creativity in internal comms survey - the results have landed

What makes creativity tick in the field of internal comms? Fab agency Alive With Ideas decided to ask a few questions to see. They produced a survey and there's a stack of learning in it. The survey results have been collated and there’s a nice juicy report available for your enjoyment.

by Caroline Roodhouse

Not that many moons ago, we sent our global survey out into the stratosphere, to investigate the levels of creativity in the big wide world of internal comms. With over 160 respondents offering their unique insight into creativity in their organisation, we gathered a magnitude of constructive comments to share with you.

As well as private sector and multinational organisations, we received responses from internal communicators in local government, government departments, NHS, police, fire and housing. Seasoned comms pros, sharing their thoughts, opinions and advice about how they see creativity in the workplace and how they would like it to be encouraged.

With a rather significant 98% of respondents agreeing that a more creative approach to internal comms would have a positive impact on employees, the focus should be on making it happen, wherever possible. So we’ve included a stack of useful suggestions!

The survey reveals that:

- 93 per cent acknowledge the importance of creativity in internal comms

- 81 per cent say that this is reflected in the way they approach a communication/engagement strategy
- 90% feel that collaborative working across the organisation would support creative thinking
- Creativity helps demonstrate to employees that they are valued as highly as external customers
- Face-to-face communication offers the highest opportunity to enhance creativity
- Creativity can help to bridge the gap between external and internal comms
- Only 9 per cent of respondents currently link creativity to business goals
- The ‘we’ve always done it that way’ brigade continues to restrict creative thinking

- A number of respondents report a ‘skills shortage’ in relation to creativity tools and methodologies. 

It’s widely acknowledged that a creative approach, particularly among public sector employees can be perceived as a bit too ‘visionary’ and beyond the reach of most. There’s a lot of ‘make it look good but keep the cost down’ as creativity is identified as an expensive ‘nice to have’.

‘Some of the best ideas are usually the simple ones and there is a lot than can be done on a small budget or even none at all.’

If you’re managing communication in a change resistant, hierarchical and/or public sector organisation, brilliantly creative work can be filtered and diluted as it travels through layers and sign-off processes, stripping away the spark that would have captured the imagination of it’s audience. This really needn’t be the case and small, incremental changes can begin to take on burdensome barriers.

‘In the public sector, creativity is vital.’

While the message coming from public sector organisations may be a functional one, focused on how we live our day-to-day lives, it still needs that special touch. This report challenges the perceived notion that creativity can be a ‘waste of time and money’ whilst demonstrating how an everyday creative approach can exist in any culture, without costing a fortune!

We’ve presented the results together with a thoroughly creative report that:

- Contains personal stories and articles from internal communicators

- Shares some light-hearted experiences of things not going quite to plan

- Includes a number of easy-to-implement ideas on how to introduce more creative working methods

- Examines common barriers to creative working practices including opposition from leadership, time
constraints and budgetary issues.

A hard copy version of the report is now available upon request. Email hello@alivewithideas.com or Tweet us at @Alivewithideas