How to carry out a good communications assessment?
As we have already mentioned, the best Strategic Internal Communications Plan starts with a good assessment. It is essential to analyze and understand the organization’s communication reality before taking part.
In ABCOM, we are experts at conducting audits and assessments. And in this article, you will learn about our “secret”, which is the result of more than 21 years of experience. Take notes!
1- From communication/channel to communication/culture
To carry out a good communications assessment it is vital to bear in mind an important point: we should see the big picture of the object under analysis. In other words, we should ask ourselves: what are we studying or analyzing when we make a communications assessment?
If we just gather information on the communication channels, our analysis might be scarce. However, if we seek to understand the behaviors, practices, and beliefs shared by each and every collaborator, our assessment will be much richer.
In this respect, we should see communications related to organizational culture. An organization’s actions and thoughts constitute its culture and that is how we understand its communication reality.
2. What do the company’s employees say in social media and the media?
It is also important to know what people outside the organization say. What do they share? What is their review of the company?
Social Listening tools help us with this purpose. They have recently been incorporated into our assessments. With the aid of data analytics, we can track the company’s mentions on printed and online media as well as on social media and compare them to the competition’s.
We can also identify the tone in which the company is referred to, the prominence, themes, speakers, presence of key messages, calls to action, and feeling and compare all these with the company’s vision and business objectives.
3- Methodological triangulation
It is important to combine qualitative and quantitative methodological tools so as to broaden our outlook of a situation. If we only include HR referents’ interviews our view might be biased.
Every collaborator is a legitimate speaker to describe their organization and help us get to know it. By contrasting many views and perspectives, we will be able to delve into the matter and further understand the organization’s reality.
For this reason, we recommend carrying out a document analysis, individual interviews, focus groups, surveys, and social listening. Thanks to methodological triangulation we can combine different instruments according to our needs, and thus, have access to all the necessary information.
After this assessment, the communications and cultural transformation plan will be strategic and based on specific data. Therefore, we will be able to conduct a follow-up periodically and adjust our plan to obtain concrete results.
4- Eyes and ears wide open
When we conduct a communications assessment, it often happens that collaborators or directors bring along situations not included in our protocol questions. It is important to carefully listen to them and ask about those points outside our “roadmaps”. Especially, if we think it can contribute to better understand the communication reality of that organization. In this process, it is essential not to be confounded and ramble during interviews.
After all, we will realize when to stick to the questionnaire or not along the process. Sometimes it will be worth it to step away from it to listen to our interlocutors and their contributions. In any case, eyes and ears should be always wide open.
If you want to learn more about our assessment methodology, click here!
If you want to know why it is important to assess organizational wellness, this is the piece you should read.