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Best practices for using the GovDelivery Communications Cloud for internal communications

While the GovDelivery Communications Suite by Granicus is a powerful and effective means of communicating with constituents, it can also be used internally for connecting with employees. There are multiple capabilities, from sending out a text message to all staff at once, to tracking engagement with important emails and re-sending messages to employees who may have inadvertently overlooked the message the first time. In particular, the marketing automation and campaign features of tools like the Advanced Package for the GovDelivery Communications Cloud could have substantial impacts on your internal communication campaign goals – including the level of employee engagement with your organisation and staff programmes.

For example, check out this case study to find out how West Sussex County Council is using email marketing to engage over 5,300 staff in multiple locations, give them a voice, and empower positive cultural changes inside the council.

On the Granicus Support team, we see many great examples of organisations using the GovDelivery Communications Cloud devoted entirely to internal communications, to drive staff behavioural change, productivity and satisfaction. Here are some best practices for using the tech internally:

Make a special footer without an unsubscribe option

This is an easy solution to prevent unsubscribing from internal newsletters and alerts. This special footer for employee bulletins is sometimes overlooked since footer creation can only be done by the account administrator. If you don’t think you have a specific footer for staff bulletins, ask an account administrator to copy the main social media footer and remove the unsubscribe option.

Add a subscriber restriction for email domains

This is also under the Account Settings field, so you’ll need the help of an account administrator. Click on “Subscriber Restrictions” and you’ll see the choice to add in a restriction. This can be done by adding in and allowing only people with that domain to sign up for a topic and also reminds employees to register for new staff-related comms using their work emails. Remember, you don’t need to worry about members of the public subscribing to staff updates since your public topic subscription options are set to “public” (for example, they appear on a “pick-list” as someone is subscribing from your web pages / other sign-up places) and you can make all staff or other stakeholder closed-group topic options “private” in your account.

Restrictions are available with text messaging as well. This little string of characters [^[0-9]+$] will allow only text message numbers to enroll. Before you add it to a topic, just be sure that you have one email address already registered.

Turn on “Subscription Restore” to re-add employees who leave by accident

If you haven’t been adding a footer without the unsubscribe option, it’s possible to re-add any employees who have unsubscribed. This can also be done in account settings. An account administrator will need to call the Support team to turn it on, just in case it isn’t on already. There’s no fee for this service, and once turned on at the account level, you can go to a topic and turn on the subscriber setting for “Subscriber Management”. This will allow you to simply click a button to restore a subscriber who has unsubscribed from the topic. Note that this will also send you an alert when someone leaves the topic, but you can disable these alerts in your notification profile.

Leverage text messaging options

text messaging

It’s great to send out the employee newsletter by email, but an all-text message topic set up for employees is another opportunity to communicate quickly during times when employees may not have access to email. Vale of Glamorgan Council used Granicus’ text messaging solution to communicate with volunteer staff at remote polling stations across the county on Election Day. This handy comms tool saved the Returning Officer time and allowed them to focus on other responsibilities of the day. See page 14 of Engagement for Change for more info on how this council is using text messaging to communicate with different audiences.

Conduct A/B testing

To optimise engagement with your organisation’s messages, set up A/B testing for best-time-of-day to send or subject line tests? You can see which option gets more opens on a regular employee newsletter – the message sent in the morning or the afternoon, or the message sent on Monday versus Friday. Although A/B testing can be automated and adjusted (50:50 or 10:10:80) using the Advanced Package for the GovDelivery Communications Cloud which we strongly recommend for any team short on time and resources and serious about optimising their comms using marketing automation, you can conduct A/B testing with the basic package of the GovDelivery Communications Cloud. You would use “Criteria” to filter to 50 per cent of your audience. The process is more manual, but an employee topic is a good opportunity to see if timing and catchy subject lines have a better impact on the open and click rates.

By adopting the best practices above, your organisation can improve internal communications, strengthen employee engagement and advance your organisation’s goals in terms of staff awareness, participation, and satisfaction.