How to Craft a Story With Your Internal Communications Data
When you present your internal communications findings to the executive team, are you crafting compelling stories that incorporate data?
Storytelling and data make a great match. Without storytelling, your data are just raw numbers and some survey results. Storytelling adds context to data when you present to your organization; it helps provoke deeper insights and bring the contents of a spreadsheet to life.
Meanwhile, a story without data is just that—a story. Data and numbers add weight and impact to your narratives, and they help you accurately measure the results of your initiatives and programs.
Your data-based storytelling doesn’t have to be elaborate to help executives understand how your internal communications performed, prove your value, and earn you a seat at the table. Follow these six steps to succeed.
6 steps to tell a story and form actionable insights with your internal communications data
Step #1: Center the problem you were trying to solve.
What was your big challenge? For example, you may have wanted to ensure your field workers were compliant with new regulations. Did you have a hypothesis on how best to tackle this issue? How did you test it? What channels and vehicles did you use, and how long did you track the data?
Step #2: Offer the solution to the problem.
If you wanted to reach your deskless workers, you may have sent them targeted push notifications with your branded app. Examine your data and the relationships you found. That’s how you’ll find the story. Were there patterns? What connections, comparisons, and differences did you uncover?
Step #3: Describe the benefits of adopting the new initiative.
How did you get from A to B, and what happened in between? Did you discover anything missing or prominent on the channels you chose for your internal communications program over the period you studied? Dig into the data in your spreadsheet (or the analytics tool on your workforce communications platform can also help you gather accurate data easily).
Step #4: Create powerful headings with graphs or visuals.
Use headings to identify the main points of your story, and illustrate those points with the graphics derived from the data. This could be as easy as forming charts from your analytics tool.
Step #5: List key takeaways with supporting evidence.
Provide a high-level summary and key insights for your C-suite executives and stakeholders. Consider creating a “top three” or “top five” list of the most important things you learned from the data. From our earlier example, it could be that push notifications work best at lunchtime when field employees are on a break because that’s where you found the highest click-through rates.
Step #6: Propose next steps that align with business priorities.
Measuring your content performance is just the first step; now you need to set action plans from your insights. Be sure those steps align with your organizational goals and objectives, and craft a strategy with your new data together with your stakeholders. Evaluating program performance is not a one-and-done process. tIt is a continuous cycle of improving your internal communications initiatives and meeting clear goals.
Using data to tell a story is the best way to help the executive team measure results and ultimately improve your organization’s employee experience. Yes, it takes time and experience to work with data if you’re not used to it. But the relationships and patterns from your analytics will help you convey your findings easily and effectively.
Ready to set your goals on your next internal communications plan? Read our latest guide, 5 Steps You Need To Set Your Internal Communications Goals.