CDS Inclusive Communications Report launches
Do organisations need to prioritise inclusive communications to better serve their customers?
Today we launch our Inclusive Communications Report, a whitepaper that explores how people feel about the communications they receive from organisations.
We commissioned a piece of research through YouGov to examine how satisfied people feel with the quality and method of communications they receive. We wanted to understand how some of the most vulnerable people in society engage with organisations, in an increasingly digital landscape.
People are struggling with the status quo
The key takeaway from our research was that 67% of people we surveyed have experienced a problem with an organisation’s communications which led them to not understand the message they were being told. As a result, the message was lost.
It was no great surprise to find in our research that people felt organisations have a duty to ensure the communications they produce – and the way in which they communicate – are fit for purpose.
However, our research shows that, time-after-time, users feel they are being let down by the organisations they rely on most.
Specific barriers mentioned focused on accessibility or language. But the underlying causes were an over-reliance on digital platforms and online self-service – with the most vulnerable people feeling as though they were being asked to do the most work.
Are organisations ignoring accessibility?
In our experience as an agency, very few organisations consider inclusivity and accessibility within their communications strategy. Is this simply an oversight, fed by a lack of understanding and awareness, or are organisations wilfully ignoring accessibility?
A recent article in Print Week detailed some research that appeared to show the majority of UK print marketing ignores accessibility issues. Whilst headlines such as these are disappointing, they are no longer all that surprising.
Organisations have both a legal and ethical obligation to prioritise inclusivity, but too many organisations are ignoring the problem and, as a result, alienating their customers. However, people are beginning to drive the conversation and are increasingly demanding organisations to take action.
Ultimately, we all need to start taking accessibility and inclusivity seriously.
User understanding is key
As a communications agency, working with organisations across a broad spectrum of sectors and delivering on projects in both print and digital, we take inclusivity and accessibility seriously and work hard to embed accessible practices in everything we do. However, getting clients to acknowledge its importance is, on occasion, a battle.
We know that the key to effective communications is understanding. Every organisation has a unique, diverse audience with varying needs. Understanding their needs, expectations and frustrations is a vital first step to ensuring communications, products and services work for the target audience.
Fundamentally, it’s about understanding your users and measuring their satisfaction with the communications you produce and the channels you use to communicate. The businesses that prioritise user understanding are the ones that will win and ultimately be successful.
Blog author: Lucy Beldon, Planning & Inclusivity Lead at CDS