By Samantha Elkington-Dent
Author bio: Sam works in Information Management Services (IMS) at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). IMS look after information and records management, the staff intranet, and copyright. IMS are a multi-award winning team. In 2015 the team won the RIMPA Chris Simpson Award for Innovation & Marketing and in 2016 they won the RIMPA Harry Haxton Group Shield for their marketing initiatives.
Have people heard enough jargon and industry terminology to last a lifetime?
Are you putting people to sleep during presentations or at meetings?
Sounds like you might need a good dose of internal marketing!
Huh? What on earth is internal marketing?
Hold the phone. Let me explain.
If your organisation doesn’t know what services you provide, or what value you provide to the organisation, how will you garner support for future projects and initiatives?
In IMS at USC we have used internal marketing to promote the team’s services across the university.
Of course we have used more traditional physical marketing resources, like lunch boxes, water bottles, and info cards…
But what has truly impacted our position in the University has been our team culture and excellent customer service.
Marketing doesn’t need to be a big campaign and it doesn’t need a financial commitment (if you can get money for marketing resources that’s great, but it’s not the end of the world).
In IMS we strongly believe that your best marketing tool is your team culture. Your culture, customer service standards, and the services you provide are your most valuable assets.
Getting out there and helping staff is the best way to spread the word about your services.
Sometimes you will need to tailor your message to suit your audience (one size doesn’t necessarily fit all).
For instance, in a university there are both academic and professional staff from diverse professional backgrounds. We listen to staff, find out their core business and what will work for them.
Then we provide bite-sized pieces of information that are easy to consume, at our clients’ point of need. What’s on the staff intranet is short and contains key messages only.
So, what are some practical tips?
Well, don’t be afraid to try new things or build on other people’s ideas.
For our info cards we borrowed QSA’s mythbusters concept and addressed key myths floating around at USC.
We also ran drop-in sessions similar to the ones QSA held.
Instead of arranging meetings in our office we go out and meet people anywhere on campus when it suits them.
We have learnt, and continue to learn, how our clients work and how our services can improve their processes.
We pick up the phone and have a conversation instead of emailing.
Our team is cross trained and tries to help wherever possible instead of saying “that’s not my job”.
Rather than being the fun police we try to say YES when we can or give other options instead. We have made ourselves the conduits between our clients and external compliance obligations, so our relationships are built on trust and mutual appreciation.
So go on, get out there and market your services. Show your organisation what you can offer them and that you’re there to help!