A passionate agent for change

Employee communications channels

Networks

Purpose Typical audience Pros Cons Can you do it yourself? Thinking points
Ideal for internal change programs, you can work with ambassadors, champions, or internal expertise networks to reach your audience Can be used for any audience This gives you high-quality, personal engagement with a target audience – great for behavior-based programs Identifying the right ambassadors, persuading them to take part and then managing them Yes You need to really support your ambassadors with good, frequent communication and the right tools

What is this channel?

For internal change programs in particular, it makes sense to work with ambassadors, champions, or internal expertise networks to reach and influence your audience. You could use an existing functional network; or create one yourself. The best agent for change is a passionate (knowledgeable) colleague. Cherish them! 

What and when is it typically used?

Think about your audience; can you share your messages properly and reach them via this channel? Check out the comparison notes below and weigh your pros versus cons. This will help you decide how to spend your time/ money for the best result.

Benefits

  1. High quality, personal engagement.
  2. Teamwork.
  3. Eyes and ears in the organization.
  4. Great for behavior-related programs.
  5. Increased awareness for the go-to person responsible for the specific change (management).

Challenges

  1. Finding the right ambassadors.
  2. Persuading them to take part (as this is an additional job for them).
  3. Managing the ambassadors.

How to use this channel

Check who would be the most natural ambassador or champion network. If it’s a SHE topic, start there. If it’s P&O related, look for a related business partner.

  • Create a ‘spiderweb’-style map to ensure you reach everyone you need to.
  • This will also help you allocate the communication-roles & responsibilities, bringing clarity with no assumptions.
  • A person or group can only be included once! There should never be two people responsible for communicating to one group. One person has to be in the lead.

Steps to take

  • Position the core team in the middle (key communicator roles).
  • Put your audience outside.
  • Indicate with color coding how those groups will view the change.
  • Then try and connect the dots from one to another.
  • Remember: there is always one key communicator in this process.
  • Finally: make sure your ambassadors have what they need to fulfill their role (check out our channels and tools sections).

Things to keep in mind

  • Working with ambassadors means you need to connect with them often.
  • Ensure you really empower and enable them to perform their role: develop the right content for their needs.

KPIs for this channel

How will you know ‘what success looks like’? Measuring the response to this channel /tool could give you a better understanding of whether you’ve reached your communication objective. KPIs can be qualitative or quantitative. Here are some ideas:

  • If ambassadors have a concrete assignment, follow up with them on their results.
  • Request a simple report-out on their experiences.
  • Send them a survey or ask for feedback during a meeting. How well-equipped did they feel to carry out their ambassador role? 

Final thoughts

If this a stand-alone initiative, then go ahead! However, if this is part of a wider initiative, you might want to take a step back and look at the broader communications perspective. A good starting point is our 9-step approach to creating your communication plan - which includes an overview of all the internal channels and tools.

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