For those of us who specialize in external communications, we sometimes undervalue—or even forget—a critical component of PR: internal communications.
My team recently worked on communication for two large merger and acquisition projects. When companies merge, internal communications is a priority.
Internal stakeholders can be our best external advocates. Reassuring, educating and equipping them is critical.
Just as technology has upended external PR, it has revamped internal communications, as well.
How can you make internal communications more innovative? Here are a few ideas:
1. Create snackable, sharable content.
Love ’em or hate ’em, listicles, infographics and GIFs spread for a reason.
As you develop your internal communications, consider how to package your content to encourage internal audiences to share it with their external networks (when appropriate, of course).
2. Surprise and delight.
Create a campaign to show appreciation and boost morale with a special gift, message, handwritten note or token of appreciation.
3. Cultivate internal champions.
Internal communications can’t start and stop. It won’t work if you only devote effort to big announcements.
Develop an internal ambassador program instead. Train your ambassadors in social media best practices. Encourage them to nurture and grow their professional networks. Involve them in communication efforts year round.
4. Embrace video.
Do you have a major company announcement? It’s time to draft an email from the CEO.
But that’s boring—and we know visuals are more memorable.
Embed a video from the CEO in that internal email. It’s a perfect opportunity for the CEO to speak directly to employees.
5. Personalize video.
Personalized video works well for consumer brands like Warby Parker. Apply the same concept to internal communications to strengthen relationships, confidence and loyalty.
Say you’ve been working on a major product launch. Show appreciation for the dedication and extra hours through a video personalized to individual viewers.
This can be an especially effective way for large organizations to maintain strong ties between executives and staff.
6. Update policies and procedures.
When brands come together-or when companies experience rapid growth-companies often overlook social media policies and procedures, yet these guidelines are critical.
My team recently helped a Fortune 50 brand audit, update and revamp its social media playbook. It’s not the most glamorous PR activity, but it’s critical to avoiding crises, ensuring consistent social media interactions and setting internal expectations.
The next time you develop a PR strategy, consider opportunities to update your internal tactics. Apply a fresh lens, add technology and get creative.