How AI and Automation is changing the future of internal comms
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How AI and Automation is changing the future of internal comms

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How AI and Automation is changing the future of internal comms
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    Embracing new technologies

    Businesses  need to embrace AI and automation to stay ahead of the curve and communicate effectively with their people. However, one thing we can’t forget is the element of being human. The very basis of internal communications is building relationships and fostering deeper connections with your people. 

    That’s why AI is such a controversial topic, but one that is at the forefront of many conversations and one that needs to be taken advantage of. In an uncertain workplace that is so worried about AI and automation, it’s vital to remember that it’s the people who make up a successful business. AI and automation is just a helping hand. 

    We included intelligent comms and the use of AI as a prediction in our blog at the start of the year.  That it will shape the internal comms industry throughout 2023 and beyond. Gallagher released their State of the Sector report earlier in the year and it found that digital adoption was still a long way off and an aspiration to many. When asked how impactful emerging technologies will be for internal communication, Artificial Intelligence was second place at 40% but a long way off from being implemented, with only 9% having reported having this in 2023. AI is no longer a nice to have in the near future, but it’s rapidly becoming a normal part of people’s daily routine at work. From the hype that is surrounding AI and automation and the value it will add to the internal communications function, it’s clear those figures will rapidly increase in next year’s report. 

    Recommended read 📖 5 internal comms predictions for 2023

    So what is the difference between AI and automation? Automation means making those every-day tasks automated so you can spend more time doing meaningful work to increase employee engagement. Things like analytics, scheduling campaigns, anything that will make your life easier as an internal comms professional. AI is technology and the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computers. 

    5 ways AI and automation can help internal communicators 

    Now let's take a look at the advantages of AI and automation and how it will help internal communicators now and in the future.

    Personalised comms

    Employees are continually overwhelmed with messages on a day-to-day basis. This can sometimes result in people disengaging, meaning important comms are lost within the send all approach. Taking a more targeted and personalised approach will manage overwhelm, drive consumption and make employees engage more with the content because it’s relevant to them. 

    AI has the power to personalise communications on a scale that humans alone could not possibly achieve. By studying patterns in data, AI can understand employee preferences and customise content that would resonate most with them. This level of personalisation strengthens employee engagement, fosters a more inclusive and meaningful workplace culture.  With Oak’s AI-powered Smart Delivery engine, important information can be precisely targeted to the right audience at the right time, ensuring increased engagement and maximum impact. 

    Enhanced efficiency 

    There’s no doubt about it. Automating tasks will save you time. Managing campaigns can be time-consuming, especially when it involves coordinating different messages across various platforms and to different audiences. It’s difficult to get information to people and it’s made even more difficult when communicators are using methods such as spreadsheets to manage their communication efforts. Automation has the power to simplify this process by allowing communicators to schedule campaigns in advance and at scale. AI can go a step further, enabling A/B testing and predicting campaign performance based on historical data. 

    It’s clear that internal communicators are overworked and under-resourced. Gallagher’s State of the Sector report revealed that 34% said that ‘lack of time and capacity in my team’ was the biggest challenge.  By automating recurring tasks such as scheduling emails or publishing timeline posts, communication professionals can also focus on more strategic tasks. With the added help of AI, internal comms can also measure their success and analyse their communications, including engagement rates, best performing content, optimal posting times, etc. that would have otherwise taken too long to compile manually.

    Our newly launched Campaign functionality offers communicators the power of automation through an intuitive dashboard, allowing them to manage all of their campaigns in one centralised place. Communicators can easily create, organise and schedule messaging, saving time and effort. 

    Real-time support

    AI-powered chatbots are redefining the way internal comms function. By offering immediate responses to common queries, they provide real-time support to employees, enhancing their experience and freeing up time for communicators to address more complex issues. The potential for 24/7 accessibility ensures that employees get the support they need, when they need it, leading to increased satisfaction and productivity. 

    Oak Engage has recently launched Aria, our new artificial intelligent assistant. Whether you have a HR related query or a question about a policy, Aria has you covered and provides you with immediate access to the information you need. This will significantly enhance the employee experience as it is reducing the time they spend searching for answers and increasing their productivity. Aria is also designed to evolve and learn over time, continually improving its responses and increasing its knowledge base.  Receive accurate, relevant and timely answers to your questions and relieve pressure from your HR team. 

    Data-driven decision making

    One significant advantage of AI is its ability to process vast amounts of data and provide insights that can inform strategic decision-making. In the context of internal communications, this could mean analysing engagement metrics to determine what types of content resonate most with employees or identifying trends in communication channels to optimise message delivery. With these insights, communicators can make data-driven decisions to enhance their strategy and drive engagement.

    AI also offers the advantage of predictive analysis. Through machine learning algorithms, AI can analyse past trends and behaviours to predict future outcomes. This means that communicators could foresee how a particular piece of content or campaign might perform even before it is launched. This enables pre-emptive adjustments to be made, saving resources and ensuring that communications are as effective as possible.

    Building future-proof organisations

    Ultimately, the adoption of AI and automation in internal communications is about building future-proof organisations. With rapid technological advancements and ever-changing workplace dynamics, organisations need to stay agile and adaptable. By integrating AI and automation into their internal communications, organisations can ensure that they remain at the forefront of these changes, ready to harness new opportunities as they arise.

    AI and automation are powerful tools that can transform internal communications, from enhancing efficiency and personalisation to enabling data-driven decision-making and predictive analysis. However, as our Director of Product, Dave Ferguson points out, the human element remains central to successful communication. The challenge then lies in embracing these technologies to amplify human connections rather than replace them.

    Oak is a leader in this transformation, offering an AI-driven platform that not only harnesses the power of AI and automation but also places human connection at its core. As we look into the future, the integration of AI and automation in internal communications isn’t just a possibility, but a necessity.

    Emma Williamson

    Emma is Head of Marketing & PR at Oak Engage. She has a passion for communications which has developed a number of her skills including campaign management, social media marketing, crisis communications and media relations. Emma has over eight years of experience working in Marketing and PR and is an Associate member of the CIPR and a member of the IoIC with a BA Honours Degree in Magazine Journalism and an MA in Public Relations.