Top 5 communication tips when moving
The wood flooring is laid. The IT and phone systems have been installed. The exterior signage is up and as for the interior – perfect feng shui! But does anyone know you have moved?
Businesses of all sizes move at some stage and it presents great comms challenges and opportunities. Your communication strategy should be planned as early as the move itself. Here are five top tips.
1. Let people know!
This may seem obvious but many companies get this wrong. Moving office is a positive story and a great opportunity to let customers and contacts know you are on the up. A creative mailer is a good idea and cost effective. Follow this up by putting a message on your email signature letting people know the moving date. Your campaign should be carried out over a period of months leading up to the move to ensure new contact details and key messages are communicated. Website and social media channels should also be used.
Likewise, moving to new premises is news – highlighting the growth, expansion and development of the business, so tell the media. Either speak to the regional and trade media or hire a good PR agency to handle the external communication. Many PR companies are happy to work on one-off projects. There are two opportunities for publicity. Initially, to announce plans to move and secondly, when the move has taken place. As with all press releases, a good photograph will help.
2. Internal communications
Inform your staff of the move at the earliest opportunity. They should not find this out through the company grapevine and certainly not in the media. Explain why the company is moving and be prepared to tackle tricky questions, especially if the move will inconvenience travelling arrangements for some employees. Sit down with your management and PR team and anticipate employee concerns. An unhappy and insecure workforce will make your move a lot harder, so careful planning is a must. Many employees will see it as a progressive story.
It has probably been years, if not decades, since the company’s last relocation and during this period the culture, ethos and fabric of your business has probably changed significantly. Companies often take the decision to rebrand when relocating to reflect a new corporate identity. Look at your logo, stationery, branding materials and website and ask yourself, is this identity a true representation of the company? With a new address and contact details most of your promotional material will change, so it also makes financial sense to rebrand. Ensure a rebranding campaign is planned at least six months prior to relocation, ready to go ‘live’ on the big day.
4. Corporate stationery
Ensure that all stationery is up-to-date. This includes letterheads, compliments slips, business cards, all promotional material and new media tools. Again, planning is the key. Keep reprints of current stationery to a minimum to reduce wastage. Don’t forget the website!
5. Event management
What would a relocation be without the obligatory launch event? A lot cheaper for a start! But this is a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with clients, employees, contacts and local opinion formers by letting them share in the progress and success of the company. It may add to the expenses but many companies time and time again find the benefits of a good corporate event are priceless. Leave it a few months to iron out any snagging issues. You don’t want your biggest customer getting paint on their new suit! Likewise, invite key contacts for a sneak preview before the moving in day. It will make them feel loved.