Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Rethinking Internal Communications After COVID

The way companies are communicating with employees has changed tremendously over the past year because of COVID-19. Almost overnight, companies were forced to adopt new communication tools and strategies in order to reach their people with vital and up-to-date information. With so many employees continuing to work from home, the main function of internal communications – to engage employees, share information, create culture and impart purpose – has never been more important.

Consistency is Key
To ensure effectiveness, internal communication channels must reach all employees at the right time and with the right message and content. In today's setting, employees want to know when and where they will be receiving communications and so it’s imperative to create a regular cadence of communications and adhere to that timetable.

Employees also seek a sense of connection to replace the
face-to-face contact we were so used to experiencing before the pandemic. Thus, business leaders must find ways to create a virtual watercooler that supports social connection. One way to do so is through the adoption of new digital collaboration and communications tools and methods of professional growth training.

Effective Audits Drive Discussion

An effective method to gauge employee satisfaction is by conducting a communications audit that surveys employees about how they are handling work in the current environment and if they require any additional tools. Other communications tactics to further engagement and collaboration include training or wellness webinars, mobile employee apps, instant messaging tools, podcasts, video messages, weekly digital newsletters, lunch conferences, virtual coffee meetings, online games, contests or challenges, gamification for remote onboarding and employee rewards.

 

The coronavirus crisis is far from over and meeting the unique challenges it poses will require companies to plan new strategies for internal communications. While the pandemic has changed the way we interact and engage, efforts aimed at uniting an organization and fostering company culture can go a long way in improving employee morale and engagement.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Influencers: The New Age of Marketing

It’s no secret that influencer marketing is on the rise. In 2019 alone, brands spent a whopping $8 billion on influencers by way of sponsored posts, long-term partnerships and commission. Whether you frequent YouTube and Facebook or prefer Instagram and TikTok, you’ll surely find yourself as a target of influencer marketing and may not even know it. However, as PR professionals, when it comes down to actually working with influencers as opposed to being influenced by them, brands have a
few things they should keep in mind before launching a campaign. First being, not all influencers are equal. Ranging from the top tier influencers down to the little guys, each has their own benefits:  

Mega influencers are usually celebrities with an explosive reach. However, their large audiences may be misleading and do not always equate to high engagement.

  • Macro influencers tend to be professional social media personalities with a niche focus. They are adept at brand partnerships and sponsored content comes across as organic and conversational.
  • Mid-Tier influencers are professionals and subject matter experts. They are often most effective because they are big enough to be considered influential but small enough to still engage with their audience.
  • Micro influencers are highly relevant, trusted and more relatable individuals that garner higher engagement than larger tiers of influencers.
  • Nano influencers are the smallest of the bunch, but still powerful when used correctly. Passionate brand advocates in niche spaces. Often have the highest rate of engagement of all influencer tiers.

Before choosing which type of influencer to work with, be sure to clearly define the goals and budget of your campaign. This will help you to decide which type of influencer will be the best fit. Mega and Macro influencers are best equipped to drive awareness to a campaign while Mid-Tier, Micro and Nano influencers will get their audience clicking through to links, existing relationships and doing more research.

Once you know which type will best meet your needs and you have a few influencers in mind, be sure to vet them prior to making the partnership final. Following the below criteria can help to ensure your campaign gets you the most bang for your buck:

  • Check the influencer’s metrics to see how many followers or subscribers they have and to check that their followers are genuine.
  • See if their content aligns with your messaging.
  • Take a look at their last few months of content to see if their audience interacts with the content.
  • Check to see if their content seems authentic.
  • Consider the cost of the influencer partnership to ensure it is within budget and will add value.

Once you’ve vetted the influencers and have picked who you want to work with, be sure to clearly define and communicate your goals and expectations with them. The best way to ensure all parties know what is expected from them is to create a contract with all of the campaign details, expectations, key messaging and price. Sharing a key messaging document is essential so the influencer is clear on what main talking points to hit on and is aware of any verbiage or topics to avoid.

Overall, working with influencers is a great way to maximize exposure for a campaign. Once the influencer posts the content, your work isn’t done. Be sure to check and see how well the post performed and keep the metrics in mind for the future. And, always leave the door open for future collaboration.