Você está visualizando atualmente Internal Communications: What Your PR is Missing

Internal Communications: What Your PR is Missing

Internal and external communications are separate functions for most corporations and agencies. The internal communicators of the world have been sitting in a purgatory state, trying to balance the business’ HR communications needs with the PR communications needs while ensuring the message resonates internally and externally. 

However, the two disciplines have converged in recent years, creating a synchronized PR strategy.  Business leaders have taken note that while their external audiences (i.e., customers, partners, vendors, and community-at-large) are incredibly important to their bottom line, their internal audience is just as important and cannot be forgotten as part of a company’s PR strategy. 

At Zen, we counsel our clients on how to build customer advocacy teams or brand ambassadors. These individuals offer credible third-party endorsements for sales-enabled PR campaigns. When we have client use cases to reference or an ambassador willing to go on the record with media, our pitches become stronger, demonstrating the client’s category leadership, expertise, and product/service success. 

While it’s a no-brainer that brands should partner with external ambassadors, the power of internal ambassadors is often overlooked. A PR strategy will always include external elements (i.e., news release, media FAQs, talking points, media strategy, social media, digital assets, etc.), but a successful, strategic PR strategy will include internal elements as well. 

At a basic level, by integrating internal communications as part of your PR strategy, you will drive message alignment, enhance brand reputation, and build stronger relationships with all stakeholders—not just the external folks!

In a world where everyone is a critic (and has a platform to be one), brands need to rethink their PR strategy to include their own people as a key audience. No employee wants to read about a corporate change on LinkedIn. They want the news to be delivered to them in a meaningful way. That may be an internal email, Livestream, or an all-hands meeting, and it could be all three. 

So, while employee morale is critically important to a brand’s overall success, by engaging your employees through PR, your brand also has the potential to increase reach, drive awareness, and boost engagement. 

Not convinced? Let me give you an example (or a use case, as the industry experts say). Last week, we reviewed our quarterly PR dashboard with one of our SaaS clients. We saw an uptick in article engagement from the previous quarter, which usually means it’s performing well on social. 

Since we don’t make assumptions, we used our analytics tool to dive deeper into the data to see what influenced that particular metric. The result? The company rolled out an employee advocacy strategy encouraging its entire team (regardless of level, experience, or department) to share PR hits on social. While the strategy includes more than just social amplification, integrating its team into its PR initiatives drives overall brand awareness at a critical juncture in the company’s sales cycle. 

Here are some additional ways internal communications can support your PR strategy:

  • Consistent Messaging: PR efforts are most effective with consistent messaging across all communication channels. By maintaining clear and consistent internal communication, employees become well-informed ambassadors of the company’s message, ensuring that external PR efforts align with the internal narrative.
  • Message Control: Internal communication helps PR professionals maintain control over the information disseminated within the organization. When well-informed about PR initiatives, employees are less likely to share inaccurate or unauthorized information externally, reducing the risk of misinformation.
  • Employee Advocacy: Engaged and informed employees are more likely to act as advocates for the company. They can share positive stories and news about the organization through their personal networks, extending the reach and credibility of PR efforts.
  • Crisis Preparedness: During times of crisis or reputational challenges, internal communication becomes even more critical. PR professionals must inform and prepare employees to respond appropriately to inquiries, conveying a unified and coherent message externally.
  • Feedback and Insights: Internal communication channels serve as valuable sources of feedback and insights for PR professionals. By monitoring employee responses and feedback, PR teams can gauge how external messaging resonates with internal audiences and make necessary adjustments.
  • Identifying Story Opportunities: Employees are often the best sources for compelling stories and news angles. Effective internal communication allows PR professionals to tap into these resources and identify potential story opportunities to be pitched to the media or shared with the public.
  • Building Trust and Transparency: Public perception of a company is heavily influenced by its internal culture. When internal communication fosters trust and transparency, it positively impacts the company’s external reputation, as stakeholders perceive the organization as credible and reliable.
  • Integration with Marketing Efforts: PR and marketing often go hand in hand. Internal communication ensures that employees are aware of digital marketing campaigns and can provide support in promoting products, services, or events to external audiences.
  • Employee Retention and Recruitment: Effective internal communication enhances employee satisfaction and loyalty. A positive work environment and strong company culture can attract and retain top talent, which, in turn, positively influences the organization’s external reputation.

So, the next time you develop your PR strategy, make sure you give equal weight to both your external and internal audiences, forgetting one could damage your brand’s reputation and bottom line.