We know that nonprofits rely on email and meetings for internal communications — in fact, they over-rely on them!
I encourage you to add two different communications channels to your internal comms mix, in addition to email and meetings:
- Instant messaging, whether you use Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger/Workplace or some other similar service.
- Project management messaging built into tools like Asana, Basecamp, Trello, Airtable, etc. so the messages are right with the project they are about.
Then the question becomes, what goes where in your office culture? While there are certainly guidelines (and we’ll share those in future posts), it really comes down to thinking about your target audience and your message. With those answers, you can pick the right channel, just like you would with external marketing and communications!
Thinking about Internal Audiences
Who needs to see the message? How might you segment the list?
- All Hands
- By Teams or Divisions (Operations or Programs, Comms, Development)
- By Job Titles or Responsibilities (Board? Front line or Field Staff? Managers?)
- By Location or Remote vs Office?
- Other Meaningful Distinctions
Thinking about Your Messages
You have even more considerations when thinking about internal messaging. How you answer these questions (combined with the audience) will help you decide on the best internal communications channel:
- Is this a one-way announcement?
- Should this be a discussion?
- What type of response do you expect? (short, long, discussion)
- How quickly do you expect a response? (immediate, within an hour, within the day, within the week)
- How “big” is this? (Will it surprise? How many are affected, etc.)
- Is this purely informational?
- Is there a call to action?
- How urgent is this? Is there a deadline to act?
- Will people need multiple reminders? How many and when?
Working through various scenarios will help you decide what’s an instant message, an email, a meeting, or a project management message in your office.