Communicating the changing role of corporate learning



If the role of learning has changed forever as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown – and we at Insights Media think it has – then learning teams and learning businesses are faced with a significant communications challenge.

Are you communicating the same way you were pre pandemic, or have you adjusted your communications to reflect the changed learning environment?

This is a really important question because communications have to be in tune with what’s happening with learning.

Learning teams and businesses have to be aligned with business and customer goals. Being aligned has led to significant changes in how learning operates recently. For example, the lockdown required most employees to work from home so learning had to shift to digital first delivery.

Learning teams and learning businesses have changed the way they work, what they offer and how they offer it. But have communications?

Take a good look at how you articulate what you do now versus what you were doing in January 2020. Has what you communicate changed? If so, how?

Over the last few months we have kept a close eye on how learning brands have communicated what they do and how they do it. We have been surprised at how little has changed in organizational messaging, given that we know how much has changed on the ground.

In the first lockdown we ran some Content&Comms Coffee sessions to share experiences. From those events we created a list of do’s and don’ts when communicating through lockdown and beyond.

Covid-19 content and comms: what to do and what not to do

Looking back at the list, it is interesting to see that the list still holds true.

Despite the year we have had, there remain some big communications challenges. For learning businesses, these include:

  • Creating a digitally-relevant brand story that reflects the needs of your customers
  • Differentiating your offer based on your unique value
  • Demonstrating your secret sauce – what you do better than anyone else
  • Communicating with impact and credibility

And for learning teams . . .

  • Shifting image to be seen as a digital enabler
  • Creating and sharing a vision for learning aligned to business goals
  • Establishing a voice in the organisation in order to be heard and to be able to influence stakeholders
  • Demonstrating the value and impact of learning

This year has been stressful and awful for many in the learning sector. It has also presented an opportunity to do things differently.

For learning teams, now is the chance to articulate the new vision for learning, to create a voice that is heard and to demonstrate impact. Much research suggests that learning teams lack marketing skills. Before you jump into the detail of how you build awareness and engagement (and sustain it) take time to step back and work through the vision and purpose of learning and how it aligns with the business. Engage senior stakeholders in this conversation and once you have gained their trust and understanding then look at how you build your communications from there.

For learning businesses, the focus must now be on clearly articulating your value to customers and how what you do is unique. This means bringing more customer voice into your communications to demonstrate how you support learning in organisations. It’s a crowded market out there so buyers need to understand what value you bring and how, as well as who you work with and why they enjoy working with you. Features and benefits won’t cut it, impact and value will.

Insights Media has launched new service offerings to support vendors and learning teams develop content and communications that will help them demonstrate their value to customers and stakeholders moving into a new digital-first environment. Find out more at