A few years ago Melcrum writer Sona Hathi wrote about News Corp., and how the company “doubled down” on internal communications during the U.K. phone-hacking scandal. It is a great lesson for both integrators and corporate communicators who want to test the effectiveness of their internal communication channels. News Corp. took the strategic decision to use their enterprise social business platform to counter rumours and build an even stronger sense of corporate community during the scandal. The crisis actually served to bring people closer together and strengthen the mission and the value of the internal communications team.
This illustrates the power of the channel concept within the enterprise. But what if a multimedia option was available? By employing channel creation tools during a crisis, corporate communicators can turn on a dime and quickly launch TV-like content channels that deal specifically with the events of the day, and direct that communication to important target audiences. It connects employees and other key stakeholders far and wide, across any device, and broadcasts a consist message that helps reinforce the company’s position. Furthermore, it creates a space for employees to share ideas, concerns, and validate information.
As Hathi describes, one of the important benefits of News Corp.’s internal social media channel is that by monitoring the conversations on the enterprise social business platform, News Corp. learns what topics are important and can then generate content accordingly. Instead of relying solely on surveys or focus groups, the communications team can get a strong sense of where the communication gaps lie by simply “listening” to the kinds of discussions employees are having on social media.
News Corp.’s internal social media tool proved effective, but an internal channel that utilizes live data, live video, PowerPoint, graphics, and animations, as well as social media, could create an even greater communications opportunity in a crisis and ensure messaging is absolutely clear, timely, and effective.
Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a full-service provider of technology, network management and content services for professional digital signage applications. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at [email protected].