How To Prioritize Internal Communications Tactics And Strategies

January 10, 2024

Navigating the maze of priorities can be daunting for internal communicators. There’s a sea of tasks, each clamoring for attention, and knowing the best starting point often feels…tricky. Sound familiar?

As an internal communications agency, we specialize in helping comms pros wade through the fog of annual planning or post-measurement action planning. To do that, we lean on our trusty Priority Dashboard.

The Priority Dashboard is our compass for sorting tactics, steps and big projects. The aim? To deliver the highest impact on internal communication by balancing organizational readiness and effort levels.


There are three key components of Brilliant Ink’s Priority Dashboard that help us evaluate and map out near- and long-term tactics and actions.

For example, let’s say you have your comms survey or employee engagement survey results back. Now you're knee-deep in action planning. This data is helping you form solid recommendations to address the feedback you heard. Awesome, right?

But how do you know what to tackle first? 🤔

What if the list of things you want to do makes your heart pound faster? 😅

Enter the Priority Dashboard. It helps us evaluate and prioritize recommendations for internal communication teams by:

1. Organizational Readiness: Does your communication infrastructure, culture, and leadership support the new initiative?

2. Level of Impact: How will each recommendation ripple through the company?

3. Level of Effort: What's needed to execute each action or tactic?

Let’s dive into what each of these mean and how you can use them to get (and stay!) organized.

Organizational Readiness

Think of organizational readiness as a "temperature check" to see how ready your company is for the idea, recommendation or tactic you’re considering. Some of the factors we often consider include (but are not limited to) the state of the company’s culture, anticipated leadership buy-in levels and available communication channels.

Level of Impact

When it comes to Level of Impact, you have a crucial mission: pinpoint what from your list will pack the biggest punch for your business.

When we evaluate the Level of Impact, we ask questions like:

  • “What would impact the greatest number of employees?”
  • “What would be felt most in your people’s day-to-day?”

Level of Impact is definitely nuanced, but at its core, we’re trying to figure out if this will truly make a difference for your people.  

Level of Effort

Level of Effort means exactly how it sounds: what is it going to take to get the idea, tactic or recommendation off the ground? When we think about effort, we’re considering factors like available or required resources, long-term sustainability and change management, to name a few.

Take a close look at the Level of Effort, from resources to long-term sustainability, and you'll be better equipped to choose the right communication tactics. These decisions aren't just about the starting point but about ensuring a successful and enjoyable journey to your destination.

How To Prioritize Like A Pro: 5 Steps

When it comes to prioritizing your internal communications tactics, having a clear and structured approach is key. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you sort through your options and decide which tactics to tackle first.

Step 1: Create a Comprehensive List

Kick things off by putting all your potential communication tactics on the table. Jot them down without judgment — this is your brainstorming phase.

Step 2: Analyze Your Options

Next, it's time to get analytical. Score each tactic based on organizational readiness, impact level and the effort required. Our Research Team usually uses a 10-point scale.

Step 3: Ranking and Grouping

Once you have your scores, you can begin to see patterns emerge. Now, you can organize the tactics into categories based on their scores.

  • What recommendations or ideas will have the greatest impact? Lowest impact?
  • What requires the greatest amount of effort? Lowest effort?
  • What is your organization most ready for? Least ready for?

Step 4: Focus on High-Impact, Low-Effort Initiatives

Otherwise known as “low-hanging fruit.” Prioritize high-impact, low-effort initiatives first. These are your quick wins. They can create an impact without requiring a massive effort.

Step 5: Plan for Long-Term Strategies

Not everything is a quick win – and that’s to be expected! Identify which high-effort tactics are critical for your long-term success. These may take more time and resources but can be worth the investment.

Need A Hand With Prioritizing?

While having a Priority Dashboard toolkit is handy, we know that when you’re in the thick of the work, it can be challenging to take a step back and prioritize objectively.

If you need a hand or find there’s way too much on your plate, drop a line to your comms friends at Brilliant Ink. Together, we can evaluate what’s on your priority list, offer ideas on how to level up and build a custom roadmap suited for your organization and team.

A Brilliant Bonus 🎁
Our Research Team always shares what we’ve seen work brilliantly (and maybe not so brilliantly) at organizations just like yours.

Have an internal communication research question?
Reach out. We love meeting and connecting with IC pros who love learning more.

Danni Thaw

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