Email Remains Top Internal Communications Channel During the Pandemic

To provide a timely evaluation of the current state of corporate communications, PoliteMail has released a new report, “The State of Communications Summer 2020.” The report includes data from a July 2020 survey, conducted by Ragan, of more than 350 corporate communicators who shared their insights and opinions on the channels, technologies, and tools they rely on most to communicate with employees in the midst of this crisis.

An overwhelming majority of internal communicators (93%) said email is the most preferred channel for reaching employees, followed by virtual and video meetings (83%) and corporate intranet (41%). When it comes to the topics that employees want to hear about most, 80% of communicators said information on returning to the workplace was highest in demand.

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Many of the challenges internal communicators faced prior to the pandemic are now exacerbated by current circumstances, particularly measurement. The survey confirms this, with 34% of respondents stating that they aren’t measuring internal communications efforts at all. Only 24% said they measure all of their top three internal communications channels, while 42% measure just one or two channels.

“The need to reach, inform, and engage employees has never been more important. Communications teams provide vital information on safety, health benefits, and procedures for returning to work,” notes Michael DesRochers, managing partner at PoliteMail. “Yet, more than one-third of communicators have no measurement in place to understand the results of their efforts. Without the ability to measure, internal communicators are ‘flying blind’ at a time when there’s not much room for error.”

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Other highlights of the report include:

  • 50% of respondents are using email more now than they did before COVID-19
  • 70% of respondents said the majority of their staff is working remotely
  • 32% of communicators predict remote work will continue for an additional one to six months
  • 56% of employees said they want to receive messages directly from their organization’s executives

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