A Vision for Internal Communications

Paul Barton internal communicationsA successful Internal Communications team is an important contributor to the long-term success of their organization. The Internal Communications team should be the eyes, ears, and voice of their company. Internal communicators are consultants, facilitators and resource partners that help organizations achieve their objectives by developing and executing effective communications strategies.

Here are three ways Internal Communications achieves success:

(1) The Internal Communications group partners with other functional areas to provide their organization with a wide range of communications services, including:

  • Fostering an open communications climate throughout the organization.
  • Advising and counseling management on key employee messages.
  • Devising effective communication strategies.
  • Writing and editing executive communications to employees.
  • Reviewing all broad-based employee communications.
  • Writing and editing employee newsletters, both printed and electronic.
  • Creating effective communication tools.
  • Coordinating graphic design and audiovisual production for internal clients on ad-hoc communication projects.
  • Coordinating and publicizing large employee events.
  • Coordinating key messages with external messaging.
  • Measuring and evaluating communications to ensure maximum effectiveness.
  • Facilitating employee feedback to management.
  • Facilitating communications within a team and between employees.

(2) Internal Communications combines established processes and procedures with creativity to find cost-effective solutions to complex communication challenges. They do this by:

  • Identifying the company’s key audiences.
  • Assessing the climate.
  • Setting clear objectives and determining what actions are to be taken by employees.
  • Developing key messages that support business strategies and are relevant to the audience.
  • Executing flawless communications.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of communications and making appropriate changes if needed to refresh and recast messages.

(3) Internal Communications integrates communications activities to strengthen a company’s ability to achieve goals by:

  • Helping to drive brand behavior.
  • Helping to shape attitudes and opinions.
  • Educating and informing employees of company priorities and strategies.
  • Personalizing messages so employees understand how their contribution and commitment can contribute to the company’s success.
  • Synthesizing and articulating messages so that they are clearly understood and relevant.
  • Telling stories that reflect desired culture and keys to success.
  • Arming employees with information so that they can be informal ambassadors for the company with their friends, family, and neighbors.

4 Comments

Rachel Miller

about 9 years ago

Great list and could be never ending! I would add offering strategic advice and guidance through equipping employees to manage their own internal communications. E.g the IC team sharing tools, techniques and a framework that enables employees to take responsibility for internal communications within their own team/function. So IC doesn't 'do', but empowers others to use their framework and adapt for their purpose, tailoring based on content, culture, preferred management style, audience etc.

Sam Theobald

about 9 years ago

When it's listed like that you realise just how much reach IC has. Agree with Rachel too - would say great IC does not just contribute to the success of organisations - IC drives that success. Really like eyes, ears and voice. That sums up internal communicators role.

James

about 9 years ago

Really like the preamble/specific vision at the top. Agree that the list could become never-ending so won't add my 2c worth there. I do think that the key to a successful IC team though is in being able to do all those things at once and using the learnings of one action to influence another area. A prime example I see of this not working is 'assessing the climate' but then developing key messages that in no way consider underlying beliefs/sentiments or past practices.

Corinne Foster

about 9 years ago

I agree with Rachel on the strategic advice and guidance point, though from a slightly different angle. Particularly in organisations that are less knowledgeable about what needs to be communicated and how best to do it, the internal comms function can really add value by seeking out or requesting the information that needs to be communicated to the rest of the organisation. Some people do great work but don't think to share it with everyone else. Sometimes work from different areas can be drawn together to make a more cohesive and coherent story. Internal comms can drive this - and more - forward.

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