Most of the our new business in the past 3 months falls under the corporate/internal communications umbrella. The briefs that have come out of these wins have a common underlying requirement that is worth discussing as it follows a recent shift in how corporations communicate. The requirement is to humanise the organisation. In the grand scheme of things there is nothing notable here; consumer brands jumped on the humanisation bandwagon a few years back with blogs, Facebook and Twitter. However, in the corporate world humanisation is a topic that has just started to creep up in the marketing and internal comms wish lists.
In other aspects of life, accepting you have a problem is half way towards the solution, but that first step can be the hardest one to take. The need for humanisation is not one that comes naturally to a corporation through a slow evolutionary process and for that reason what triggers such change makes an interesting topic.
Below we list five scenarios we have observed over the past 12 months.
More often than not the corporate intranet is a vast wasteland littered with PDFs and training videos nobody can find. At some point dissatisfaction becomes so vocal that someone conducts a survey and the results point towards extended horizontal communication, knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Someone reviews the competition and realises that everyone is talking about the same stuff with the same faceless, corporate voice. Advertising used to be one way to differentiate, but more and more we see organisations opting for a more human tone of voice by putting real people at the forefront of their communication.
A topic that just can’t be avoided
Once the exclusive domain of companies like 3M, Best Buy or Wal-Mart, the concept of the social enterprise has started to penetrate many organisations in a number of ways:
- Generation Y has entered the workspace bringing with them a whole new way of communicating
- Media coverage of social media, enterprise 2.0 and humanisation has reached saturation point
- You can’t throw a stone without hitting a consultant or other tech/comms supplier talking and selling all this stuff
Managers’ and directors’ ever-increasing, personal experience on Facebook and LinkedIn helps them to join the dots and realise how human interaction can add value to partners, customers or staff.
The iPad effect
The iPad has stormed the boardroom and is becoming the gadget of choice for CXOs. The iPad’s intuitive interface, the plethora of handy and well designed apps and the ease in which the user can connect to people and access great content have been both a revelation and an inspiration for the C-suite, the ripples of which have started to be felt across their organisations.