The value of a multichannel strategy to communicate effectively with employees



A diverse workforce can be a challenge to reach. Depending on just one channel to communicate to employees will not work. Adopting a multichannel approach will better enable you to engage with all of your employees. To accomplish this, internal communicators need to join the dots between strategy, behaviours and technology, to improve the flow and quality of communication and collaboration.


First review your general communication strategy:


  • Do you have goals and objectives for your communications? Everything should be aligned with

your company’s business objectives. This includes general goals per campaign, and goals

relating to your internal communications.


  • Select the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that measure your success in achieving your goals. Good KPIs to review include content popularity, survey responses, take up of safety initiatives, response to change management, video views, event registrations, or an increase in intranet or social network traffic – to name a few. Match the metrics you use to measure your success to the KPIs you have selected.


Conduct a channel audit


While you are reviewing channels available to you, also take the time to identify where you need to update your channel technology (such as email and intranet) to technology that saves you time, and delivers the real-time metrics and analytics you need. Having this type of insight will help you assess the channel popularity and audience preferences.


Channel strengths – Take a look at the existing communication channels available to you. Understanding their strengths will help you improve how you use each channel to help you reach a diverse workforce.


The role of insight and measurement in your success


Measurement lets you understand the impact of what you’re doing. Review your access to measurement in each of your channels, and use those selected metrics to help you gain insight into your campaigns. In the selection of metrics you use, try to be consistent in your choice across each of your communication channels. By doing this you are not looking at channels in isolation – you are getting consistent insight into engagement across all channels, allowing you to make decisions based on these insights.


For example measure adoption and engagement, collaboration and rich media consumption (video, podcasts), and device consumption (desktop or smartphone). Collate your most influential users and top contributors, plus content, posts, pages and comment trends and popularity.


The future is multichannel measurement


Having access to individual channel metrics is the first part of your journey. To understand your channel effectiveness you need the ability to measure globally by campaign across all your channels.


Taking a multichannel approach – using all your channels to communicate, and measuring across your channels – will empower you to improve your communications going forward and show real business impact to stakeholders.


Newsweaver has compiled a PDF that includes insight from a number of communication experts, providing insight into key issues facing communicators right now. Internal Communication today – Insight from the inside

Future fit communications: Connecting trends, strategies and actions

Book tickets here:


If a leader’s job is to anticipate the future, and guide their people towards it, a communicator’s job is to spot the trends shaping that future and anticipate what audiences will need. This half-day conference will help you make those connections.

Running on the afternoon of Monday 16th May, the agenda will be split into four key parts and chaired by Michael Ambjorn, International Executive Chair of the IABC.


  • A look at current and emerging societal, technology and economic trends that will have an impact on our lives and businesses over the coming years. Our speakers:
    • Andy Gibson, Author of A Mind For Business
    • Matt O’Neill, Managing Director, ModComms Ltd


  • A quickfire #Rapido session with 5 speakers each taking 5 minutes (and not a second longer) to share their thoughts on what’s hot, and what’s not, in the future of corporate communications. Curated by the incomparable Ezri Carlebach. Our speakers:-
  • Una O’Sullivan, Head of Internal Communications – Global Financial Services, KPMG
  • Darren Lilleker, Associate Professor of Political Communication, Bournemouth University
  • Gay Flashman, Founder & CEO, Formative Content
  • Lesley Crook, Client Advisor, Enterprise Strategies
  • Susan Walker, Head, AES Communication Research

Part 3: From talk to walk – what do the big ideas mean to your business?

  • Michael Ambjorn will lead a reflection on the earlier #Rapido session and a panel-audience discussion of the role communications professionals play in making their organisations future-fit. Our panelists:-
  • Andy Gibson, Author of A Mind For Business
  • Matt O’Neill, Managing Director, ModComms Ltd
  • Ashish Babu, Director of Communications – UK & Europe, Tata Consultancy Services
  • Joanna Osborn, Head of Customer Communications, GE Oil & Gas
  • Keith Coni, Deputy Director of Capability, Standards & Professional Development, Cabinet Office

Part 4: What next?

  • A group sharing of key learnings, next-step resources, shared objectives and individual action plans. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and transform the big ideas into a plan that works for you. After the event we will curate and share all of these outputs.

Never has seeing the bigger picture been so important for communications practitioners and this IABC conference is all about connecting you with the ideas, people and impetus that can help you make a difference back in the business – both immediately and in the long term.

Come and join the debate.


