‘IoIC – Print’s Charming’ – Think also about Audience and Distribution

An excellent story in the first edition of the IoIC (Institute of Internal Communication) magazine VOICE on the importance of the printed magazine as tool in your internal communications mix.

Approach, inclusiveness of the readers as contributors, design and measurements are key elements to make a successful print magazine.

Out of my own experience I know also that focusing on the target audience is key as well as the distribution mechanism.

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Target Audience

Keep always in mind that the employee is not the only audience to focus on when developing an internal, printed, magazine; also family members and friends will see (and hopefully read) the magazine (or parts of it) when the magazine is taken home or left in the car. The same counts when the magazine is available at the reception area of the company’s affiliates.

Distribution

A magazine delivered at the desk will be seen differently than a magazine delivered at your home address. At the office or shop floor, dominant elements always influence the way how you perceive the magazine; especially when their opinion is negative. As a result you decide not to read the magazine, throw it away or not take it home at all.

When a magazine is delivered at the home address, a few opportunities appear at the horizon. When wrapped in a plastic foil, the front and back cover can already address messages that will be seen, even without unwrapping the magazine; by yourself, your family members, but also by people in the distribution chain.

The magazine received at home will also be red in a total different environment than at the office or at the shop floor; more relaxing, different influencing people and at a more convenient moment of time, including more time to spend reading the magazine.

Apart of that, when received at the home address, family members see the magazine most probably first and based on the outside cover get already interested in one or more stories.

Enjoy reading!

IPR Research Symposium in London

Saturday 10th September the American based Institute for PR (IPR) organized a research symposium as a ‘Thank you’ to their European supporters, to discuss the latest insights around internal communication, listening, social media, and behavioral insights. Seven speakers presented during four hours interesting insights of their work and were also able to address many questions from the audience from academia and communication professionals.

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Dr Jim Macnamara (University of Technology Sydney) presented and discussed the key findings of his two-year, three country study “Organizational Listening: The Missing Link in Two-Way Communication, Dialogue, and Engagement” of how organizations listen – or don’t – noting that listening is an essential corollary of speaking (i.e., dissemination information) in excellence, dialogic, relationships, and engagement theories of PR. An excellent presentation with many links to the practice of (not-)listening.

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Kathleen Sprehe (Director of Reputation Research & Strategy at APCO Insight) gave more insight in her presentation  “Measuring Corporate Reputation Through Opinion Research and Digital Analytics” in how do companies ensure they are communicating effectively to key stakeholders. She used a case study of the company Flex – formerly Flextronics to demonstrate the impact of opinion and digital research in the evolution of a brand.

kathleen-spreheDr Sarab Kochhar (Institute for Public Relations) addressed the importance on strategy communication titled: “From Content to Context: Reshaping Employee Engagement”. She showed the results of how more than 1,500 employees in five countries are confident they understand the core purpose of their organization and find meaning in their work, but believe organizations have much work to be done in prioritizing and communicating strategy internally. She presented some good take-ways which definitely will find their way into practice.

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Dr Stephen A. Greyser (Harvard Business School) was able to give some exclusive branding insights in his presentation “The Branding and Identity of the Nobel Prize”. He explored the communications issues that arise when dealing with the Nobel Prize process. This research project is the first (and so far only) field-based research on the topic. The study has been accomplished with the cooperation of the Nobel Prize network.

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Dr Marcia DiStaso (Penn State University), shared in her presentation “The Science of Influence: How Social Media Affects Decision Making in the Healthcare, Travel, and the Financial Industry”, some really interesting outcomes. As organizations are increasingly focusing their efforts on content marketing and digital influencer programs, but how influential do consumers say social media and various sources really are on their behavior? She shared the results of a consumer survey in the US to determine what factors and sources on social media influence purchasing and decision-making in three industries: healthcare, travel and financial. It was clear that this is only one of more studies in this field to come, focusing on different business areas, geographies and stakeholders.

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Mark Weiner (PRIME Research) addressed in his presentation “Irreversible: The Public Relations Big Data Revolution” one of the hot topics where communication professionals are struggling with; Big Data (see also EACD European Communication Monitor 2016). In his session he defined Big Data as it relates to public relations, described data integration for public relations, and drew from three case studies from Southwest Airlines, MasterCard, and Cisco Systems of which he presented the first two. This presentation led to the question on “How are universities preparing future communication professionals who need to know a lot about big data, social science, finance, marketing, politics and…..communication?”

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The last presentation by Dr Jon White (Henley Business School) on “Behavioral Insights: Foundation for Public Relations Practice” led to some interesting discussion across the group. He addressed how the growing interest in the application of insights from applied psychology has special relevance to public relations’ itself. “An applied social science that influences behavior and policy,” as said by Harold Burson. He explained how behavioral insights research is vital to the public relations practice and how it is connected to other social sciences.

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The content of the presentations led also in the following cocktail reception to a lot of lively discussions and especially the conclusion that there is still a lot of room for further research in the field of PR and communication at both sides of the ocean.

A great thanks to IPR for organizing this event!

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