The importance of effective internal business communications is crucial to ensuring the long-term health of any large organisation. By communicating regularly with your staff, you benefit from increased employee engagement.
But how, in this digital age, does an organisation select effective methods and channels at a sensible budget?
I’ve outlined why an internal company podcast is a must-have for your business.
What is a podcast?
A podcast is a regular, on-line, audio broadcast (anything from once a day to once a month).
Most are based around a simple interviewer and between one to three guests.
A business podcast should ideally be hosted or facilitated by a professional presenter – preferably with real broadcast interview experience.
A good interviewer creates the time and space for ideas to be properly discussed and debated in a safe but challenging environment.
Most podcasts are based around a simple interviewer and between one to three guests
Offering you endless advantages
I’ve been involved in the world of radio and podcasts for over 30 years. During that time, it’s become increasingly obvious that using a podcast for internal communications offers many advantages over other, more traditional forms of internal comms.
The podcast, done well, can:
- Effortlessly bridge gaps
- Repair dysfunctional relationships
- Engender organisation-wide understanding of goals & objectives
The internal audience of any large organisation is, by common consent, the most cynical and toughest to reach audience. You may be able to deliver a message, but getting engagement, let alone a positive response, can often prove difficult and frustrating.
Unfortunately, this prickly internal audience is also, arguably, the most important audience. You need your staff to buy-in to the ideas and aspirations of the organisations. Otherwise, it may become impossible to offer a unified or consistent offering to your external audience.
Internal company podcasts allow you to connect with your staff, and engender organisation-wide understanding of goals & objectives
Breaking down staff cynicism
Podcasts can be an important and effective tool in the battle to breakdown the intrinsic cynicism of staff. By doing this, you can start to build genuine engagement over time.
For your internal podcast, guests could be anyone from the organisation with a story to tell. These stories could be from:
- The boardroom
- The factory floor
- Product Development
- R & D
Listeners will start to appreciate and understand the challenges and triumphs of little-known colleagues from other departments.
When presented well, these interviews have the potential to light up conversations around the organisation. These conversations can also be fed back into the podcast production to sharpen and focus the content onto issues that matter to employees.
Over time this approach will build up a…
- Highly engaged
… audience, wanting to contribute and hear more from the organisation they belong to.
An authentic, genuine discussion
In order to achieve this success, internal podcasts must be authentic and genuine.
They cannot be an attempt to whitewash, mislead or mis-represent, as this will inevitably be found out and the credibility of the communications will be damaged beyond repair.
This means an organisation must be brave and forthright in its willingness to share real stories across the whole company.
But if they are, the payback in engagement and understanding will make it hugely worthwhile.
Internal company podcasts help to light up conversations around your organisation
Internal podcasts are easy to distribute via…
The audio file can be quickly downloaded and stored on phones and tablets, allowing users to listen whenever they choose. Unlike video and newsletters, podcasts can accompany other activities, allowing much more time for in-depth discussion and, ultimately, engagement.
To build a loyal and engaged employee audience, you need:
- Consistency of format
- Professional presentation
- An effective feedback mechanism
These are all pre-requisites for creating, over time, an internal communication that is valuable and looked-forward to by staff.
This method of communication works, because at its heart it should have intrinsic values of authenticity, integrity and credibility.
It needs to be produced and recorded professionally, so that the medium does not get in the way of the message.
But, unlike its more glamorous cousin, video, it can be done properly and regularly at very sensible costs and offers truly stunning benefits that far out-weight the price.