Make Your Workers a Real Target Audience

Employees are one of the most neglected target audiences. Too often, information of relevance to them is dribbled out, posted on antiquated communications platforms or overlooked altogether.

And employers wonder why their workforce are not engaged or motivated.

Over time, poor internal communications can lead to an even deeper alienation. But the alienation also can be instantaneous if a major announcement is botched because of inadequate or insensitive internal communications.

Smart business owners and senior managers don't dismiss complaints about faulty worker communications. Instead, they view effective internal communications as a strategy to promote productivity, stay in touch with the front lines of their businesses and achieve an esprit de corps that is key to keeping an organization operating smoothly and on goal.

The trail of missteps by employers has been pretty well mapped — poorly handled layoffs, surprise rebranding, sudden and unexplained management changes and out-of-the-blue modifications to employee benefits. What isn't so clear is how employers can take steps to clean up their act and make employee communications a priority, not an afterthought. Here are some ideas:

Put a premium on and reward internal communication

If you want managers to communicate with employees, make it a part of their job, then evaluate them on how they perform. Reward good communication habits and discipline managers who slough off the assignment. Managerial engagement must be more than superficial. People can tell when you are just going through the motions and when you are actually paying attention.

Content Curation as Thought Leadership

Collecting and re-using content from third parties is emerging as a critical marketing strategy to inform and engage customers and stakeholders.As the amount of information available on the Web and other sources has exploded, marketers have turned to "content curation" as a strategy to demonstrate thought leadership and elevate brand visibility. 

Content curation involves collecting and repurposing for your target audience articles, charts, infographs and images posted online by third parties.

A study of 400 professional marketers conducted in March 2012 by Curata, an online content curation provider, shows 85 percent of marketers believe effective content curation establishes thought leadership and elevates brand visibility and buzz. That is up from 79 percent in 2011, the first year Curata conducted its research.