PrintI couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My good friend, former colleague and internal comms expert was telling me she wasn’t creative.

We talked it over and proved her wrong. We discussed many projects that demonstrated her creativity: from developing breakthrough internal communications strategies to hosting a mermaid-themed birthday party for her four-year-old that looked like it was planned by Martha Stewart. She soon realized that creativity was one of her major strengths.

I wonder how many of our fellow communicators are in the same boat. If you work in internal communications, we often echo Rosie the Riveter, assuring our leadership “We can do it!” We are exceptional executors. It’s not that we’re unduly modest. We’re busy as hell, and many of us often forget or don’t stop to consider our own creativity.

So how do we recognize and promote creativity within internal communications? Here are five suggestions:

  • Use less corporate jargon. If we only did one creative, bold thing, just eliminate those words we know we shouldn’t use: utilize, leverage, world-class, impactful and synergize, to name a few. Be brave in pushing back on leaders who demand to use this type of language. And then write like real people talk. Your employees will listen.
  • Write more intriguing headlines. David Ogilvy reminds us that, on average, five times as many people read the headline as your body copy. So give headlines some love. Write them in an honest, inviting and interesting way. And then make sure your copy delivers on the promise of that intriguing headline.
  • Have a more creative purpose. We often get so caught up in being our excellent executor selves, we lose sight of why we do what we do. For me, internal communications is a powerful privilege; if we do it right, we can change employees’ lives. Allow that to motivate and energize you to find ways to break through the clutter that employees are getting from every angle.
  • Use visuals. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Bring your content to life visually through video, charts and infographics.
  • Rethink your channels. Pay close attention to what your employees are watching and listening to outside the office. They’re downloading podcasts, using mobile more than ever and buying into wearable technology. How can we incorporate more of these types of channels into your internal communication strategies?

Creativity requires courage, imagination and stepping outside your comfort zone. Internal communicators are in a unique position to use their creative skills to bring important content to employees in new and different ways. How about you? What else can you do to increase creative, meaningful communications to our employees?