One role for print: making dull messages stand out

Analog communications is more effective than digital when it comes to mundane content.

Analog communications is more effective than digital when it comes to mundane content

Communicating mundane messages to employees is one of the tasks that has been made harder for internal communicators by the adoption of Web 2.0 capabilities on internal networks.

Consider, for example, the communication of a benefits enrollment deadline. There’s little that gets communicated inside companies duller than employee benefits information. But employees still paid attention 20 years ago because the reminder was one of a few messages being broadcast to employees. Back then, the role of communications was to produce one-way, top-down messages to ensure employees knew what they needed to know (for instance, not missing the benefits enrollment deadline). With communicators acting as gatekeepers, it was easy to maintain a flow of content that the average employee could digest.

Today, communicators produce only a fraction of the messages through which employees must sift. Depending on the degree to which the company has embraced the Web 2.0 concept internally, employees consume messages from communities of various stripes, employee blogs, internal RSS feeds, updates on enterprise social networks, employee-generated videos, internal presence networks like Yammer, the list goes on.

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