Simona Mazza

Management Consultant

  • Communications
  • Life Sciences
  • Energy
  • Legal Services
  • Financial Services
  • Public Sector

07 Apr, 2021

How to win over your audience with targeted communication

In a world where most people read 20% of the words on a page and the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text (ref1), organisations need to adapt their internal communication strategy to ensure employees feel engaged and connected. Especially in the current ‘working from home’ setting where data shows that access to functioning communication networks can enhance employees’ experience leading to better productivity and work-life balance (ref2).

Therefore, how can internal communication unlock value across organisations?

More so than ever, the answer lies in moving away from one-size-fits-all communication and directing efforts towards targeted communication to stand a chance of winning over audiences and meeting business objectives.

To achieve effective targeted communication, the first action is identifying your audience, whether they are users, team members, stakeholders, or other departments. Focus the communication on what you need them to Think, Feel and Do. This will help you create messages that are purposeful and keep the audience focussed on what matters. But remember, creating relevant messages is as important as ensuring they are communicated out at the right time and through the right channels.

Effective internal engagement requires consistency and thoughtful planning to create a more connected workplace and increase community in a virtual world. But the good news is that we have created the following guide to help you deliver effective communications across your organisation in with few simple steps.

Step 1. Create a fit-for-purpose communications strategy

A well-developed communications strategy sits at the heart of every successful organisation. It ensures the overall goals are achieved and that the wider context, business priority, and audiences at play are considered. 

Set your objectives: Whether you are communicating to provide clarity on a topic or to create awareness, use this time to set clear objectives and goals (better if they are SMART*), decide what you want to achieve and how to achieve it.

Map your audience: Engaging with the right audience at the right time is crucial for the communication to be successful. Avoid “pushing” information to everyone, and instead focus on identifying your key audiences through interviews and focus groups. You might want to map first the most influential, impacted and interested stakeholder group and prioritise communication accordingly to build productive relationships.

Identify the right channels: Due to the plethora of options available these days it is not always easy to identify the right communication channel. We recommend using a few key channels that reach your target audience. This will prevent ineffective messaging, waste of time and resources, and untargeted communication. If you want to experiment new channels don’t forget to measure their effectiveness and reassess your strategy accordingly. 

Step 2. Develop a communication plan

Timing is everything in communication, therefore developing a communications plan is key for the success of a strategy. Whether you are delivering ad-hoc communication such as a recent accomplishment, or a planned one like a newsletter, make sure to include them both in your plan. As a minimum, each planned communication should include its purpose, the targeted audience, the selected channel, who is responsible for delivering it and when. You might also want to add a metric to measure the success of your communication (see step 4. Measure and iterate)

Step 3. Create key messages

Once all is set, it is time to create compelling messages. Balance what you need to communicate with what your audience needs to know and provide meaningful information designed to stimulate action. Filter out whatever isn’t important and make your message understandable for everyone. Consider: would you pause and read it if you had not written it?

Step 4. Measure & iterate

And last but not least, remember to periodically assess the performance of your communications and track engagement to ensure objectives are met and potential issues are identified timely. You might want to do so by either gathering informal feedback or by choosing communication metrics such as number of replies or likes. As feedback is evaluated, adjust your communication accordingly to drive successful communication.

*Objectives are 'SMART' if they are specific, measurable, achievable, (sometimes agreed), realistic (or relevant) and time-bound, (or timely).



Simona Mazza

Management Consultant

Simona is a Management Consultant specialising in communications and change. For the past few years, she has worked across both the public and private sectors to develop and implement fit-for-purpose communication & change management strategies aimed at accelerating positive change behaviour and effective communication and engagement at all levels of the organisation.

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