A discussion about “How to make your employees a communications asset” with a range of communications professionals. During the seminar, hosted by PR Moment’s Founder Ben Smith and Billy Hamilton-Stent, Director, Octopus Group, we discussed how utilised employees are an external communications asset and the merits and potential issues in them being the organisation’s mouthpiece.
Billy Hamilton-Stent talked about how employees are generally either extrinsically or intrinsically motivated to be social ambassadors. As discussed at the EEA Alliance the other week, research has shown that employees are more often motivated by intrinsic factors, and this is self sustaining. If you can tap into personal motivations you will be able to build a great ambassador pool. Similarly, rewarding and recognising employees who communicate positively about your organisation on social media can also be effective. A fun way of doing this is through gamification.
There was a panel debate that I was on, along with Jessica Brookes, Diversity and Inclusion Director, Avande; Julie McCallum, EMEA Communicaitons Manager, CA and Billy Hamilston-Stent from Octopus Group. We discussed:
- The importance of having a content strategy and to give employees something to galvanise around – this could be your purpose, values or topics of the moment – latest deals, work in the community, etc. The best way is to give employees content that they can easily share on social media.
- How a simple thank you for participating and sharing content, can make all the difference, particularly from senior leaders who really need to be walking the talk.
- Make participation easy. give people training if necessary – not everyone will know how to use social media such as Twitter, or have an account.
- Authenticity is key. If employees are being treated well and listened to in your organisation then what’s being communicated through your corporate channels should ideally mirror what comments employees are leaving on sites such as Glassdoor.com
- Go where the energy is. Not everyone will be an ambassador and want to share content on such an open platform. Illustrate how employees can benefit from speaking positively about your company – share stories of increased clients, sales, etc.
It was a very interesting session about a topic that is becoming increasingly relevant as social media rises in popularity and the lines between internal and external communication become increasingly blurred.
Written by Lottie Gunn, Senior Consultant.
Lottie specialises in internal communications and has previously worked at FTSE 100 companies and on the consultancy side in communication positions for over a decade.
Picture by: Picture by: Axel Heimken / DPA/PA Images.