The inner workings of a business can affect a brand’s public image, especially in this digital-obsessed era.
In the race to continually spit out content that consumers are interested in, brand managers can—and often do—make use of effective internal communication efforts to enhance external content marketing and PR campaigns.
Here are five ways the content you push out to employees can also affect your consumers and your overall brand:
1. Unifying PR, marketing and customer service efforts.
It’s a waste of time and money when a company’s PR, marketing and customer service team don’t work together, and often the separate departments’ efforts are redundant or less effective due to a lack of communication.
Chuck Gose, vice president of communications for digital signage company Stratacache, shared in a LinkedIn post that 29 percent of employees think internal surveys are pointless, and 27 percent of managers don’t even review the results. What’s worse, Gose found that 80 percent of employees don’t believe managers will act on their survey feedback.
“No wonder people are disengaged if they won’t feel that their feedback is taken seriously enough to act on,” Gose wrote.
When proper questions are asked and data are used to identify gaps and opportunities alike, effective internal content can go a long way in helping departments work together.
2. Preparing for—and avoiding—crises.
Good internal communications can help a company’s team prepare for a potential crisis, just as communicating clearly and transparently with employees can quell discord, as with layoffs and other problematic situations.
Conversely, inappropriate internal content can makes it way outside the walls of your organization’s email, creating a big problem for your brand. Sony and American Apparel dealt with this when emails went public and the online community lashed out.
Even if your internal content is good, make sure things created for employees’ eyes only stay within the walls of your office or break room: Sainsbury brand managers ended up with egg on their faces after an internal poster was placed in one store’s window .
3. Empowering employees to tell brand stories.
For people researching an organization, employees are often seen as more trustworthy than brand managers or even consumers. Because they interact with customers daily, employees are also the ones who have tales of a company’s strengths, or insight on how to improve a process that’s broken.
Zappos culture evangelist Jon Wolske says he doesn’t have to ask employees to tell the brand’s stories, but rather the culture Zappos has provided naturally invites team members to share experiences and talk with the organization’s audience.
However your company or client works with its employees, find a way to foster an atmosphere that employees can speak up, along with a system that helps PR and marketing pros notice.
4. Offering pieces of content to consumers and fans.
Building a positive company culture and encouraging your employees to tell your brand’s stories aren’t easy tasks. Sometimes the effort can get tiresome.
However, chances are good that there’s other great content hiding within your organization. Your organization’s staff can be sharing pictures, videos, blog posts and other tidbits that your consumers would love to see. The treasure just has to be dug up.
Implement a way to find those content pieces that both front-line employees and executives are already creating, and you’ll not only highlight your team’s genius—you’ll also relieve the stress of creating the hefty load of content you need for engaging with your online followers.
5. Building a positive reputation.
“There are times when things typically classified as internal should be allowed to escape a company’s walls,” Gose wrote in a LinkedIn post, “and one of these is employee recognition.”
Members of your brand’s team who do something extraordinary offer PR pros a chance to boast to consumers and boost company morale.
Communicators increasingly are turning to social media platforms to post brand promotions and customer-focused articles, as well as for sharing internal celebrations and culture, such as an office anniversary or an employee potluck.
Your employees don’t have to do something significant to be recognized, either: Starbucks made headlines when its internal email announcing the company’s new employee dress code made its way to reporters.
Sharing this type of internal content helps customers and social media followers relate to your company, and it can make your brand seem more human.
Join us Tuesday, April 28 at 2 p.m. Central in our #RaganSocial Twitter chat as Chuck Gose shares additional insights about internal communications and content creation.