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Internal Communications Tools
The Inside Story.  What Internal Communicators in every organization need to know:  tools, resources, how-to's, issues, strategies, and plans.  Find me on Twitter @kzinke
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The Latest Trends in Leadership Communications | Newsweaver

The Latest Trends in Leadership Communications | Newsweaver | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"Did you know that the leadership communications crisis is deepening with only 1 in 5 people globally believing that leaders demonstrate effective leadership? Or that poor leadership costs companies money, with 61% of people boycotting or buying less from a company they believe to have poor leadership?


In IBM’s recent Global CEO study on effective leadership communication, which polled almost two thousand CEOs worldwide found that senior leaders are aware and ready to face these new challenges."


Read the full article to view the infographic that pulls from this study and covers:

  • top trends
  • hallmarks of successful leadership communications
  • the challenges in leadership communications
  • the future of leadership communications
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Leadership communication strategies are changing.  Leaders must be good communicators to develop employee engagement.  They need to become more open, less top-down controlled approach, provide more collaboration opportunities, and implementing a communication strategy.

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Why Your Team Won't Use Your Organizational Messaging | Huffington Post

Why Your Team Won't Use Your Organizational Messaging | Huffington Post | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"One of the biggest challenges for organizations is speaking with a consistent and compelling voice. Silos abound, and even those enterprises that have a positioning platform find it difficult for it to take hold in their organization.


The reason is simple: most executives look at messaging as being about finding the right words, and that is certainly part of the process. But good messaging is mostly about articulating a purpose -- the "why" of your business -- and engaging everyone fully around that purpose."


Read the full article to find out more about these key ways to incorporate messages into your organization's culture and personality:

  1. Understand the external landscape
  2. Get a grip on how your messages need to relate to your unique brand and/or personality
  3. Understand the internal landscape
  4. Involve your internal teams in the messaging process
  5. Create a flexible messaging architecture
  6. Repetition and training
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Some very good points here.  But I think they're missing a very important component.  It could tie into tip #1, but I think it needs to be clearly defined.  You need to answer the burning question from your audience - what's in it for me? As well as - what do you want from me?  We all worry about how something relates or impacts us.  Once we understand that, then we can start to take in the rest of the information.

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4 key skills to be an effective corporate communicator (and strangely, writing isn’t one of them) | Arik Hanson

4 key skills to be an effective corporate communicator (and strangely, writing isn’t one of them) | Arik Hanson | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"Over my almost 20 years in the communications business, I’ve spent a fair amount of it on the corporate communications side. So, while I don’t profess to be an expert, I think I have some level of credibility when it comes to assessing what skills are key in these types of roles.


But, as I thought more about this over the holiday break (okay, I only thought about this for about five minutes over the holiday break), I had one interesting realization: I’m not sure I’d put “writing skills” among my must-have skills for today’s communicator.


I’m not saying writing skills aren’t important. They are–and then some. But, aren’t they also table stakes for communicators? Isn’t it ASSUMED you can write well if you’re applying for these types of jobs?  That’s why I don’t think they’re on my list."


Read the full article to find out more about these skills effective communicators need:

  • Know how to run–and manage–meetings
  • Know how to build trust–and relationships
  • Know how to “manage up”
  • Know how to play politics
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Oh this is so bang on!

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6 ways communicators can say 'no' | Ragan

6 ways communicators can say 'no' | Ragan | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"Factoring in staffing constraints, workloads, and sometimes-outlandish demands from clients and executives, communications professionals are universally overworked. Increasingly they're being asked to do more with less. We began discussing ideas on how to gracefully say “no” to a project that simply can’t be taken on."


Feel like you're getting roped into projects that aren't part of your job and don't use your talents well?  Read the full article to find out more about these six ways to politely refuse:

  1. Just say “no”
  2. Create a statement of work or a department manifesto
  3. Focus only on what you are “good to excellent” at
  4. Don’t go down paths that lead nowhere
  5. Ask people to do things for themselves
  6. Prioritize with leadership
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Saying no can be hard - so these tips are great.  But I love #2!  Many people are a little confused about the role of communicators.  On top of my communications role, apparently I can also do web and graphic work, manage projects, and develop the program.  And often also a miracle worker.  So clarifying what I can do is a lifesaver.


I've discovered people are overwhelmed with the thought of having to write or develop communications, and the process seems overwhelming.  It makes sense especially if they don't do it all the time, or isn't their area of expertise.  Once I can explain I'm not the content expert (and point out who I think that is), and simply there to support them by getting their material out to the appropriate audience in a way they can hear it, things shift.  The conversation changes, information starts flowing, and a more collaborative approach begins.


