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2018 SOS : How Effective are Communication Channels?

Lise Michaud

We published earlier a blog post of the key results of the 2018 State of the Sector Internal Communication and Employee Engagement. This blog post looks at the results specific to channels.

A good portion of the survey focussed on communication channels and their effectiveness. Here are some of the findings.

Face-to-face channels

Face-to-Face is still one of the preferred means according to respondents and over three quarters of them use: team meetings (86%), manager/senior leader conferences (82%) and senior management visits (75%). All face-to-face channels were rated as very effective or effective by at least two thirds of respondents. All employee conferences were seen as the most effective, with 83% of respondents stating they were either very effective or quite effective. Manager or senior leader conferences were also considered as one of the best-performing channels.

2018 SOS Q: How effective are face-to-face channels in your organization?

Print Channels

Posters and banners remain the preferred print channel, both in terms of usage and in terms of effectiveness. A range of ad hoc print channels are used by over half of respondents: brochures and guides (53%), flyers and leaflets (52%) and desk drops (50%). Letters / memos is viewed as least effective print channel.

2018 SOS Q: How effective are print channels in your organization?

Digital Channels

Digital channels are not nearly as effective as face-to-face, yet they are the most used channels in organizations. Email announcements (79%), videos (78%) and electronic newsletters (75%) were perceived to be very or quite effective by three quarters of respondents or more. All three were among the most highly used channels. External employee websites (43%) and chatbots (48%) featured in the bottom two of the most effective digital channels list, while chatbots (10%) were also the least used digital channel.

2018 SOS Q: How effective are digital channels within your organization?

Respondents say they plan to increase the use of mobile apps (73%) social networks (72%), chatbots (72%) and videos (68%).​

2018 SOS Q: Over the next 12 months, will you increase, decrease or keep their usage the same?

2018 SOS Q: How can employees currently access your internal digital channels?

2018 SOS Q: Has your organization implemented Office 365?

Mobile Communication

Third-party apps such as Yammer and WhatsApp, are most popular form of mobile communication with 44% of respondents stating they used these apps. However, only 41% of those who use them find them effective.

Almost half the respondents see SMS alerts as the most effective form of mobile communication. However, not even a quarter of respondents use them. Voicemail/ recorded messages finished bottom in both the number of respondents who use them (13%) and how effective they consider them (33%).

2018 SOS Q: Which of the following channels do you currently use? How effective are they?

Social Channels

2018 SOS Q: Which of the following best describes your current use of social channels?

Rate adoption and biggest frustrations

2018 SOS Q: To what extent do you agree with the following statements?

Authors commented: "The chatbot makes its first appearance in State of the Sector this year – but unsurprisingly, is used by few organisations– perhaps one to watch?

Workplace podcasts, which are the darling of our private lives, again fails to make any inroads into our channel mix – rated as the second lowest used channel, as well as the second worst performing. Maybe we’ll see a change to bring it in line with what is happening in our personal lives, but consecutive year on year evidence suggests otherwise….

The Office 365 juggernaut continues to drive the digital landscape, leaving the new and more established players far behind…is there any genuine possibility for the likes of Workplace by Facebook / Jive / and other non-SharePoint systems to break into this increasingly Microsoft dominated environment?"

Over 650 communication professionals answered the survey conducted in November 2017 with more than a half, 57%, from the UK, 20% from North America, 13% mainland Europe and 7% Asia-Pacific. 57% said their remit was purely internal communication.

The report is available to download via this link. The replay of the launch webinar is now available here:

A 2018 North America State of the Sector report will be published in May 2018.

- Role, purpose and value of IC

- IC team involvement

- Strategy and vision

- Barriers to success

- Planning

- Barriers to success

- Leader and line manager communication

- Feedback

- Impact measurement

- IC priorities

- IC organization

- Budget


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IC Kollectif is a global independent nonprofit organization. All editorial content is published independently and without the influence of any advertiser, commercial sponsor or partner.

Capture d’écran, le 2019-04-03 à 17.31.5
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