CITY OF LONDON ACADEMY QUESTION: 2. Conduct an internal corporate communications audit of your organization using a set of questionnaires. Critically evaluate the results to identify strengths and weaknesses of current practices in your organization. Definations of internal corporate communications audit:
A communications audit can be explained as a systematic research method which help to recognize the current condition of internal and external communications in an organization. The various features of internal corporate communications audit can be explained as below:
Planning of internal corporate communications audit of the organizations:
- It helps to identify how past communications are handled and the strength and weaknesses of current communications practice.
- It helps to find out various opportunities for future communications.
- An internal corporate communications audit helps to suggest suitable communications practice for the achievement of goals and successes of the organisations.
- It helps to analyse whether the corporate communication audit assist in overall strategy of the organisation.
The internal corporate communication is held among the members of the organization. The development of the organization is highly depend on the strength of the corporate communication strategy. The various questionnaires while planning the internal corporate communication strategy are as follows:
The focus of the internal communication strategy is the message that you delivered. All the information that you develop in your communication strategy depends on the message that you are trying to convey. The managers should convey the message to all its employees which is understandable, appropriate and meaningful. As for example; the information about plans, policies, staff guidance, annual reports, working schedule etc must be delivered by delivering the appropriate message.
- Who is your target audience?
The target audience is the group whom you are trying to reach with your message. Identifying the target audience is important because it helps to show how to develop your message and the form in which your message will take. The various audiences in internal communications are all the members they are related to the organization. The information must be delivered differently according to the age, gender, qualifications and level of the members of the organization.
- What information does your audience need?
The information should not be too vague, broad and confusing. For the internal members of the organization, the communication must be done with short, understanding, clear and necessary information in order to avoid rumors and confusion.
- How will the message be delivered?
Different media of communication like notice board, email, conferences, staff meeting are suitable to deliver the message among the internal members of the organization.
- How will you gauge the success of your communication strategy?
Performance measurements of the internal communication must be done to get the information about the failures and mistakes so that they can be improved in the future. Conducting the internal corporate communication audit:
The different steps of conducting the internal corporate communication audit are as follows:
- Determine the areas to be audited:
The internal standard identity pieces as business cards, letterhead, logo, signage, website, online system are the different areas to conduct the internal corporate communication audit.
- Choose your research methods:
To conduct internal corporate communication audit, different research methods such as one to one interviews, focus groups, online or telephone surveys and media analysis are the research methods.
- Collect and evaluate your past communications:
Communicate all the past yearâ€™s performance and output in the meeting among all the members of the organization. As for example, gather the answer of the following:
- What were our key messages?
- Could we reach our target audiences with the right messages?
- Could we successfully communicate our organisational plans and policies?
- Look inward: Query your staff and volunteers:
Collect the views from the employees about the communication during past year, whether they were effective or not, how could they be improved, did the internal resources serve their needs, whether all the employees are satisfied and have accurate, consistent voice about the organization. Evaluation of results
The evaluation of the results can be done from the SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis stands for strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strength:
The internal communication audit evaluate the results to measure the strength of the organization. Following are the examples of the strength of the organization gained from the result of the internal communication audit.
- If the result shows, employees are happy and satisfied with the internal communication system, this is the strength of the organisation.
- The positive result reflects the development of key steps in building the positive relationships, creating credibility and mutual trust with the employees
- The good results ensure the strength of organisation in the improvement of communication in the organization.
- If the internal corporate communication audit is improving than past audit, it means the organization has good organizational culture of open communication, credibility and collaboration.
- The strength of organization will be the commitment to build the positive thinking of employees and stakeholders about organizationâ€™s communication and initiatives.
- The negative results of internal corporate communication audit reflects the weaknesses of the organisation. It means the messages are not properly delivered to the group of stakeholders in comparison to the past performances.
- The way of delivering the messages is poor in the organisation. Hence the improvement in the delivering system like, way of writing messages in the notice board must be improved so that all the stakeholders can understand. If the majority group of stakeholders prefer to receive messages by email, then the organisation must choose online system to deliver the message.
- Sometime the mutual cooperation among all the members in the organization becomes poor and hence it effects the internal corporate communication among them. Thus, it will be necessary to strengthen the relationship among all the members by organising staff meeting time and again, conferences and seminar when new plans and policies have to be launched. This will help in improving the poor communication audit for the future development of the organization.