To better understand the importance of internal communications for businesses of any size, we need to first define Public Relations (PR). PR is essentially how organisations build mutually beneficial relationships with their publics in order to earn a good reputation.
With an “s”.
Seasoned PR practitioners recognise the significance of internal and external publics. Most importantly, they recognise the symbiotic relationship they have in ensuring good PR for a healthy business.
Many businesses hire PR agencies with the aim to improve their relationship with the external public. Whether it is content development for their blogs, customer-facing newsletters, media relations or even lobbying and the likes, these activities usually cater for the external audience (i.e. the customers, council or legislators). While this is important, it is only a fraction of the true power of PR.
Good Public Relations Start from Within
The internal public are employees of the business and they should understand the values, objectives and situations faced by the company intimately.
Comprehensive internal communications not only make the impact of each individual colleague apparent to them, it also improves employee engagement. Strong employee engagement leads to pride in what they do and reasons to the collective good of the company.
Lack of internal PR can actually be quite detrimental to a company in the long run. Apart from the obvious ambiguity faced by colleagues in day-to-day operations, a business that does not prioritise internal PR can struggle from a host of other issues that can impact their external PR initiatives.
Like Good External PR, Good Internal PR Requires Communication, Commitment and Cause
Businesses that successfully adopt good PR practices recognise that they must work together with their PR or Communications team to uphold the best practices. Most importantly, they recognise that PR is not ‘just fluff’. Strong, two-way communication between the public and themselves will build that relationship.
This applies for good internal PR strategies. It is imperative that businesses consider how they are being perceived by employees and how to communicate long term objectives in a way that they will be heard. A strong head start in developing these strategies is identifying the “why”:
- Why are colleagues doing what they do?
- Why should colleagues care about company objectives?
- Why do colleagues feel a certain way about a company initiative?
Once a business establishes a communication channel between employees and management, and answers the questions, they are well on their way to building a team of strong advocates through internal communications.
Strong Internal PR Helps Businesses Rally Their Troops!
Internal communications help a business cascade their vision, values and objectives to employees. Companies that implement strategies to make them clear to colleagues find that they gain strong allies in promoting their business.
Good internal PR, translates to happy employees. Happy employees are proud to be part of the business. In turn, they will speak good about the place that employs them.
To put things into perspective, consider the number of instances when you have heard about how a business has failed their employees through the grapevine. How does that impact your perception of the company? Have you shared your opinion of the business to another peer as a result of your perception built on that story?
In a world where word-of-mouth travels at the speed of light, internal PR communications is more important than ever. A progressive and modern business must be prepared to ensure the relationships with publics are healthy and well.
When we go back to the fundamentals of PR stated at the start of this blog, it is how businesses earn a favourable reputation by building strong and mutually beneficial relationships with their publics – external and internal.
Get a Headstart in Figuring Out Internal and External PR for Your Company
Digital Glue will kickstart a three-part, SL/CED webinar series on the 3rd of September 2020 with insights on PR & internal communications, and how it can improve your business prospects.
- Understanding the fundamentals of good PR
- Reaching the right target audiences through carefully crafted messaging
- Reputation management
- Why internal communications matters
It is not too late, registration is free, so sign up here today!