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internal communications platform software

4 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Internal Communications Platform

internal communications platform software

December 2, 2021 Posted by in Internal Communications

Choosing an internal communications platform? First, you’ll need to first ask yourself four vital questions to help you protect your business and possibly even increase the safety of your staff in the event of an emergency.

Digital communications in any form can often be confusing, irrelevant, or even untrustworthy. Your internal communications platform should allow your messaging to be the one genuine, verified, trustworthy voice of authority, providing information that has not been filtered or altered. The platform you choose should also allow for participation and interaction among your staff, so they can feel they are a part of the process and their opinions and feedback are being heard and considered. Most importantly, it should give them a forum for asking questions so they can get accurate, usable answers.

When choosing an internal communications platform, ask yourself these four questions:

Does the platform seamlessly integrate with my existing digital tools? 

Your staff is already working with very specific business tools. You don’t want to rock the boat with new tools that will complicate and confuse their workflow. Your internal communications platform should easily embed itself into the existing system, with a very small (if any) learning curve. Your staff should not have to schlep to another platform in order to see and interact with your content.

Can the internal communications platform be accessed from all types of digital devices? 

It’s no longer a 9-5/cubicle work world. Today, staff are working from different locations and on different devices. They also work on different schedules. Your internal communications system needs to reach them where they are, and in real time. That means having a system that is accessible on all types of digital screens: smart phones, tablets, and good, old-fashioned desk workstations.

Can my staff use the platform to easily engage with me (and each other)?

Make sure your platform is a two-way street, allowing staff to interact. That would include giving them the opportunity to respond with instant reactions, comments and opinions, sharing news, and most importantly, the ability to ask questions if a communication seems unclear.

Does the internal communications platform include the ability to send emergency/crisis communications? 

Unfortunately, it’s going to happen sooner or later: an emergency or crisis facing your organization — suddenly and without warning. This could mean anything from a fire to computer hacking or severe weather such as hurricanes or blizzards. Sure, you can use social media or try to contact people by telephone or email, but your best success will come with a comprehensive emergency notification system that becomes the one source of authority and guidance in the midst of an emergency.

The mass notification platform you choose should allow you to be on top of every moment of the emergency. Your messages should be able to be sent in real time, and be easy to read and followed. You should be able to stay in touch with your staff, message them when necessary, and be able to reach them on any platform or device they are currently using. The company you choose should offer dependable, competent customer support 24/7, and be protected by excellent security.

Consider these features when planning your emergency message for employees:

  • Proactive functions: like being able to program in your staff’s contact information in advance — and how they are to receive their emergency messages (for instance, ask them if they prefer getting texts, emails or voicemails)
  • Two-way chat
  • Polling (taking a head count or finding out how people are)
  • Alerting your local fire department and/or first responders (you can program this information ahead of time)

Bottom line

When choosing an internal communications platform, make sure you choose a system that integrates with your existing tools and can be used across all types of digital devices. It should be simple to use and able to work and communicate seamlessly in the midst of an emergency or crisis. Additionally, it should allow your staff to easily engage with you and others.

Read our blog post on the five questions you should ask before sending an internal communication. Click here

Forbes published an informative article about the best practices for effective internal communications. Click here

Find out more about how RedFlag can help you meet your internal communications platform goals. Click here.

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