easyshare123A few weeks ago we took a stand at the Corporate Communications event at America Square in London. It’s a great event, attended by heads of comms at large organisations across a broad mix of industry, public sector and academia, with speakers from Aviva to Barclays.

Although it was primarily an external comms facing event, our EasyShare intranet stand seemed to go down well.

In case you missed the conference, here are a few of the main takeaways.

     1. Organisations are increasingly bringing social in-house, and it makes sense to do so.

Mark Abrami, Head of Social at Hotels.com, gave a very interesting talk on new ways to engage in social channels with the key point being that it makes increasing sense to do social in house.

Why? First, it gives greater control over the brand. Second, it allows much faster responses.

Skills in social are now in abundance so the benefits of aligning comms across channels, having messaging on brand and consistent, and being able to plug into the rest of the business make it a bit of a no-brainer. Not to mention the cost savings…

     2. The range of tools being used is huge, enabling innovation.

The range of tools used by comms teams nowadays is huge! From social to tracking to publishing to listening to content & design to customer care.

With such a diverse landscape it’s difficult to choose between tools but developments in integration capability have helped some make big steps forward in automation and collaboration.

However, properly joining up those tools is critical to your comms success. Many of our clients have used the EasyShare portal view with integrated webparts to prevent the creation of new silos.

     3. Using video to communicate with remote workers

Interestingly, video is emerging as a chief way to communicate with remote workers with phone only connectivity. Natalie Deacon, the Executive Director of Comms for Avon gave an attention-grabbing talk about using video to communicate both externally and internally and reinforce the company mission (empowering women), with impressive results.

     4. Social is a powerful medium to reinforce brand messages internally

Another big impression was the increasing use of and need for social internally to influence how colleagues think about a company, its products and the brand. Perhaps it is down to the ‘always on’ nature of social media that means it creates stronger engagement and is better for communicating company messages, rather than the one time nature of traditional communication. Either way, it was a big trend in at the conference.

     5. A consistent experience for employees is crucial for creating brand advocates

A consistent employee experience is crucial to creating advocates for your brand and connecting an individual’s priorities to the corporate vision. The theme across the talks that touched on this area, and in the round table discussions I took part in, was that there was a direct cause and effect relationship between having a well-planned and consistent internal comms mix and high success rates. It’s not a surprise – but it’s a reminder that skipping the planning stage probably means sacrificing results.

Overall, it was a great event.

It’s very interesting to us to see that internal comms is so important to external comms people because social means that the two are much closer together, so although the conference was primarily an external comms conference, there was as much discussion of internal comms as external.