Here's another Ragan article with some generic ways to say no -  10 ways to say 'no' that won't damage business or relationships

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Your First 100 Days | Internal communication - ICWorld

Your First 100 Days | Internal communication - ICWorld | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"They say that if you don’t know whether or not you’re on schedule, it’s a safe bet that you aren’t.


One time you really need to be certain of your direction is during your first days and weeks in new internal comms role.


When you’re promoted to a bigger role, you need a big plan to go with it. And you need to deliver results fast."


Read the full article to access the link to the downloadable guide and find out more about these 10 tips to make the most out of your first 100 days in a new internal comms role:

  1. Get started before you get started
  2. Understand the business
  3. Clarify your remit
  4. Identify the players
  5. Sit up and listen
  6. Deliver some quick wins
  7. Don't change everything overnight
  8. Commission an audit
  9. Review your capability
  10. Invest in yourself
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Some wonderful tips in this guide to help you shine in your new role. You can also supplement this guide with this one I scooped earlier that was produced by Weber Shandwick for Chief Communications Officers.

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Improve Employee Onboarding with the Intranet | Intranet Connections

Improve Employee Onboarding with the Intranet | Intranet Connections | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"Every organization must tackle onboarding new employees. It can be struggle to do this efficiently, especially lacking the proper processes and systems in place to perform the onboarding precisely and completely for each new employee. Most companies create an onboarding checklists, detailed documentation and of course, plenty of forms to onboard a new employee. But paper-based checklists, documents and forms get lost, become outdated and often end in rouge processes being executed by different departments.


Stop the madness! Streamline and organize your Employee Onboarding on your intranet to ensure each new employee is given the same onboarding experience, no required documents are overlooked and proper training/testing has taken place."


Read the full article to find out more about these five best practices to streamline your employee onboarding on your intranet:

  1. Creating an Employee Onboarding Checklist Form
  2. Instating Automated Employee Onboarding Workflows
  3. Online Registration for New Employee Orientation
  4. Deliver Employee Onboarding Forms & Tests Online
  5. Feature New Employees on the Intranet Home Page
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

This is a really smart tactic internal communicators should look at. Not only does it help the HR department, but it's also your chance to get in front of new employees and get them comfortable with the intranet and understand what communications and information can be found on it.  Involve other departments and expand the materials so it includes what the organization does and who's who.

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Infographic: 15 Digital Trends to Watch in 2015 | PR News

Infographic: 15 Digital Trends to Watch in 2015 | PR News | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"Whether you're a technophile unable to contain your excitement about the latest release of your favorite product or a Luddite lamenting the days of pen, pad and typewriter, it's a certainty that the brands that stay abreast of the latest digital trends will have the best footing in 2015. Not every brand will be able to put every new piece of technology to use in its public relations or marketing strategies immediately, but knowing about the latest advances in the way people communicate with each other and with their favorite brands is important and necessary research this time of year."


Read the full article to see the infographic and find out more about this analysis looking at these 15 most talked about online trends:

  1. Near field communication
  2. Internet of things
  3. Wearables
  4. Internal communications
  5. Storytelling
  6. Branded content
  7. Beacons
  8. Personalization
  9. Big data
  10. Content marketing
  11. Augmented reality
  12. 3D printing
  13. Real-time
  14. Mobile
  15. Gamification
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Interesting to see internal communications trending so high.  I'll definitely be keeping my eye on these trends this year.

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7 Uses of Internal Company Videos That Can Boost Productivity and Collaboration | Entrepreneur

7 Uses of Internal Company Videos That Can Boost Productivity and Collaboration | Entrepreneur | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"By now, most organizations have a firm grasp on how to use video to market their brand, promote their products and connect with customers. But how can businesses leverage the power of video internally?"


Read the full article to find out more about these seven ways to use video internally to improve productivity, collaboration and communication:

  1. Employee onboarding and training
  2. Recruiting new talent
  3. Internal communications
  4. Video conferencing
  5. Knowledge sharing
  6. Event coverage
  7. Video social network
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Video is a great tool.  But it can be expensive and time consuming to produce.  In an ideal world, you have a dedicated videographer on your team.  Their expertise will save time in quality, filming and editing.  If you can't dedicate the resource you may find that even if you get the material recorded, the video doesn't get edited or posted.  Which can be very frustrating for those who put the time in to the project.

