Internal communication audits can be hugely helpful in exploring how you change your internal communication channel mix. This is about looking at how people receive the information they need, the information they want and, importantly, how they share their feedback and views.
A communications audit will tell you where there are issues with communicating at that moment and provide insight into the gaps that exist. These gaps might be in terms of content, format and dialogue. Importantly, the gaps are linked to ensuring your internal communication strategy and channels will deliver against the organisational objectives.
A communications audit doesn’t often tell you much about people, but it is the building block for many things, and we do them for a variety of reasons.
Why would you undertake a communications audit?
If you are exploring the effectiveness of internal communication inside your organisation, start with an audit.
If you are a communications function or team and you want to change the perception of internal communication in the business, start with an audit.
I would carry out an audit annually when I worked as head of internal communication because things change fairly quickly, and I wanted to make sure the channels I had in place were effective.
For some people, time is the blocker to doing an audit, but it doesn’t have to take weeks and months. There are templates you can complete from a team perspective and depending on employee numbers, the insight gathering can also be quick.
What does a communications audit entail?
When I start working with a communications team, I will also ask them to complete a channel matrix. I have used the same template since I was an internal communications officer many years ago – you can download an example channel matrix and template here. This is hugely helpful in understanding the internal communication channels and content you have.
Once this is done, you can then run a survey, and conduct listening interviews and/or focus groups to check what people think about channels. How they use them and what the reality is in terms of usage and effectiveness.
It can be done in a few weeks or it can be done in a few months – it totally depends on time, the purpose of the audit for you, and your budget.
Ultimately, an internal communication audit helps bring a sense of calm through a deeper understanding of the channels you are using and how effective they are at communicating your key messages. It helps you reassess periodically – to understand what works well and what doesn’t work so well. And it helps you evolve and adjust to meet changing needs of your internal audiences in line with organisational objectives.
If you’d like to know more about how an internal communication audit can help you streamline your internal communication, please get in touch.