Editor’s note: Lucy Davison is founder and managing director of Keen as Mustard, a London-based marketing agency. 

Many insights professionals struggle to get engagement and traction from internal audiences at the best of times. But with the added layer of COVID-19 to cut through, the challenge may seem insurmountable. How can a lone insight manager, armed with a laptop and a possibly unreliable internet connection, ensure they are helping to place the voice of their customers at the heart of their organization? How can they be sure their work continues to have resonance and influence? 

Have the principles of communication changed? No. The tips and principles we were writing about a couple of years ago are probably even more important. But there are some elements that need adjusting, to ensure your message hits home (literally).

It’s all too easy to lapse into corporate speak, jargon, the third person. But in times of crisis it is vital to acknowledge that you are also in the thick of it. There is no silver bullet; no one knows what the outcome will be. So, it is even more important to make real, personal connections. If authenticity was important before, it is even more so now. 

How to be more human? Write in the first person, share real anecdotes (just keep it short, see below), tie your data stories into reality. Use verbatim, images of real people and most of all, take advantage of video to share content. Given how online meeting platforms or even FaceTime have revolutionized our ability to connect at work, it’s really easy to press that record button and get a short, snappy video of yourself sharing your data or insight story to send out to your colleagues.

Many researchers don’t know what short means in copy terms. But if it was important to trim our e-mails, reports or videos before lockdown, it’s even more important now. You are now not only fighting with other media and the cons...