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The four pillars of Essential Communications Management
It has never been harder — or more important — to keep employees and stakeholders on the same page. Inflation, economic uncertainty, and distributed teams are adding complexity and tension.
- Why it matters: All of that is having an effect on workplace engagement. For the first time in a decade, the percentage of employees who say they’re engaged at work dropped — from 36% to 34%, according to Gallup.
Clear and consistent communication is a key way to get things back on track, and Essential Communications Management (ECM) offers the system and structure leaders need to do it well.
ECM’s four pillars
Essential Communications Management is an organization’s ability to identify, structure, and communicate what matters — to employees, stakeholders, customers, investors, and more.
Axios HQ has developed a four pillar framework that is helping hundreds of organizations better understand what their audiences need, communicate those details clearly, and keep everyone more focused and aligned.
1. Plan. Reflect on your employees, members, or other stakeholders. Set a high bar for what they need to know, how often they need updates about those topics, and in which channels they’ll realistically engage with them. Essential topics and a consistent cadence build trust.
- Taking the opportunity to pressure test what is — and is not — essential to your audiences will help your organization drive better performance and results. Refresh your strategy today by surveying your audience to see which topics they value most.
2. Compose. When writing, use specific subject lines, scannable formatting, and templates that help enhance focus — so readers can find what they need quickly.
- The easier your communication is to read, the more likely your readers are to actually consume it, remember it, and act on what you need them to do.
3. Align. The ability to resurface key details and directives — or add new dimensions to them as your organization evolves — is key to keeping everyone on the same page.
- Compared to outdated intranets or rarely updated documentation, having a single source of truth for employees and stakeholders that tracks the growth and evolution of your organization is a reliable and actionable way to ensure that information is never lost.
4. Measure. Rich feedback loops with readers help you monitor engagement and hone your strategy. Beyond tracking open rates and click-through rates, use polls, one-click surveys, and other casual feedback tools so they can help you stay in step with their evolving needs.
- Stay open to feedback — and take visible action when you receive it. Both make you a more trustworthy source of vital information to your key audiences.
These four pillars will help any leader or communicator create or enhance a communication strategy that prioritizes essential information, draws in readers, and keeps your audiences aligned with your organizational goals.
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