Having a superior worldwide communications system in place is essential for remaining competitive as a global business in the 21st century. As communications and marketing executive Georgia Everse explains, communication teams need to be viewed by leadership not as a “service resource or process enablers,” but rather as a strategic imperative for high performance and growth.
Mastering global internal communications and brand messaging takes on a new level of complexity and possibility in the ever-evolving field of global telecommunications. Today, applications with embedded voice and video capabilities make it easy and cost-effective to communicate with other people anywhere in the world, both on a consumer and business level. Virtual business meetings and international conference calls are just as effective as in-person communication, giving global businesses the tools they need to be successful in the modern business landscape.
What steps can your organisation take to cultivate the type of thriving, dynamic communication network that is necessary for long-term business growth in the wake of both the digital revolution and globalisation?
Identify ambassadors for more effective worldwide communications
A lot of successful global companies identify local communication ‘ambassadors’ to act as a sole point of contact on the ground for each region. These ambassadors can help ensure employee engagement best practices and supportive processes are in place and being met.
This is even easier with virtual communications capabilities like audio and web conferencing. Communication ambassadors can routinely check in with stakeholders to ensure:
- central teams and regional offices are aware of the same updates, best practices and process changes
- the need for support, training and resources is quickly communicated and addressed
- brand messaging to targeted audiences is streamlined
With this type of coordinated effort, your global communications can take on a whole new level of sophistication, being capable of not just communicating ideas and needs but also having the ability to bring about a profound shift in attitudes and perceptions.
Give context to internal communications
In order to make employee engagement strategies work and to ensure central and regional teams are aligned, there needs to be a context framework in place. Have a clear model for what experience you want to create for employees and what platforms you want to use, and identify the unique challenges and needs faced when communicating to stakeholders in each region.
To build a working context framework, support your communication ambassadors. Hold monthly or quarterly masterclasses through video or web conferencing to help improve their communication skills. Use these classes for training and support but also leverage them to create a collaborative space to share ideas and best practices.
Leadership sets the tone for strong global communications
The strong communication practices of top management will cascade throughout every level of your organisation. This communications cascade is the backbone of a sustainable, growth-enabling global communications network.
So which key elements should upper management integrate into their internal communications?
- Set priorities and create a communication strategy for each, such as a unique plan for hiring top talent, improving customer service and meeting growth goals.
- Define your audiences for each priority – which committees, teams and regions need to be involved and who is your point of contact for each?
- Identify what context and critical messaging the audience should receive and experience for each priority.
- Determine how to package the messaging and what platforms to use – internal emails, virtual collaborative meetings, data presentations?
- Decide the frequency of your communications for each strategy.
Finally, keep the feedback loop open with conversations or online surveys. This way, you can always improve your communications strategies and ensure your messaging is getting across clearly.
Make your brand messaging consistent
It’s critical to have unified global messaging for all your audiences. From social media posts to the tone of your website, customer service and in-person company events, consistency is key to building trust in your brand.
Identify the core intention for your marketing messaging and customer communications, as well as for each facet of your plan. What is the experience and impression you want your audience to have? Use customer feedback to gauge how successful your brand messaging is at creating the right customer experience and communicating with stakeholders.
When you develop a well-integrated communications capability, no matter how large or complex your organisation may be, you’ll be equipped to deliver the level of consistency and relevance that will enhance the reputation of your brand. It starts with well-organised internal communications and strategic global communication practices implemented by leadership, and results in a better experience for customers and greater confidence in your brand.