When it comes to internal communications, things can get complicated – but they don’t have to. What does internal communications mean anyways?
internal communications – the sharing of information within an organization for business purposes. According to Chelsea Varney, “these internal interactions are pivotal when upholding the momentum of employee relationships and, ultimately, the probability of a company” (Varney, January 17, 2014). Seems simple, right? But, when you add social media into the equation the situation becomes more than just communicating. “Social media has publicized the whole affair, with staff being encouraged to take an active role in the development of marketing practices online” (Varney, January 17, 2014).
Social media has allowed us to receive information 24/7; whenever and wherever. We demand to know the who, what, when, where and why at the time we request it. “Our expectations have shifted, so employees expect more – more speed, more transparency across organizations and from senior leadership, more information and the ability to comment immediately” (CIPR, 2012). But, without knowing your organization’s environment and culture, it’s close to impossible to communicate effectively with employees.
Communicating with your employees is much like communicating with your audience. Often time, organizations and businesses feel the need to adopt the newest social media, because they think that they’re staying “up-to-date” and “on-trend” with their audience. “Introducing a whizzy social media site because it is the latest ‘must-have’ is a recipe for disaster if you’re not clear why it is right for the organization and its culture” (CIPR, 2012). What are you trying to accomplish; with your audience and with your employees? “Determine what you are trying to achieve before introducing any new channel” (CIPR, 2012).
So how do you have good internal communications? “Listen to your employees and ensure you’re matching business needs with your internal communication recommendations” and “get [them] involved in the process and decision making” (CIPR, 2012). What’s best for one organization or business isn’t best for another. I believe that creating personal and unique ways of communication with employees that addresses their needs and wants will be key for successful internal communications.
“‘Social media will be the main engine of discovery, giving us the ability to find the signal within the noise. As people’s networks and interactions expand, massive data sets will generate predictive models that will know what you want before you look for it'” (CIPR, 2012).
Chelsea, V. (2014, January 17). The role of social media in internal communications. Ragan’s PR Daily. Retrieved from http://www.brandwatch.com/2014/01/internal-communications-a-look-at-the-untold-story-of-marketing/.
Internal communications. (2014). In Business Dictionary.com. Retrieved April 13, 2014, from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/internal-communication.html.
CIPR. (2012). Share this: The social media handbook for PR professionals. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.