The print channel comprises tactics where print is applied to a material such as paper, plastic, fabric, cardboard, wood, metal, etc. Creating a tangible item.
Complexity: print works well in communicating information that is new, complex or lengthy.
Comprehension: print enables employees to devote all their mental resources to understanding what they are reading.
Discretionary effort: the reader determines where, when, how and at what speed they read.
Portability: print can be taken and read anywhere: on the bus, in the train, or at home.
Design: graphic-design techniques help convey messages quickly and with visual impact through the use of headers, sub-headers, text, graphics, photos, captions, break-out boxes, charts, tables and icons.
Distribution: print requires considerable administration of distribution lists and management of distribution channels.
Feedback: print becomes a one-way download of information unless efforts are made to provide employees with an avenue for feedback and two-way communication.
Disengagement: there is potential for employees to not read important information when writing, editing and design elements are poorly executed by the creator.
Reference: unless the information is keyword indexed, print does not provide an efficient archival reference source.
Cost: high quality printed material can be expensive to produce.
Environment: print is not an environmentally friendly medium.
Acronym busters are a compilation of all the acronyms used by the organisation to ensure their meaning is clear for employees. Acronyms are part of the daily language of business. Acronym busters help foster improved employee understanding.
Annual reports are the yearly reviews produced by publicly listed companies at the close of their fiscal year. They generally include statements about the organisation’s operational achievements, its earnings, disbursements, assets and liabilities.
Banners are portable, multi-use display stands showing text, images and logos. Some banners are constructed with a combination travel case and floor-stand for maximum portability and ease of use.
Barbecue cards are individual cards packaged in a purpose-made folder. Each card addresses a ‘hot’ issue. The cards summarize the organisation’s response in a simple bullet-point format to provide employees with information they can easily refer to.
Branded goods are merchandise that are marked or labelled with a distinctive organisational logo and/or words. There is a wide variety of goods that can be branded for employee communication purposes.
Briefing kits are a collection of resources that equip leaders with information, materials and key messages to communicate major organisational change programs. Leaders tailor the content to meet their employees’ specific communication needs.
Brochures are documents with relatively few pages, usually DL (Dimension Lengthwise) or A4 size. This tactic is an economical way of communicating a relatively large amount of information in a concise format on a specific topic, e.g. Code of Conduct.
Calendars list the days of each week and month in a year, usually in a tabular format. They also highlight important dates such as culturally significant days, anniversaries, and public and school holidays.
Company profiles /fact sheets provide background information about an organisation in a convenient, easy-to-read format for informational or ready-reference purposes.They can be produced as stand-alone print publications or posted on the intranet.
Displays are information stands or information booths that showcase products, technologies, divisions, services or initiatives to raise employee awareness and understanding.Displays can be an innovative and interactive way to impart information.
Employee annual reports provide information to employees about the organisation’s activities and achievements during the past year, and prospects for the year ahead. They are generally produced in conjunction with the annual report.
Employee handbooks, also referred to as employee manuals or staff handbooks, articulate what an employee can expect from the organisation, and what the organisation expects from an employee.
Flyers are an effective tactic for conveying information on a single, specific topic, such as a new product or service, a sponsorship initiative or event, etc. Flyers might also include a list of supplementary sources of information or a summary.
The application of Gift Boxes as a tactic lies in using these ‘gifts’ to embody or represent aspects of key corporate messages. For example, a set of creative games might be included in a gift box to reinforce ‘Creativity’ as a core value.
A glossary lists words, terms, phrases and acronyms commonly used in an organisation. Its purpose is to create shared understanding across all locations, levels and job functions to improve the effectiveness of an organisation’s communication.
A jigsaw puzzle is a composite of oddly shaped, interlocking pieces of cardboard. Each piece of a jigsaw puzzle has part of a complete picture on it. When all the parts are put together in the correct arrangement, they form a whole image.
A job description captures the essence of a role: what an employee does and how that contributes to the organisation. This is articulated through the job purpose and core accountabilities, the two cornerstones of a job description.
The leader’s communication calendar ensures effective planning, prioritization and timeliness of a leader’s communications. It optimizes use of a leader’s time through ‘smarter’ use of formal and informal communication opportunities.
Magazines are organisational publications, generally 16 to 24 pages, distributed regularly, usually monthly or quarterly. The communication benefits of printed magazines lie in the fact they can be read anywhere at any time.
Magnetic products are words or images attached to a magnet that is used to secure items such as notes and cards on to magnetic surfaces. In an organisational environment, magnets can be an impactful, useful and colorful means of communicating.
Media releases (or press releases) are written communiques that are emailed, faxed or mailed to journalists. The releases provide important information about the organisation for external media channels such as newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.
A memo, or memorandum, is information that records a leader’s observations about a specific issue. It aims to promote understanding about that issue, and may include recommendations or requests for follow-up action.
Message cubes are heavy-weight paper or light-weight card-stock folded to create a cube with messages on each of the cube’s six faces. Message cubes are a highly visual communication tactic.
Murals are images and/or text applied directly to blank walls, ceilings, glass paneling or other large permanent surfaces in the work environment. Murals are a useful communication tactic because they convert bland and unused flat surfaces.
Newsletters are small-format publications that convey specific information to a target audience. Employees can read newsletters at their discretion, and take important organisational information home to family and friends.
Notes or cards are rectangular-shaped, high-quality paper or card stock, either single sheet or folded, with matching envelopes. They can be pre-printed with relevant information and imagery, including the organisation’s name and logo.
Notice boards, also referred to as bulletin boards or pin boards, are large pieces of cork or similar material to which information notices can be pinned or attached. Notice boards are effective when used as a supplementary communication tactic.
Posters are any piece of printed material of any size, designed for attachment to a wall or vertical surface. Posters are valuable for drawing employees’ attention to new and important information, e.g. a new safety policy.
Puzzle cubes are solid cube-shaped blocks divided into a number of miniature cubes that can be pivoted and rotated to form different images and words. Within organisations, puzzle cubes can be used to convey messages in an informative way.
Stickers are printed labels that can be made from a range of materials. The communication value of stickers lies in their capacity to transform common, everyday items into a communication medium.
Sticky notes come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes, including computerized versions. They are a useful tactic for drawing employees’ attention to important information about new initiatives, significant events or major achievements.
Stop Press is an information sheet to update employees with urgent, out-of-the-ordinary, breaking news. It is a communication tactic to deploy during extraordinary, crisis or emergency situations.
A style guide, or style manual, is a set of standards for the organisation’s communications. Every organisation has its own style of communicating that reflects its internal brand: who it is and what it stands for.
A suggestion box is a means of soliciting ideas, comments and recommendations from employees. They work on the premise that valuable input can come from anywhere. The traditional form of suggestion boxes comprises of a physical receptacle.
Surveys canvass employees’ opinions and measure their perceptions. This provides an audit of important aspects of the organisation as seen through employees’ eyes. Surveys are a valuable communication tactic because they provide a feedback mechanism.
Tent cards are a useful communication tactic. With two or three printable sides in either landscape or portrait format, the design possibilities of tent cards create potential for conveying simple messages in unusual and interesting ways.