The benefits of cloud-based corporate communication tools are many. Here are a few you might not know.
There’s a Twitter handle I follow whose tweets invariably bring a smile, if not an outright laugh-out-loud response whenever I see them. As the name implies, Postcard from the Past (@PastPostcard) tweets out old postcard photos, along with a snippet of text from the sender’s original note on the flip side. The quaintness of the pictures coupled with the personal, off-beat and often bizarre references from the long-ago vacation goer usually make for a good and irreverent chuckle. A recent one showed a postcard with beach scenes from Spain and the line, “Ethel still without her voice.” Just what DID Ethel do to loser her voice in Spain, anyway?
Maybe silly old postcards aren’t your thing, but until only about 20 years ago, they were the overwhelming way people shared vacation moments with friends and family. We’re talking 1990s here, folks, not the 1930s! Millennials are speechless when they consider travelers had to buy a postcard from some souvenir shop, jot down their message, address it, find the right local postage, find a mailbox, and then wait a week or more for that teeny, little card to reach its destination. It wasn’t at all unusual for people to be long back from their holiday before the postcard finally made it to Mom and Dad’s house. And what did they get for all that effort? A single, generic tourist snap and “Wish you were here…”
Now, consider what we can share today digitally, instantly, massively
Lengthy, high-definition video of you frolicking in Paris. Real-time geolocation from the Colosseum in Rome. Photos and reviews of that amazing shrimp dish in Barcelona. Links to the museum you visited in Athens. When people vacation today they essentially can bring along their entire family and friends for the trip virtually through Facebook, Instagram, and other social media.
In the same way, the tools and technology available to organizations to communicate with employees have changed dramatically. While a not-so-new capability such as email remains an obvious way companies most often connect with workers, more and more are using online and cloud-based digital postcard campaigns to reach their employee base. Newer corporate communication tools leverage video, microsites, and other portals linking employees to a wealth of information related to benefits enrollment, training, and other corporate initiatives.
Silver linings for corporate communicators
The power of today’s ‘digital postcards’ is multifold. According to our recent report, they’ve proven an effective way to prompt employees to take action. Cloud-based tools also have the ability to track viewership and clickthrough rates, enabling human resources and other team leaders to see which parts of their message are getting attention and which maybe are not. The use of video especially is becoming more and more prevalent simply because it works.
People are much more likely to click on a video on intuitive corporate communication tools and watch someone talk for two or three minutes than they are to read a three-page memo with the same content. Millennials and other younger workers are particularly more attuned to receiving messages and content through video because it’s what they’ve grown up with. And digital cloud-based campaigns are not limited to corporate emails and company intranet, but can also be extended using social media channels such as LinkedIn and others that employees read on their mobile devices.
Reach your employees in a way they’re comfortable
I’ve seen corporate communication tools like video and animation used quite effectively at corporations I’ve worked for to engage employees around branding efforts, corporate philanthropy, as well as benefits and training programs. Digital campaigns offer professional communicators the corporate communication tools to get creative beyond text (employing a little humor and quirkiness adds personality to your organization’s ‘voice,’ which isn’t a bad thing). When you’ve got a company with 50,000 staff in dozens of locations around the world, in-person meetings with senior execs quickly become cost prohibitive and time-consuming.
Using video and newer digital tools can be an impactful way of both engaging your global workforce and gaining their trust. Be sure to take full advantage of them.
Don’t let your employee communications look like a postcard from the past.