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  • Sílvia Majó 10:21 am on February 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Internal branding, an intelligent plot 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Today we’ve a great opportunity to talk about the book by Alejandro Formanchuk, one of the most important organizational communication experts in Argentina. On his blog Todo Significa (Spanish)  he shares his extensive experience in internal communication and has compiled a summary of it under the title Branding Interno, Una Trama Inteligente (Internal Branding: An Intelligent Plot only in Spanish right now).

    We would like to thank Alejandro for letting us dedicate a post to the main lessons we’ve taken from his new book which can be applied in our organizations.

    To start, when we want to place the value of internal communication or internal branding in companies, we need to ask ourselves, like the author did, what possesses value in the corporate world?

    The answer lies in Branding Interno, Una Trama Inteligente with authors such as Jonas Ridderstrale and Kkell Nordstrom, who declare that the classic balance sheet captures less than a quarter of the real value of a modern company.

     

    75% of that value can’t be seen, accounted, measured and recorded by those old balance sheets

     

    That’s what Formanchuk maintains. For him, this figure has a clear translation:

    • A machine, a building, a product: 15%.
    • The loyalty and the positive image in the eyes of your customers, partners, employees and others: 75%.

    Departing from this or from a similar qualitative calculation made by other authors, which places human capital at the center of any successful corporate operation, Formanchuk’s reading is a must that you should flick through at the very least.

    In it, you’ll discover important maxims for designing valuable internal communication:

    • Many of the most important resources in a company are not tangible.
    • Employees are not an internal audience. They’re an outside actor.
    • The barriers are gone between external and internal communication.
    • People themselves are a branding channel.
    • Internal branding is simply just branding.

    Having made these reflections, Formanchuk puts forwards some guidelines for determining the actions that can be taken from them. For the author of Todo Significa,  brand value is built from within the organization. For that reason, we talk about strategic decisions that necessarily involve integrating disciplines. In this sense, remember that organizations mustn’t forget that they need to:

    • Manage the brand from within the company.
    • Execute branding actions designed for and aimed at employees.
    • Carry out internal communication done with branding techniques.
    • Organize ERM programs (Employee Relationship Management).
    • Employ B2E strategies (Business-to-Employees) driven by “EVP” (Employer Value Proposition).

    To all this, from Zyncro we could add the best practices proposed by the manual for Enterprise Social Networking.

    And a final quote from the author in his book:

    The people making up a company are its best ambassadors.

     
  • Sílvia Majó 10:30 am on January 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    In 2012, communicate more than ever but with content 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Since this is my first post of 2012, allow me to wish you all a very Happy New Year! I joined the team of #ZyncroBlog contributors a few days ago with the desire to share with you my thoughts on communication. Among them, you’ll frequently find an unarguable mix between corporate and business communication, style and journalist routines. In short, what you will read in post-form will be, without a doubt, the result of many years, working towards reaching out to the audience, be it internal or external, always with content. So here we go!!

    Together with the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes on the 12 chimes on New Year’s Eve, which they suspect was done for the first time in 1909 by a group of farmers in Alicante and Murcia to use up an excess in production, there’s also the tradition of making nine new resolutions to coincide with the start of the year. Today’s topic is dedicated to what deserves to be a key resolution for all companies this 2012: communication, both internal and external.

    Looking at the various channels available for communicating, some people will this resolution has already been met. However, more often than not, the main distinction between companies that communicate and those that don’t is not the tools used —traditional communication media versus social networks and media from the web 2.0— but the content published through them.

    Nowadays, in the same way as we did before, we only talk about communication if the information being transmitted is something new, useful, powerful, curious and cumulative. In other words, we communicate when behind that attractive channel we’ve chosen for it there’s content that helps us in our decision-making, that feeds our know-how, that impacts us for being previously unpublished or that ensures greater commitment from the people in the company. In short, we communicate if our messages has and achieves a function.

    The dawn of the social media and networks, their ease in passing on pseudo-elaborate content, has led us to forget that communication in general, whether corporate or institutional, is only useful if it has content.

    Along these lines, there are key points to ensure this condition:

    Planning. Having communication plans that prioritize goals, design strategies and propose tactics are essential for those companies that want to create a better, closer relationship with what R. E. Freeman called stakeholders—suppliers, competitors, employees, clients, financial backers and society in general.

    Professionalization. Allow me to touch on corporatism a little. On this point, let me say that journalists —so-called source journalists— are a good guarantee of ensuring when we communicate, using whatever tool we want, we do it with content. Professionalizing corporate or institutional communication means working to ensure that what the audience knows about you is the same as what you want them to know about you.

    Adapting contents to the channel being used. Companies save time by communicating the same thing in the same way, regardless of the channel chosen. Well, we need to avoid the temptation of publishing the same thing on our 2.0 channels as on our enterprise social network or in press releases, for example. Each recipient deserves and expects a specific form to that content being received. You will only achieve your desired goal with that communication action if you have made an effort to adapt its content to the channel and the audience.

    Without a doubt, the list of key points for ensuring great corporate communication could go on and on… But since this is my first post and it should be brief, I’ll sum up. That being said, I promise there’ll be a second part that will talk about other, no less important points: knowing your audience, mastering the channel’s language, directing communication times… and much more!!

    Happy 2012 to everyone!!!

     
  • Sílvia Majó 10:57 am on December 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , osmosis,   

    Osmosis 2.0? 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    In a recent discussion, we commented the idea of labeling the redesign of internal communication channels and processes that many companies are experiencing today as “osmosis 2.0”.

    Without getting into the ins-and-outs of our discussion, the so-called process refers to those activities already carried out in some organizations to draw out the information that is stored and make it known to everyone involved.

    Osmosis is another example in nature that tends towards balance; in our case, the balance of information density. A process that puts people and their knowledge at the start of the communication process and their participation in building integrated teams at the core of the value chain in organizations.

    Most of you would probably agree that in light of the current economic climate, it’s easier to envisage the success of a company that has access to all the knowledge of the people working there to make its business project a reality.

    Having such knowledge essentially involves driving constant information flows towards the area where there is greatest concentration. Something similar to a rebalancing of contents among those members that have more knowledge in an area and those that shine more in others.

    Social Knowledge

    In a recent Ficod conference, Tim O’Reilly (associated as being the founder of the Web 2.0 concept) also made reference to this idea. His keynote was on “Content Economies and Ecosystems”. Essentially, he emphasized the second of these ecosystems as a basis for improving the first and invited us to “create more value than you capture”.

    To achieve this, it goes without saying that, as pointed out in a recent post by José Luís del Campo Villares, “we need to change the corporate culture towards a more social one”. Or, I even dare to say: “We need to continue changing it”. It’s no longer about improving social network algorithms, rather about making these networks an integral part of the information flow in an organization so that the content is really shared and enriched by collaboration. Here is where Zyncro comes in; that “membrane” that enables the osmosis 2.0 we referred at the start. What’s more, if we remember the words of Gary Vaynerchuk in his recent book, The Thank You Economy, “Word of mouth, if collective is much more powerful”, companies have an exciting job ahead of them.

     

     
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