This may be the first time you’ve heard the phrase ‘empty comms’ or you may be familiar with the concept, but either way the internal comms challenge of being asked to push communications out based on little substance is not new. At times there has been pressure to push out somewhat superficial, premature or vague communications that either over inflate progress on a tricky topic, gloss over a broken promise or position actions as greater than they are.
As an example, many of us have been involved in campaigns that proudly claimed ‘we’ve listened’ extolling the virtues of progress made in one area whilst knowing (usually deep in our guts) that other actions had not been taken or progressed. In this case, it’s not that what we say in our communications is untrue, but at times maybe the devil was in what we didn’t say, and that our comms did not convey the whole truth.
And this tricky situation often occurs for lots of complex reasons, many of which have good intentions so as Internal Comms professionals how do we spot the warning signs and importantly challenge the requests we get when they come from determined senior stakeholders?
However, we handle these delicate situations, our pledge as Internal Comms professionals should be to develop and deliver great communications, to keep our workforces engaged, informed and collaborated with. The main challenge with empty comms is that misinformation is worse than no information, and it doesn’t stand up to our pledge. As our workforces are becoming a lot more discerning about the information we share with them, ivory towers have been replaced with glass walls so there is no hiding from a lack of action. Employees expect action to speak louder than words, it’s our role to ensure that our words and underpinned by the right behaviour.
If you think your workforces may be feeling overwhelmed by a deluge of communications then download our paper on the challenges of noisy communications, and what you can do to cut through the noise.
And if you’re looking for support with creating great and meaningful internal communications that will engage your employees, then get in touch to see how we can help.
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