This question is for internal corporate communicators:
Do you have paper based communications you create and share digitally, or do you have electronic communication products people can consume any way they want including print?
“Take a memo!” That is SOoo 1960. This is 2010! We don’t have typewriters. Of course, we all have computers. But, do you or your staff, craft a memo on a computer and then distribute it as an attachment to an email? Do you post a PDF of the memo on your intranet? Congratulations! You are using the tools. That’s good. Unfortunately, you are limiting the capability of the tools by not having the right mindset. You are still thinking “Memo!”
Flip it around! Don’t think “I have to write a memo.” Think, “I have some important information to share. What will be my primary tool to communicate this? What will be my backup channels? How can these channels support each other? Where will this information reside for the long term?”
The plethora of new communications tools requires a shift in the paradigm. Your employees no longer have a 12″ by 15″ wooden “IN BOX” on their desk to receive your paper memo.
I know you are thinking “You’re right! We got rid of those old wooden boxes long ago. I send it to them via email… That’s the modern communication channel.”
It is just one of many new communications channels. And “Yes,” it is a hugely important part of any communications system, but it isn’t the only channel. It is only one leg of a many legged stool.
Just because email is popular doesn’t mean it is the best channel for sharing the information you have to communicate. Pick the strongest tool for the task, then back it up with several other channels. You will have a robust, integrated communications system that can provide a printed memo, if needed.