1.30pm            Registration

2.00pm            Welcome from Michael Ambjorn, International Executive Chair, IABC

2.10pm            Opening speaker – to be announced

2.30pm            A healthy mind for a healthy business

Andy Gibson, Author of A Mind For Business

2.50pm            Three trends set to change the world of business communication

Matt O’Neill, Managing Director, ModComms Ltd

3.10pm            Break

3.30pm            Rapido sessions with Ezri Carlebach:-

  • The three-legged stool: internal communications, knowledge management and marketing – Una O’Sullivan, Head of Internal Communications – Global Financial Services, KPMG
  • Citizen / consumer activism on social media; never mind what or how, let’s focus on why – Darren Lilleker, Associate Professor of Political Communication, Bournemouth University
  • 5 ways communicators can thrive in our hyper-connected world – Gay Flashman, Founder & CEO, Formative Content
  • Enterprise Social Networking (ESN). What’s the business value? – Lesley Crook, Client Advisor, Enterprise Strategies
  • Organisational broadcast: the past. Employee voice: the present – Susan Walker, Head, AES Communication Research

4.10pm            Panel discussion with:-

  • Andy Gibson, Author of A Mind For Business
  • Matt O’Neill, Managing Director, ModComms Ltd
  • Ashish Babu, Director of Communications – UK & Europe, Tata Consultancy Services
  • Joanna Osborn, Head of Customer Communications, GE Oil & Gas
  • Keith Coni, Deputy Director of Capability, Standards & Professional Development, Cabinet Office

4.40pm            What next? Group discussion on next steps and action plans

5.00pm            Wrap up and networking drinks


The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Conference Centre
1 Victoria Street

Nearest tubes: Victoria, St James and Westminster



Future Fit Communications is supported by:-


Scarlettabbott powers conversations that connect, engage and motivate your people to deliver great business results. Passion, energy, originality and fun goes into every piece of work we deliver.

@scarlettabbott /


Communicate Magazine – the single voice for corporate communications and stakeholder relations.

@communicatemag /


PitchPack creates unique marketing and communication collaterals which embed video screens into printed brochures, books and briefing packs.

[email protected] /



Ticket prices:-

  • IABC member – £50
  • IABC non-member – £100
  • IABC member + non member (booked together) – £100

Book at

The IABC is a not-for-profit organisation. Money from ticket sales will be used to cover the cost of running the event and invested back into IABC member initiatives.


IABC UK is the local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators – the global organisation for people working in business communications. It offers members a global forum to develop professional skills, share knowledge of and develop best practice in communications and to discuss important issues affecting the profession.



IABC means many things to many people. For many it is a life-long commitment. And we want to share this experience with a greater audience than ever before.


IABC UK is launching a global contest, with the hope that chapter leaders around the world will encourage their members to verbalise and share the many ways IABC has impacted their lives via a brief video submission.


With 10,000+ members in over 80 countries – we believe there is a common thread between IABC members of all disciplines and nationalities that needs to be explored.


The final output of this contest will be a two to three-minute promotional video featuring clips of members stating their favourite things about being an IABC member. The final promotional video will be released at the World Conference in New Orleans from 5th-8th June 2016.


We’re counting on chapter leaders around the world to encourage a ‘call to action’ for their members to show their support for IABC by producing a video. Whether by promoting the contest on social media channels and monthly newsletters, or by encouraging on-the-spot submissions at events by asking attendees to film video clips on board members’ iPhones – every little bit helps.


Casilda Malagon, President of IABC UK, said:


“The #myIABC campaign exemplifies IABC’s role in creating global connections. IABC UK has launched the campaign to connect with members and non-members on the intrinsic value that IABC membership brings to their professional and personal lives.”


Kira Scharwey, President-Elect of IABC UK, added:

“We’re thrilled to have created a platform for IABC members to verbalise what their membership means to them. To many members, IABC is a life-long commitment, and IABC colleagues a pseudo-family. The campaign aims to capture this unique feeling.”


There are two main audiences for the video:

  • Members – aim is to provide a feeling of connection – and pride – amongst current members.
  • Non-members – aim is to increase awareness with communications practitioners more generally and motivate prospective members to join.


If each chapter can take ownership of promotion and designate one video competition ‘champion’ who can take the lead, we know this video idea can be a resounding success. Let’s practice what we preach in terms of member engagement and promoting IABC with a chapter-led, on-the-ground communications campaign that reminds our members why they love being part of IABC – and educate non-members on why they should join.


Deadline for submissions is midnight on 30th April. If you have any questions on the campaign, please contact Kira Scharwey from IABC UK at [email protected] or via Twitter on @kirascharwey / @IABCUK. Twitter hashtag for promotion is #myIABC.




