27 September 2019

Putting some magic into your comms: the importance of knowing your audience

Here at Synergy HQ, we've been thinking about storytelling in internal comms and knowing how to communicate with different audiences.

Our Strategist Jess explains how a trip to Warner Bros Studio Tour got her thinking about how to communicate well with employees…


Last week, I piled the kids into the car at some unearthly hour on the promise of sampling Bertie Bott’s every flavour beans and choosing their very own magic wand. You guessed it. We were on our way to The Making of Harry Potter – Warner Bros Studio Tour.

I fully expected to be wowed by the sets and taken in by the magic of it all but I didn’t expect to be stopped in my tracks whilst still queuing to enter. As my boys fizzed with excitement, patiently waiting in line, I looked up and emblazoned on the wall read:

No story lives unless someone wants to listen – JK Rowling

It sounds obvious, right? If no-one wants to hear your story, is it even worth telling it?

We talk a lot about stories and strategic narratives in internal comms. Engage for Success tell us that they are one of the four key drivers for employee engagement. But what are we doing to make sure employees want to listen to their business’ story?

JK Rowling reminds us that the story isn’t the priority, it’s the reader (or employee in this case). And it’s our job, as internal comms experts to get to know our audience. So, how do we do that?


Audience segmentation

At Synergy, we know how important it is to lead with data. And that’s what we do. We start with analysing our clients’ people data: identifying core segments, trends and groupings. From here, we delve deeper and use a variety of qualitative methods to build a more rounded view of those segments. We look at:

  • What does a typical day look like?
  • What do people need?
  • What motivates them?
  • Why do they stay or leave?
  • How do they communicate?
  • How best can you reach them?

All of this gives a really rich picture of the different internal audiences and what makes them unique, and we use it to create a set of employee personas. What do we mean by that? Think of it like a CV. An insightful and honest overview giving you the absolute need-to-know information about each segment of your internal audience.


And why does it matter?

Knowing exactly who your audience is, what they want/expect and how you can reach them means you can be strategic about the way you communicate with them. You can be specific and targeted with your messaging. You can focus on the areas in which you’ll make the biggest impact. And crucially, you can demonstrate that you’re listening – that you know your people and you care.

We’re working with a number of clients to help them better understand their people. And it’s not just about internal comms. Our clients are using their employee personas for recruitment strategies, transformation programmes, and reward and recognition schemes.

So, back to JK. I reckon she knows a thing or two about storytelling. Know your audience. Be like JK.

If you’d like to put some magic into your comms, drop us an email, we’d love to help. And click below for more information. 

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