Reflecting on last week’s news about Microsoft’s strategic direction, one thing stands out at a very base level: three years or so since Microsoft acquired both Yammer and Skype and it still appears that “important” communications are done by email first.
That’s probably the same for just about every major global organisation, but if the company that makes modern communications platforms can’t make the shift, what hope the rest of us?
The truth, of course, is that internal communications are noise: they are interruptive advertising with the lowest of budgets. If you want to advertise, you use platforms where there are audiences. When it comes to internal communications the audience, still, is with email.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a thing. But when organisations think about platforms for internal communications they really should ask themselves “are we trying to create an advertising channel with no content”? If so, it’s important to recognise that and think hard about it. In the world of advertising, no such things exist. An advertising channel has an audience – whether reading, viewing, listening to other content, or just being somewhere for other reasons (in the case of Outdoor). Sure, content marketing is a thing these days, but even that tends to be somewhere other than its own channel.
And all of that is the reason why email is still so pervasive for internal communications. Email, you know, is somewhere where people will be. Now whether they actually read your emailed comms or not is another question…