Public relations is the art and the science of communications. Everyday PR pros communicate in many ways to many people; yet, a forgotten aspect of this thing we call “our life’s work” is internal communications.
As a current corporate communications intern at Aramark Corporation, I have discovered just how closely internal communication is tied to everyday PR work within a corporate environment. However, focusing on internal communication should not be limited to just corporate PR. How can an agency or help its clients if they aren’t teaching that account team to speak to one another, share the brand, discuss improvements or simply brainstorm together? How can a non-profit get their message out externally if they aren’t on the same page internally? The key to these questions is to shift the attention to how your organization is communicating internally before the focus is put on external communication.
Here are 5 tips to enhance better internal communications within your organization:
1. Silence is not Always Golden.
Have you ever noticed the places people don’t enjoy working are the ones where the minions don’t have a voice? Open and transparent communication is appreciated because everyone has been blessed with a brain full of ideas. Encourage senior management and executive leadership teams to listen to those ideas.
2. Get Straight to the Point.
Employees who enjoy their work crave one thing, almost above all, direction. With clear direction, they understand what to do to earn brownie points. Stress direction and watch movement happen.
3. Aspire to Inspire.
Many employers don’t like to think outside the box, draw outside the lines or dare try something different. Employees want inspiration. They want to see their managers, directors and executive leaders doing something that can bring about change. Want a team to follow you? Inspire them to do something differently and with purpose.
4. Create a Company Voice.
Anyone in HR or internal communications will tell you the chief reason for gossip in the workplace is ignorance. Most employees don’t really know what’s going on, so they tend to gossip and complain. A monthly or bi-weekly newsletter would suffice. Let them be heard by listening and then acting.
5. Lead by Example.
Bosses “boss.” Leaders “lead.” Words only mean so much. Without action behind those words, employees will follow.