How do top organizations communicate?
Seventy-one percent of high-performing organizations focus their messaging on audience’s point of view. Just 45% of average organizations do.
Or so says Stephen Welch, president of IABC UK and an independent consultant.
Welch worked with Michael Ambjorn, director-at-large at NearDesk, to develop a benchmarking database that correlates communication practices with organizational performance. They looked at 81 organizations with some 390,000 employees across 10 countries.
High-performing organizations communicate better.
In the study, Welch and Ambjorn learned that high-performing organizations are:
- 60% more likely to think about communication from the audience perspective. Five in eight high-performing organizations say they like to talk about themselves; seven in eight average organizations do.
- Twice as likely to make emotional connections to their audiences.
- 40% more likely to limit the number of messages in their communications. Average organizations are more likely to pack a lot of messages into their pieces.
- Twice as likely to keep language simple and jargon-free. Only 21% of average organizations say they keep their language simple and jargon-free, compared to half of high-performing organizations.
- 80% more likely to have a process for creating great corporate stories.
Are you on an SOS team?
Half of organizations say that senior executives generally devise corporate messages. However, only 20% of benchmarked organizations think their leaders are good at communicating.
This approach turns some communications departments into SOS — “Send Out Stuff” — teams. But perhaps that’s best.
Only half of communicators surveyed said they align their work to corporate strategy and goals. And only a third ranked their level of business know-how and understanding high.
“Two-thirds of communicators,” Welch writes, “need to improve their business understanding if they want to advise business people.”