New year, new you, right?
We’ve all heard the expression a thousand times, and while it may not feel authentic for our personal lives (I’m still not dieting / working out / reading more / cursing less / etc.), office teams are often more open to fresh habits and new projects at the dawn of a new year. Grab onto a few best practices before Groundhog Day to get your team quickly facing in the right direction for 2016.
Conduct an internal communications audit. Are your employees getting the information they need to do their jobs well? Do they receive information and clarification directly from their manager, or have they created inefficient (and often unreliable) work-arounds to access the resources they need? A simple but well-constructed communications survey can help uncover strengths and barriers to good internal comms; services like Survey Monkey and FluidSurveys can provide cross tabulations by department, location, position, etc. The simple process of asking employees how and when they prefer to receive information can provide powerful information to help point your internal communications program in the right direction for 2016.
Review your social media assets. All of them. Kudos if you have a monthly editorial calendar for Facebook, and bonus points if you’re sharing original content on Twitter. But how long has it been since you updated your YouTube channel? Have you optimized photos and graphics on LinkedIn? Does your brand appear on any rogue or auto-generated social media pages? Spend a few hours exploring your company’s presence on social media and make sure your brand is reflected the way you want it to be. Better yet, hire a professional to do an audit for you and learn more about your highest performing posts, optimal post times, follower demographics and psychographics, competitive landscape, etc.
Do a brand standard compliance check. This is a great project for a winter intern. Take an enterprise-wide look at how your logo and key graphic assets are being represented. You may be surprised to find your square logo was stretched a bit to fit the imprint space on a golf hat, or that it has become unrecognizable in a reverse treatment on a black umbrella. Worse yet, you may see it in an odd color on a recruiting site – which means it’s probably been picked up and propagated on other sites and in online search results. The new year is a good time to enforce strong marketing and branding practices and clean up any mistreatment of your company marks.
Clean up the intranet. In the spirit of “fresh starts,” January is a great time to partner up with the folks in IT and see what’s hot – and what’s cold as February – on your company intranet. What files haven’t been accessed in the last year? What are the least productive pages on the site? If you don’t already have retention / deletion policies, now is a good time to look into them. You may be able to decide anything untouched in the last 12 months should be removed, or maybe the least-engaging 20 percent of the intranet gets archived? Corporate policy or regulatory compliance may require holding on to some seldom-accessed info, but also consider that stale, fallow content undermines any site’s value and potential effectiveness.
So corporate communicators, what resolutions are on your list for 2016?