Organisations that have adopted social media for internal communications have reaped measurable benefits: those that fail to keep up will pay the price by becoming less competitive. That is among the key findings of a major study conducted by Melcrum.
The Melcrum study into using social media for internal communication, was carried out between January and February 2010, and surveyed more than 2,600 internal communication professionals from 1,800 organisations around the world.
Other key findings are:-
• More than half of internal communicators say their organisations do not have a social media policy in place. The level of social media expertise and experience among the profession is poor, with more training needed.
• Social media has changed the roles and responsibilities of global internal communicators. Practitioners are rapidly changing focus from controlling communication to influencing colleagues. Leaders are embracing “two-way employee communication” but still rely on email and e-newsletters.
• Organisations who have successfully adopted social media for internal communications have gained business benefits in terms of million of dollars.
Melcrum CEO Victoria Mellor says, ‘Since 2007, when we published the first edition of “How to use social media to engage employees“, social media and social software tools including wikis, blogs, social networks, and podcasts, have become mainstream. Far from being the time wasting fad that sceptics suggested then, our research has now shown that many internal communicators are using social media extensively to solve critical business issues and improve communication. For an increasing number of companies, social media is now businesses as usual, and part of the fabric of their everyday working life.’
According to the Melcrum study, many organisations have now moved well beyond the social media experimentation phase. Businesses are increasingly spending significant budget on redesigning and rebuilding their communication strategies and intranets, with social media at the very heart of every operation.
Those that have, such as AEP, Sabre, Netapp, Deloitte and Van Marcke, have reaped benefits measured in millions of dollars in savings, business improvements, increased productivity, and better employee retention.
Says Victoria Mellor, ‘Employees now demand access to the same tools in their work lives as they do in their own private lives. And we, as internal communicators, should be there to support them and facilitate that desire through the use of social networks, blogging platforms, comment engines, forums, online video and user-generated content. If the company does something that affects them there should be a means for them to discuss among themselves and question those in charge in a democratic, fair and secure way.’
But Mellor warns, ‘However, there is a long way to go before the internal communication arena catches up with its external counterpart. The majority of the profession suggest that social media policies are not in place and if they are they are inconsistent and unclear in their intentions; social media skills perception is low and internal communicators are in urgent need of training to take their teams into the 21st century.’
For further information visit www.melcrum.com or contact:
Victoria Mellor, CEO, Melcrum
T: +44 (0) 20 8600 4670