We continue our review of the strength and weakness of your internal communications channels. We took off last week with the first part of a serialized piece, assessing both sides of E-mails and Intranet as internal communications channels.
It’s now the turn of Memos and Posters (banners and digital signage).

Spotlight on Memo:
Memos are still in active circulation in the day to day administration of many organisation. While this is not entirely an outdated practice, it is a given that it is not as popular as before.
One of its key advantages is the permanence of the communication/records for later reference. It also proves very useful for precise and official/formal communication and is time-saving- takes relatively less time and effort to draft.
The same point about brevity and precision however can be negating at some point because it makes memos quite “restrictive”. Some information/communication need to be detail to make meaning. In such instances, memos become unsuitable. Similarly memos are not ideal for communicating or addressing several topics at a go.
One will also argue that their strictly formal tone doesn’t allow for creative writing to make reading pleasurable to the recipient. Additionally, return communication is minimized when a memo is used because it’s one-way and there is hardly any opportunity for interaction and or feedback; it is suited only for the top-down form of communications.

The two sides of posters/banners/digital signage:
Poster/banners/digital signage speak for themselves; they are designed with simple messages that are self-explanatory. It only take a strategic positioning to generate high level of repeat exposure to the target audience. One thing is important though, they must be attractive to grab the needed attention.
They also prove more suitable for raising quick employee awareness and turn to be the frequent choice for new product launches. You can hang multiples of these in one location to increase visibility, and ensure that the message sits in long after they have viewed them.
It can comfortably be said that posters/banners and the likes are more economical because of their repeat use. They can be used several times and presented at different events and points so long as the messages they carry are still relevant.
On the other hand, arguments that run against the use of posters/banners and signage include the fact that they are not interactive and literally present a “one-way traffic”- giving information but providing little or no opportunity for the reverse.
Their very nature also demands that the message be kept brief and relatively simple. They generally require reduced content, therefore, it is difficult to communicate in detail. Selecting what has to be included or omitted is not always easy and that is some kind of restriction in there.
Lastly, note also that they are often used as secondary medium to supplement others and so if budgets are to be trimmed, they are among the first to be affected.

Some of more of these channels are in the pipeline to be reviewed in the next post. Stand by for more revealing content on them.

You can reach the Media Republique team on 0302 963 329 or via henking@mediarepublique.com