I’ve just been reading the latest issue of Profile Magazine – the member publication from the CIPR. There’s an interesting piece in there by Liam FitzPatrick on the importance of getting internal communications right. As he says, there is a danger with internal comms that messaging becomes a “random noise generator”.

Internal communication – and GOOD internal communication at that – is a crucial part of running a successful organization. There’s no point going through a detailed stakeholder audit and analysing how your messages play externally without examining one of the key stakeholders that can actually drive those perceptions: the company’s employees themselves.

If we’re all committed to two-way communications then internal comms is a primary channel for this. Any internal comms team should be out on the ground spending time ensuring that staff understand what the company is doing, and what impact they all make on making that business a success. Equally in turn they should be providing them with the tools to confidently talk about what their company is, does, cares about with their family, neighbour, dog, and have them equally excited and engaged. As FitzPatrick goes on to say – and this is something I hadn’t heard before but that makes complete sense – is that stakeholders are more likely to engage with a company where they know someone who works there. Because on that level it stops being corporate, and takes on a personality.

That’s not to say internal comms is easy. There’s a lot of hard work to be done to get the engagement right. In my own organization one of the key points that comes up often is the fact that a single pitch isn’t going to work across a business. There are messages that will make complete sense to one group, and make no sense at all to another. It’s particularly important to remember about the back end business functions that don’t necessarily contribute to the end product, but that play a significant role along the way, without whom there wouldn’t be a business at all. So, just as important as tailoring and tweaking messages externally to fit with stakeholders, don’t forget those niche groups internally. Nurture and support them, and let them help you to sell your organization’s strength with more than just the elevator pitch but with their own genuine excitement and commitment to your business.

 

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