IT communications might not be the most glamorous type of internal communication, but it is critical to your daily operations and the cybersecurity of your company. In this blog, we’ll share how corporate comms and IT can become better allies and send IT updates that make an impact.
What Are IT Communications?
Information technology (IT) communications encompass a variety of different messages that a company needs to send. There are two primary goals of IT communication:
- To keep the company’s data and private information safe (including data of their customers).
- To keep the tech stack up and running and efficient so all employees can do their jobs without serious interruption.
Therefore, IT departments will have a decent amount of unplanned communication for technology outages, phishing scams, and other technology-related crises. However, communications around safety measures, data and privacy policies, and reporting can be planned. This makes a strong partnership between internal comms and IT essential.
Examples of IT Communications
A few examples of the types of messages IT teams need to send to employees include:
- Planned software updates and unplanned outages (technology downtime).
- Company software policies (e.g. requesting equipment, how to use company-issued equipment, etc.)
- Scam awareness (e.g. phishing prevention).
- Changes to the company tech stack (e.g. new technology or retiring/migrating software).
What Should an IT Communications Plan Include?
Your IT comms plan will include two different parts: one for the known communications you can plan in advance and a crisis response plan for IT communications.
For planned communications, consider:
- The appropriate cadence to remind employees of IT policies and cybersecurity measures. Too often, and employees will tune these messages out. But too sporadic, and employees might not know how to respond in certain situations.
- What channels should be used for known outages to ensure that all employees are aware of the downtime and can plan accordingly. Like with any of your communications, you’ll want to use a variety of internal comms channels to share your IT communications.
- How to make these messages more engaging. Unfortunately, IT communications, like compliance communications, can be on the boring side (sorry, IT teams!). But these messages are important. So, it’s important to plan ahead so you can make these messages a little more engaging for your audience.
Plan for Unplanned IT Messages
But you can also prepare for unplanned IT updates. Like preparing for any crisis, the internal communication team should work closely with the IT team to prepare messages for all known scenarios ahead of time. This will cut down on the time it takes to send out updates when certain events occur.
For instance, if a phishing email is sent to your company, you want to be able to get a warning out to your teams as soon as possible with instructions not to click on links or download files from that email and tell employees what to do if they mistakenly did either of those things. You can craft the basic template for this kind of message with IT ahead of time so all you need to do if the time comes to send this message is to add the specific details. This can potentially save your company a ton of time, and therefore prevent further damage.
Include pre-approved messages for all types of scenarios as part of your internal comms plan for IT related messages.
Getting IT and Internal Comms on the Same Page
One of the biggest barriers to a successful IT communications plan is the rift that sometimes exists between IT and internal comms. We don’t always see eye-to-eye or speak the same language.
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So, how can you create a stronger partnership between these two teams?
It all starts with trying to understand each other. What are the goals of each team and how can you actually help each other achieve them? How can the right internal communication strategy help IT save money and create more efficiencies across the organization?
And on the flip-side, how can IT be a better partner in supporting the channels and tools that internal communicators need to do their jobs effectively?
Include the IT team in your regular stakeholder meetings so they can get a better sense of what you’re trying to accomplish and why certain tools really are necessary. And then work with them and accept their expertise for integrating technology and optimizing the digital employee experience.
But don’t forget that you are the communications expert. Your expertise is invaluable to the IT department in crafting a successful plan for their company updates.
Best Practices for Sending IT Communications
Effectively sharing IT updates isn’t really different from any other internal communication campaign. Follow a few simple steps to maximize your impact:
- Use the right channels. Like any message, the channels you choose to send messages are key. For instance, if your promo code isn’t working on your registers in your stores the day of a big marketing promotion, you need a quick, targeted message that will reach managers on the floor. A banner on the intranet that they can only access on the BOH computer isn’t going to cut it. So, make sure you talk through the various scenarios that can happen at your company and have a channel strategy for each.
- Plan ahead when you can. It’s key to get out of the last-minute request world with the IT department. Know the big updates ahead of time and plan them like you would any other campaign. This also gives you time to invest in more engaging mediums for your messages like videos or podcasts.
- Have goals in mind. Understand what IT needs to accomplish and the risks involved with not getting IT communications across effectively to your staff. Use this to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy and adjust as needed.
Investing in a Communications Hub
One way to make your IT team happy is to simplify your tech stack and number of vendors you work with. Finding solutions that are easy to implement and manage over time is a huge item on the IT departments checklist.
With theEMPLOYEEapp, we want to remove barriers to getting up and running with a variety of channels to meet your needs. That’s why we require very little IT support to get you up and running and why we let you manage your app, intranet, and employee texts all from one content management system.
Interested in seeing it in action? Request a demo today!
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