Tata’s Nano and opportunities for internal communications

Undoubtly, the Tata’s Nano is a game changer. A proud moment for the organization, its employees and the nation.

I think it is a fantastic opportunity for the organization to leverage the mileage it is receiving from the unveiling of the India rupees 1-lakh people car.

Tata needs to strike the iron when it is hot. Key triggers like innovation, thought leadership, Indian icon jump right off the media when they speak of the path breaking vehicle that has been introduced. It can leverage this success as a formidable employer of choice. Research indicates that prospective as well as current employees view the organization in high regard to its image in the external world and identification is quite high in such a scenario.

Here are some ideas to champion its cause as an employer of choice –

1. Allowing employees to lead the success of Nano among its peer groups – through blogs, forums among others

2. Providing the right messages and linking the Nano’s success in its publicity channels like the press, website, flagship group sites

3. Sharing images of the Nano for its employees to circulate through viral marketing methods and word of mouth – for example, the ‘making of the Nano’….’people behind the success’

4. Lionizing the ‘engineers’ of the new icon – ‘a day in the life’

Maximizing the usage of plasma TVs for internal communications

There was a time when plasma TVs were expensive and therefore were not considered as part of any communication plan but today they serve as an important medium for those organizations who buy them and internal communicators who can make the best use.

I read an interesting article recently about IBM’s Labs using plasma TVs effectively for circulating news, building a brand and encouraging participative discussion.

In organizations where I have worked, the plasma TV is widely used to share advertising videos, news and views across the organization – mostly on a case to case basis.

I feel there is immense scope for this medium to create awareness, take employees on board and make a difference.

Technology allows almost instant publishing, either targetted or cross locational. Here are some tips which will help improve faster percolation of messages –

Focus on content: Follow a consistent design template ( most organizations have a standard Powerpoint presentation template) which defines the scope for content inputs. Keep your eye on content to increase readability. Slide timing ( for at least 5-10 seconds), spacing ( keep a word limit of 5-10 words), fonts ( avoid all caps), colors ( black on white – we are creatures of habit) are essential for maximum readership.

Avoid animations and flashy ads: Remember the plasma TV screen shouldn’t remind your employees of the idiot box or you will get the same reactions!

Action oriented content and interactivity: All content must be inclined to fetch you feedback and more content….allow discussions which get routed through an email box – the best entries get featured.

Cross sell your internal channels: Generate content and eyeballs through your newsletters, intranet and other internal forums – it also increases the chances of employees reading the messages on at least one of your channels.

Monitor and measure: Keep a tab on the channel’s visibility. Run a poll, include a panel of content champions, link usage and communication to organizational health.

New year recommendations for internal communications

2007 for me provided me interesting opportunities to learn and unlearn.

Based on my experience in 2007 – I believe there are a few key elements to leverage to make your internal communication powerful in the new year….

 Retain the human touch: Technology will continue to enable and make communication faster, cheaper and easier but the human touch will be vital as we keep improving on our nternal communications strategies and plans.

 Back to the roots: It is essential to relate every strategy and communication to the core values of the organization – its reasons for existence. Sticking to this brief is the recipe for any successful, measurable program in the long run.

 User centric communication: Internal communication which takes users into confidence has won half its battle for the mindshare.