung staff.

WestJet employs pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers and others in airports across Canada and elsewhere, says Robin Farr, director of internal communications and culture manager. Some are on the road for days at a time, and powering up the laptop might not be a priority for an crew member collapsing in a hotel after a redeye flight.

WestJet isn’t alone in recognizing the need for mobile. Internal communicators know they should be using the devices in everyone’s purse or pocket, a survey from RMG and Ragan Communications reveals. Many, though, are unsure where to begin and how to build a mobile channel.

In the survey, “The State of Internal Communications,” 83 percent of respondents say they aren’t using text or mobile, making it the least-used channel. Yet 66 percent think they should focus more on communicating using those devices.

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