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12 emerging internal communications trends for 2015 | Medium

12 emerging internal communications trends for 2015 - The Future of HR - Medium

"Internal communications as a profession is moving slowly. Maybe too slowly. Very often the internal communications people are more followers than leaders. More pleasers than challengers. More change watchers than change agents."


Read the full article to find out more about these 12 emerging internal communications trends that could enable internal communicators to increase their impact:

  1. Real time
  2. Individualization
  3. Mobile/mobile/mobile
  4. Visual
  5. Video and explanimations
  6. Peer-to-peer
  7. Real and transparent communication
  8. Being part of social networks
  9. The merge between internal- and external communications
  10. Print is making a comeback
  11. Communication analytics
  12. More fun!
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Hmmm.  While I do agree that internal communications is moving slowly professionally, I'm not too sure that I agree with all the comments about the role of internal communicators.  I'm seeing more internal communicators in power positions and taking on key roles in change management.  Maybe that varies based on industry or region?

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Chief Communications Officers: “The First 100 Days Can Make or Break Careers” | Weber Shandwick

Chief Communications Officers: “The First 100 Days Can Make or Break Careers” | Weber Shandwick | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

Weber Shandwick released Chief Communications Officers: First 100 Days, an e-book reflecting advice from dozens of veteran corporate communications officers (CCOs). Our new e-book provides invaluable advice from CCOs on making the most of those first 100 days when any missteps can derail the best of plans."


Read the full article to access the ebook download that covers these 12 tips + more:

  1. Be patient
  2. Prepare before you start
  3. Listen & learn
  4. Evaluate your team from day one
  5. Don't criticize
  6. Get to know the business operations
  7. Develop internal advocates
  8. Figure out the shadow organization
  9. Don't lose site of what's outside the organization
  10. Be prepared for some surprises
  11. Gain the CEOs respect
  12. Find your early win
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Regardless of your level, these tips will help any communicator as they get settled into a new job.  Learn from the veterans who share “if I could do it over” laments, likely challenges for newcomers and, importantly, invaluable advice for a smooth first 100 days of a new comms job.

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Mobile Apps for Employee Engagement: Three Keys to Success | Business 2 Community

Mobile Apps for Employee Engagement: Three Keys to Success | Business 2 Community | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"Increasingly, companies understand the benefits of mobile employee engagement communication: hitting employees where, when, and how they want to receive information through smartphones rather than emails or other traditional methods. Through examining programs initiated by early adopters of a mobile strategy, some important pitfalls to avoid, lessons learned, and keys to success have emerged."


Read the full article to find out more about these three keys to your employee mobile app success:

  1. Keep it Simple
  2. Clearly Communicate Value
  3. Eliminate IT Headaches
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Quit Advertising To Employees and Start Storytelling with Them | Bill Baker & Co.

Quit Advertising To Employees and Start Storytelling with Them | Bill Baker & Co. | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

Too much of the internal communications we see feel like overwrought ad campaigns, designed to ‘sell’ an idea to employees instead of truly engaging them in it.


But selling to employees results in employees feeling like they’re being sold, which over time can foster disengagement, distrust and detachment. Rather than advertising to employees, companies should practice more of the authentic and highly human craft of storytelling with them."


Read the full article to find out more about these three guidelines on how best to communicate with employees in a storytelling way:

  1. Turn down the hype
  2. Give voice to the people on the front line, not just those in the corner offices
  3. Have the faith to be unscripted, especially with videos

Via Karen Dietz
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Organizations need to stop pushing information onto employees, instead they should be pulling them into the ideas.0


"This approach requires more faith, trust and relinquishment of control, but it results in internal communications infused with greater humanity, which in turn generates greater understanding, conviction and a profound sense of belonging among employees."

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, November 24, 2014 6:32 PM

Amen brother! That's what I said when I read this article by colleague Bill Baker @StorytellerBill. 


Corporations, communications folks, managers and leaders have got to stop talking "at" people, or on just "telling" stories. That is all just pushing messages to people -- which Bill says is simply another ad to put up with. And we wonder why employee engagement is so low!


As I encourage my clients, think of story sharing instead and story listening as the secret to turning this situation around.


Bill give us very concrete advice on what to avoid doing, and 3 pieces of solid advice what to do instead. Yeah!


Follow Bill's advice and you will start seeing a huge difference. Thanks Bill!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it 

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A new step for every strategic communication plan | Holtz Communication + Technology

A new step for every strategic communication plan | Holtz Communication + Technology | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"Among communication strategic planning processes, none include a
step in which you ask, "What could go wrong?""


Read the full article to see recent examples of organizations that didn't ask the question and why you should add a pre-mortem assessment to your strategy.

Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Save yourself some grief and consider adding this step to your communication strategy.  This is similar to a SWOT analysis but I think it's more concise because of how concise the question is. Sometimes we can be too close to the situation to see the potential downfalls.  If you can ask someone who is familiar but isn't as close to the situation for their thoughts.

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Lack of strategy in internal comms | IoIC

Lack of strategy in internal comms | IoIC | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"A worrying 64% of respondents admitted there was no clear IC strategy in their organisation (up from 58% last year) – and only 53% agreed that internal communicators and senior leaders were on the same wavelength!


This was reflected in respondents’ priorities for 2015, included in the report which is compiled annually by Gatehouse."


Read the full article to see some more highlights from the free downloadable State of the Sector report by Gatehouse, which covers:

  • Face-to-face channels
  • Digital channels
  • Social media & feedback
  • Other channels
  • Impact & measurement
  • Priorities & challenges in 2015
  • Budget
  • Gatehouse's set of 10 recommendations where organisations should be focusing their time, energy and budget on
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Helping a CEO connect with an internal audience | Headlines

Helping a CEO connect with an internal audience | Headlines | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"We tend to find most CEOs are in a unique position. When they speak, people – both members of the internal and external audience – will listen.

This unparalleled reach alone should make a chief executive’s words an invaluable part of a corporate communications plan.


But there are pitfalls too as many internal communications professionals will testify. So what simple steps can be taken to maximise the reach of your CEO’s communication?"


Read the full article to find out more about these tips to help your CEO connect with an internal audience:

  • Remember understanding the need to communicate is an early win
  • Make goals clear from the outset
  • Only fools rush in
  • Let the audience guide you
  • Open a two-way dialogue
  • Listen and respond


Photo:  A conversation by Oli Young under CC license

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The iceberg that sinks organizational change | Torben Rick

The iceberg that sinks organizational change | Torben Rick | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"Some aspects of organizational culture are visible on the surface, like the tip of an iceberg, while others are implicit and submerged within the organization. Because these ingrained assumptions are tacit and below the surface, they are not easy to see or deal with, although they affect everything the organization does.  Dealing with organizational barriers. It is better to be mindful of things below the surface!"


Read the full article to get a closer look at this image and get a better understanding of what's happening below the surface when you initiate a change.

Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

In many organizations, change is constant.  Before embarking on a change management initiative, check out these supporting articles:


On Torben's website, he has a whole category dedicated to change management.  It's an incredible resource that I'd highly recommend checking out.

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Build Brand Advocacy From the Inside Out | Entrepreneur

Build Brand Advocacy From the Inside Out | Entrepreneur | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"The irony is that at many companies, external and internal communications operate in independent silos. So that more often than not employees learn about new campaigns at the same time they are released to the rest of the world, if not later, without any additional context.


This means that when they go home and interact with family, friends and their wider networks, employees aren’t armed with any of the messages the company wants consumers to know -- a huge missed opportunity.


They can organically spread the word about a new product or service with the power of ownership and pride. An employee authentically excited about a company’s mission can in some cases be a more effective spokesperson than a media-trained executive or celebrity in igniting consumer action."


Read the full article to find out more about these three ways to engage employees and inspire them to become ambassadors for your company:

  1. Wow them
  2. Involve them
  3. Recognize them
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Behold! Someone Made An Employee Manual You'll Actually Want To Read | Fast Company

Behold! Someone Made An Employee Manual You'll Actually Want To Read | Fast Company | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"An employee manual is a fixture of company culture, but just because it’s a fixture doesn’t mean it should follow a corporate formula. Bill Fisher, CEO of EF China and president of EF Digital Learning Labs, has transformed his company's manual into a wonderfully animated booklet that manages to get its points across (company values, expectations, goals, etc.) but with a playful, children's book-like design that employees have truly responded to."


Read the full article to see images of EF's employee manual.

Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

This is a really good example of a company who understands their brand and culture - and communicated it well.  Consistency in communication is key.  They're setting their new employees up well!

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Five ways to improve internal communications in your organisation | Collaboris

Five ways to improve internal communications in your organisation | Collaboris | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"In this blog post we will look at five ways to improve internal communications, using simple techniques like harnessing the power of an existing Intranet or tweaking existing IT solutions."


Read the full article to find out more about these 5 practical steps to good internal communications:

  1. Reduce internal email
  2. Centralise messages
  3. Ensure staff actually read comms
  4. Testing understand and encourage feedback
  5. Start small
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10 Internal communications thought leaders you should follow | Red e App

10 Internal communications thought leaders you should follow | Red e App | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"If you asked public relations professionals to point out the hip and sexy practices in the field, internal communications would probably not come to mind.


