Two in three firms believe they are ill-equipped for digital comms

Two thirds of company bosses expect to increase their use of digital and social media over the next two years, but the same proportion believe they are ill-equipped to deal with greater levels of digital communication.

Social media: Sixteen per cent of business chiefs think they are "poorly prepared"
Social media: Sixteen per cent of business chiefs think they are "poorly prepared"

This is according to new research from YouGov, commissioned by comms consultancy Gather, which suggests firms are waking up to the "void" that exists in their understanding of the genre.

The survey of 752 British business decision-makers across a range of industries found 65 per cent expected to increase their use of digital media to employees, customers, investors and influencers in the next two years. The same percentage stated they expected to increase their use of social media to the same audiences over that period.

In contrast, about 30 per cent of those responsible for communicating with investors admitted that they did not currently use any of the main digital and social channels, while 30 per cent of those responsible for communicating with employees said the same.

Meanwhile, only 33 per cent of organisations believed they were equipped to deal with greater levels of digital communication. Anxiety was most keenly felt about social media, with 16 per cent claiming they were poorly prepared (based on a scale of zero to 10) compared with 11 per cent for digital.

Around half in each category – 54 per cent for digital and 50 per cent for social – said their business was well prepared.

Julian Gorham, head of brand at Gather, said: "The world has changed. We’re living in an era of vast digital and media confusion, where brands are increasingly built by the conversations people are having online. We’ve been working with big and small corporates and wanted to have a better understanding of how these organisations feel about their own digital and social media, as well as their various stakeholders’ attitudes towards it.

"This report highlights a void in corporate digital and social media communications that needs addressing. Both digital and social media hold great potential to connect previously disconnected audiences, through the creation of single organising ideas that resonate with each group in a way that’s right for them.

"Of course, this doesn’t negate the need for strong, clear writing, which can often make a huge different to business communications. Our findings show corporates are clearly waking up to the fact that there are huge gains to be made by adding clarity to their communications."

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