There’s a reason the saying “communication is key” hasn’t fallen out of fashion. Straightforward and effective communication is the driving force that turns a good PR team into a great one. But PR professionals’ role extends beyond external-facing communications. They must also apply their expertise to the flow of information within their company. According to Forbes, a good company culture built on strong communications can quadruple company revenue. In that sense, every PR team should strive to have exemplary internal communications.
What is Internal Communications in PR?
Internal communications in PR is the sharing of information between departments, teams, and team members within a company. It can take the form of meetings, Q&As, task delegations, newsletters, and check-ins. If we imagine workplace operations as a freeway, then the internal communications is the traffic. Is the flow of traffic quick and efficient? Or is it grid-locked and bumper-to-bumper? Improving this communication is like getting everyone in your company to navigate from the same map and use their turn signals: things go much more smoothly!
Why is Internal Communications in PR Important?
Internal communications in PR is important because it keeps teams organized, ensures consistency across the company, and reduces the stress that confusion or miscommunication may cause employees. In fact, internal communications methods can reduce employee stress and turnover, and increase motivation for the simple reason that employees feel valued and informed.
Because communication impacts workplace operations and employee experience, its effects spill over to client-facing interactions and, eventually, workplace reputation.
Effective communication across your company influences how clients perceive your team and its operations. Receiving straightforward and consistent information indicates to your clients that your team is competent, efficient, and working from the same playbook. It also shows that in times of urgency or high stress, your team can easily organize and handle changes at a fast pace.
Regular communications can reinforce your company culture and values, and promote transparency within the workplace. Not to mention, having avenues for employees to communicate their questions or concerns helps them to feel heard. When employees feel valued and aligned with their company’s vision, you will see the results reflected in employee reviews and external perceptions of your company as a place to work.
Ways to Improve Internal Communications for Your PR Team
Effective information transmission within your company is essential to maintaining a positive workplace culture and reputation.
Here are a few ways your PR team can improve your internal communications strategy:
Assess Your Current Communications Approach
How is your PR team currently sharing information within the company? Is there a strategy for facilitating information sharing between teams and departments? Examine your current strategy and identify any strengths and weaknesses so you can focus on changes that will benefit your team immediately. For candid feedback on your current operations, you can also conduct anonymous employee surveys. Because your communications ultimately affect workplace reputation, your team can also use media measurement to understand how your workplace culture is represented. Comparing your internal employee surveys with an analysis of your workplace reputation can highlight whether any issues are the result of internal or external PR.
Create an Internal Strategy
It’s easy to let communications within your organization slide without a strategy in place. Treat internal comms like your external PR strategy by developing an action plan with designated roles and protocols for each member of your team. Doing so establishes accountability with clearly defined roles, facilitates consistency with a structured plan of action, and ensures that your entire organization receives reliable information.
Share News Regularly
To be truly effective, sharing news internally must move in all directions: with “top-down” and “bottom-up” communication between higher and lower-level employees, and regular sharing across departments and within teams.
To facilitate multi-directional information sharing, your PR team can organize company-wide meetings with executive-led Q&As, and recommend “office hours” hosted by higher-level employees to give entry-level employees an avenue for sharing.
You can also keep the entire company informed by publishing a regular internal newsletter. This isn’t just constrained to company news and updates, but also sharing information on ongoing projects in various departments, any necessary FAQs, and employee successes and achievements.
Encourage Social Sharing
A team that is practiced and aligned on what the brand stands for is in an optimal position to share your company values. Employee brand ambassadors are a great way to optimize the best practices of your internal communications strategy, as this allows a consistent image of the brand to be shared by a trusted resource: your employees!
Your employee ambassadors can project workplace reputation and company culture to the public, which allows your audience to consume an approved image of your brand. Further, having employee brand ambassadors indicates that the workplace is organized, efficient, and unified in its mission, and that your employees are satisfied. They are a testament to your company culture and ultimately stand to improve your workplace reputation.
You can mobilize your employees as ambassadors by encouraging them to share company news, successes, and events on social media. People want to be proud of where they work and offering curated updates on company news through internal newsletters is a great way to give information to employees that they can easily share on their social media platforms.
Use Analytics to Improve Your Internal Communications
When a company is united with a successful internal communications strategy, the employees, clients, and overall brand benefit. By using communications to improve day-to-day operations and employee experience, you can strengthen and manage your workplace reputation.
PublicRelay can help your team take control of your internal comms by tracking how your workplace reputation is represented in your media coverage and benchmarking your progress. Using human-augmented technology, our advanced solution reliably detects sentiment and the complex topics that matter most to your brand.
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