Competition instructions:

  • Submitted videos can be a maximum of 0:10 in length.
  • Submissions must be made by individuals, not by groups.
  • Try to shoot videos in locations with decent lighting and minimal background noise.
  • All video content must answer the overarching questions “What has IABC done for you?” or “What do you love about IABC?” Please see the following possible introductory phrases for guidance:

o   I love IABC because…

o   I am a lifelong IABC member because…

o   IABC has enabled me to…

o   IABC has allowed me to…

o   IABC has given me…

o   IABC has granted me…

o   IABC has helped me…

o   IABC has benefitted me…

o   IABC has guided me….

o   IABC has supported me…

o   IABC has contributed…

o   IABC has improved my professional life…

o   IABC has impacted my life…

o   IABC has…

o   My favourite part of being an IABC member is…

o   Name

o   IABC member number

o   The sentence “I agree to release ownership of this video submission to the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and IABC UK to use as desired for promotional purposes”.


Taking your career to the next level


downtown-montrealiabc montreal


As a former President of IABC UK, I am delighted to have been invited by IABC/Montréal (Canada)  to deliver a workshop to members later this month on business partnering.

As communication functional experts, we often feel that we struggle to make an impact at senior business level.  We have a different balance to achieve: how to work at the intersection of advice and expertise, while demonstrating solid business acumen to cement a reputation as credible advisors.

This is a tricky challenge but luckily it is one with many answers. In this workshop, I will share ideas to help communicators boost their skills and develop their careers, drawing on an eclectic mix of sources from Bob Dylan, PwC, ornithology, among others. This workshop is applicable to both in-house and agency practitioners.

You can find out more about this event – example of Global IABC in action – here:

If you happen to be in Montreal that day, please do come along!

If you would like more information about this workshop – with a view to having a session in London – please do get in touch.

Crisis communications: A changing landscape

“Crisis management is not about preparing for the imaginable – it’s about preparing yourselves and your people for the unimaginable”: so says Andrew Griffin, CEO of communications specialists Regester Larkin.

On Monday 14 March Andrew delivered a special IABC evening seminar on the subject of crisis management – we’ve spoken to him in advance of this event.

IABC UK: Have we seen a change to crises, and responses, in recent years?

Andrew: Yes – is the short answer. Crisis management used to be synonymous with ‘incident management’, such as responding to fires and floods etc. That’s now shifted to encompass a wider range of issues and crises – in the last few years we’ve had the Barclays Libor scandal, the News International hacking issues and the BBC’s Jimmy Savile crisis. Now companies realise that crises can come from governance and poor performance – and those are as important to manage as crises coming from fire or plane crash.

At the moment we are finding that many organisations are concerned about the possible impact of terrorism, exacerbated by the fact that ‘new terror’ is unpredictable and random. There is also a lot of concern around the potential for cyber attacks on companies.

IABC UK: Can you outline one recent crisis that encapsulates the issues that companies face when dealing with out of the ordinary events?

Andrew: The German wings crash in 2015 is a good example because what you saw in the first 24 hours was a company that had prepared its crisis response very well. The company did everything by the book – it handled the media very well within the first few hours with a press conference, family response centre etc.

As soon as it became apparent that this was not a simple ‘accident’ and that there was involvement of the co-pilot, then their response appeared a little shakier. The lesson from that is that crisis management is not about preparing for the imaginable – it’s about preparing yourselves and your people for the unimaginable or out of the ordinary events. What we always say to our clients is don’t practice for what you know might happen, think of the ‘black Swan ‘ events that you can almost not imagine now. Your preparedness has to be flexible to respond to those things.

IABC UK: How has digital and social media changed the corporate comms landscape in crisis?

Andrew: Over the years there have been lots of changes to how the news happens and how we communicate – my view on this is that it’s sort of changed the playing field and landscape. It hasn’t really changed how we do crisis management. Our advice has not changed. It’s just that the mediums and news outlets have and are constantly shifting. I advise clients against becoming too obsessed with social media in a crisis. It is important, but for most clients we advise that they use social media to amplify a message or get a message out there, but not to have conversations when in the midst of a crisis. Also it’s important to make sure that you are engaging in social media in a way that conforms to your own corporate character. Ie don’t suddenly decide to move onto social media in a crisis if you generally don’t use it. Every exercise we do does have a social media element to it, but it’s just one aspect to a constantly shifting landscape in which you’re managing this crisis.

IABC UK: If you had only one piece of advice for corporations in regard to crisis, what would it be? 

Prepare your people as much as preparing your processes.

Many organisations still rely a lot on the structures they set up, thinking that’s the thing that will solve the crisis – but ultimately it’s the people that manage the crisis.

It’s important to put the emphasis on people-focused interventions as much as structure and process when you’re thinking of preparing your organisation for a crisis.