The U.S. Coast Guard distributes messages daily to communicate to its global workforce; however, low engagement rates concerned leadership. The challenge was to identify the causes of their audiences’ confusion and frustration when using the U.S. Coast Guard’s common communication tools—such as email, websites, blogs, and an internal portal—to distribute essential information.
The U.S. Coast Guard worked with Fors Marsh Group (FMG) to conduct an internal communication audit and to make recommendations to improve internal communication tools, practices, methods, guidance, and policy. It was important that the evidence was quantified, but more importantly, that it was used to create realistic and actionable recommendations to improve the engagement metrics of the messages.
In total, FMG reviewed 70 Coast Guard-branded communication tools, conducted nationwide focus groups and in-depth interviews, and created and collected survey results from enlisted, retired, officer, and family members. Additionally, FMG led a user experience heuristics evaluation of key communication tools and websites.
Findings from the research pointed to the need for streamlining the number of communication tools and for reducing the redundancy and volume of information conveyed across these tools. FMG provided and recommended communication strategies to develop an efficient, reliable, and effective communication system.
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