Although internal communications doesn’t get the attention it deserves, there are many great communication leaders that provide top-notch insights on the fast-changing field. Many of these people are very active on Twitter, sharing content and engaging in critical dialogue throughout the day."


Read the full article to find out more about 10 thought leaders in internal communication, public relations, and marketing.

Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

For more suggestions of internal communicators to follow, take a look at this related article I linked to earlier this year:  10 Internal Communication Blogs to Follow.

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Five ways to get your employees invested in new technology | PCWorld

Five ways to get your employees invested in new technology | PCWorld | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"You and your IT team have gotten the sign off you needed from top management, the contractors have done their job, and now you’re ready to deploy a major technology shift at your company. If you’re thinking that the next step is to sell that technology to the users, you may have already made a serious mistake. Smart IT managers know that one of the most critical parts of a technology rollout is winning the support and trust of users before a project is underway.


If you haven’t brought other departments and their leaders, both formal and informal, on board from the very beginning, your project may already be in serious trouble."


Read the full article to find out more about these five ways to get employees using new technology:

  1. Plan and budget for adoption from the start
  2. Lead by example
  3. Engage natural leaders, not just department heads
  4. Align rewards and recognition
  5. Be sure to communicate with users
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

No matter how effective the new technology is, it won't improve your business unless your employees are on board. A new technology deployment should help employees do their jobs in new and better ways. But the failure to win broad support within the company often means that applications are not used effectively.


Internal communicators should be part of the process from the beginning.  They can interpret technical language into something easier to understand, and can open and help keep communication channels open.

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Inspire Employees by Finding Stories, Not Creating Them | Rocky Walls

Inspire Employees by Finding Stories, Not Creating Them | Rocky Walls | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it
One of the most common misconceptions I encounter when working with companies on internal communications videos is the idea that we have to “come up” with ways to entertain employees with added humor or excitement.


Read the full article to find out more about these tips to find stories in your organization:

  • Listen and look for opportunities
  • Build a team of sources
  • Learn to ask the right questions
  • Set up an inspiration wall
Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Get out there and talk, but more importantly, listen to your employees.  Find these stories and then use them in all your communication vehicles.

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6 journalistic skills to use in your internal communications | Southerly

6 journalistic skills to use in your internal communications | Southerly | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"Getting staff to click through to an email newsletter, read articles online or in print, or engage with company comms is a whole lot easier if the content is quality stuff. Not only that, if it’s produced using a few tried and tested journalistic techniques, it’s even easier and more effective."


Read the full article to find out more about these six journalistic skills that will amp up your internal communication materials:

  1. Good writing
  2. Interviewing
  3. Editing
  4. Fact checking
  5. Headline writing
  6. Knowing where the good stories are
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Generation Y Turns to Mobile and Social for Employee Communications [INFOGRAPHIC] | Social Media Today

Generation Y Turns to Mobile and Social for Employee Communications [INFOGRAPHIC] | Social Media Today | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

"For most people the web search has already been replaced by one-touch mobile apps. And what we do as consumers is impacting on how we like to work.


Generation Y (people born in the 80s and 90s) are increasingly expecting and desiring to communicate with their colleagues, customers and clients through mobile devices. 20% of all employees now spend at least 10% of their time working remotely and 56% of Gen Ys say that increased mobile working would increase their productivity.


There's also good business sense behind this trend. 96% of senior executives cite a lack of effective communication for workplace failures. 

In spite of this, most organisations are lagging behind in their adoption of internal mobile communications."


Read the full article to view the infographic to find out why organizations should be embracing the mobile social revolution.

Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Are you ready for the mobile social employee communications revolution?  Use this infographic to help prepare for this digital trend.

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Exploring Gamification for Internal Communications | Newsweaver

Exploring Gamification for Internal Communications | Newsweaver | Internal Communications Tools | Scoop.it

Were you a Cub Scout or a Girl Guide? Can you remember the excitement of receiving a new badge and displaying it on your top? Well badges are making a comeback, but this time they don’t have to be sewn on. Open badges is an emerging educational technology from Mozilla; they are essentially image files containing information about what has been done or learned to earn the badge, together with who has issued the badge and the earner’s unique evidence.


Read the full article to find out more about badges, how they're being used, and how it might affect Internal Communications and help support behavior change.

Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)'s insight:

Badges - an old idea with new power and potential for Internal Communications.  The Open Badges technology adds a powerful change driver to the suite of tools available for internal comms and employee engagement strategies.

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