Every successful company or organization has at least one thing in common: a successful internal communications plan.
In the public relations world, we most often speak to the issue of external communications. For example, how to brand ourselves; how to convey information to the public, how to engage with the media; how to manage a crisis. Equally important, however, is how organizations communicate internally. In any sustainable successful enterprise, internal communication will be a conscious and evolving strategic priority at every organizational level.
There are several reasons why an intentional internal communications strategy is important. For starters, a thoughtful communication plan fosters trust, loyalty and security among staff and employees. Internal communications, done well, strengthens team camaraderie and elevates an organization’s core values, which in turn promotes a healthier corporate culture.
Another benefit is financial. Organizations with well-developed and well-executed internal communications plans are, by definition, more efficient. When an organization is internally connected, when employees know that they are part of a functional team and have a working knowledge of every organizational component, then operational bottle-necks can be mitigated or even eliminated altogether. Doesn’t every organization want to function as a smooth, well-oiled machine? Internal communications help achieve this goal by promoting synergy, efficiency and knowledge, which in turn strengthens bottom-line results.
A thoughtful internal communications strategy also provides a bulwark against crisis. Over time, every organization will face crisis. Crisis can come from rapidly changing markets or increased competitive challenges. Crisis can come from changes in public policy or public perception. Crisis can come from accidents or problems caused by an organization itself. Crisis can also come, unfortunately, through scandal or criminal activity caused by employees or managers. Whatever the case or cause of crisis, organizations with vibrant internal communications strategies are better positioned to weather the storm. By keeping employees informed, involved and invested during a crisis, a good communications plan can accelerate organizational recovery.
From fostering core values to promoting corporate culture, and from breaking down internal silos to mitigating the inevitable crises, an internal communication plan is essential. A plan need not be complex, but it does need to be thoughtful, flexible and intentional. If your organization’s plan is antiquated or non-existent, then it is time build a plan. Working with an experienced communications firm may be a good place to start.