Members share internal comms responses to Jan. 6 riots

Communicators know that a message that is for internal eyes only must withstand public scrutiny.

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When it comes to addressing something like the riots that overwhelmed security forces in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, communicators can be in difficult position. While an organization might not want to take a position publicly, internal messaging can easily become public information. And failing to address the events internally can send a message that you don’t care—or even tacitly approve of events and social movements.

One member shared how her organization, one that interacts with international governments and has offices in Washington, D.C. “We have an explicit policy of not interfering in a country’s political ongoings,” she says, which made any kind of statement on the events of Jan. 6 difficult. However, the organization’s president sent an email statement to some 30,000 employees about the incident—which a good communicator must expect to eventually become public knowledge.

“If you send something to 30,000 employees, it is public, the member shared.

We’ve had a lot of discussions about it. We’re not a group that tends to invite people to talk about their politics. On the other hand, over this summer we had a lot of open conversations about BLM and the institution was very supportive of those protests and the “end racism” messaging.

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