The 2013 Szpalty Roku competition saw more categories for electronic media. Is the market of electronic media really growing so rapidly?
Actually, the electronic media market seems to be the only one that is growing. In large companies it is now much easier to find an employee with a tablet than one with a custom magazine in their hands. Does this translate to an increase in the quality of custom media? Unfortunately, judging by the competition entries, there is no visible change in this area. This is shocking: I’ve been watching communication processes changing in the past 14 years – mainly from the perspective of new media – and it still seems to me we haven’t moved an inch forward in the area of corporate communications. Companies mistreat digital communications. It is symptomatic companies invest in promotion at social networking portals, create applications and other consumer engaging activities on the one hand, but at the same time are not able to build a simple newsletter for employees. “Paper” work is much more carefully thought over in every detail. I don’t see a simple reason for this, but no doubt depending on the old model of communications lowers the effectiveness of the information flow between the company and its employees and the company and its customers.
When does it pay off to reach for an electronic medium in a company?
I will give you a cunning response. A company that does not have internal communication tools is one that has stopped in time. It is a must. An everyday or at least a weekly newsletter for employees or business partners is an absolute must in large and medium enterprises. Especially for an organisation with dispersed structure, in companies going through changes or operating on markets that require rapid adaptation – and effective communication. Taking business decisions efficiently is not enough. It is equally important to communicate them efficiently, to build common understanding and engaging people in carrying them out. All that must be flowing and cheap. Electronic media give us what is most valuable in business, and what can not be substituted with other means – mainly, time. They allow us to react instantly on what is happening in the company, and we’re not limited by the publishing cycle or analogue technologies. Marshall McLuhan said:”The medium is the message”: the medium used in communication adds meaning and content to the information. If we use traditional tools, we are also perceived that way. Today, information competes on the market just like any other product, and if we want to communicate efficiently in business, we need to do that in a new, engaging and interesting way – mainly via electronic channels. Besides, if we use e-mails so often at work, why do we think it is better to communicate with employees or customers via a paper magazine?
So is it worth combining electronics with paper or should we focus on digital solutions?
You can totally give up printed forms of communication mainly in companies which are highly computerised, e.g. in finances or technologies. This is where the paper version is gradually beginning to be a sensation. But due to their increasingly exclusive character, paper versions are good for special editions, e.g. about events in the company or in communication with groups of older recipients, in the life style sector or with employees who have no computer access – for example working on the factory floor. There’s no point using other forms of communication than digital with the Y generation or younger employees. On the other hand, I find it hard to image corporate communication based solely on printed means.
What would you recommend to the creators of custom media?
First, you need to build understanding for the role of communication on the management level. The team responsible for communications will not help out managers and the board of directors, but can provide them with tools and stimulate them to streamline the processes. Another key element in the creation of a communication system is more and more often the IT department. Usually, artistic minds have difficulty finding a common language with scientific minds. You need to combine competences, be open for the dialogue and search for new paths in building constructive solutions.
Intereview by: Olga Fedorova, the text appeared in the magazine Content Marketing Polska 2013.
Kategorie: power of contentic