Will anything be radically different in internal communication in 2017 compared to 2016 or, for that matter, 2015 or 2014? The title of a recent blog post by an internal communication partner posed the question: “The Death of Internal Communication Roles?” But while the provocative headline may have attracted attention, the piece focused more on the evolving nature of the internal communication role, rather than the demise it suggested. So nothing radical there, then.
And that is likely to be the narrative of internal communication in 2017. An evolution, at varying degrees of pace and intensity, of the issues, the challenges, and the technology already shaping the future of internal communication, and its role in driving business goals.
OK, so video isn’t exactly new as an internal communication tool, but in 2017 it’s really going to flex its muscle as one of the most powerful ways of communicating within organizations, mirroring the space it now occupies in the lives of people outside the workplace, particularly in the rapidly expanding mobile-first generation.
Consider the mind-boggling stats: In 2016, Snapchat said its users watch 10 billion videos per day, Facebook revealed its figures at eight billion video views daily, and while YouTube is reluctant to reveal precise data, they say views are also in the billions per day.
Much of this consumption is personal and fun, of course, but a significant ramping-up in business usage is inevitable in 2017. Already, video is hitting the spot with senior business executives. In a Forbes Insights study, 75 percent percent of executives surveyed said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly, with 65 percent saying they visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.
A key message that internal communication professionals will no doubt take on board is the sheer power video has over other channels as a communication tool. A consumer behavior survey this year by HubSpot showed that more than half (55 percent) of users say they consume videos “thoroughly,” rather than skim through them, compared to 33 percent who said they thoroughly consume interactive articles and a lowly 29 percent who do so with blog posts, while podcasts trail the bottom of the table at 17 percent.