The essential question for internal communicators: Why?

For harried comms pros, the path of least resistance often leads into a swamp. It’s wiser to work with execs and other colleagues to identify specific objectives. Then the real magic can happen.

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As long as internal communicators execute requests without asking “why,” as long as we focus on activities instead of outcomes, we are unlikely to succeed.

Yet communicators are frequently swamped or feel they lack resources—so we choose the path of least resistance.

How often do our stakeholders ask us for tactics or activities or campaigns—but without a clearly defined business outcome or business need? How often do we just do it?

We must become true business partners, educate our stakeholders and show the value we add.

Communication creates understanding and engagement (as an outcome: commitment, motivation, advocacy, participation, involvement) to help deliver business or other organizational results.

Campaigns, activities, tools, channels and collateral are the means by which we communicate, but without a clearly defined purpose and outcome they are just “stuff.” To be effective, internal communication requires a simple, outcomes-focused process.

Follow these steps:

1. Be proactive.

Don’t wait to be asked. If we know a project or change initiative or workstream is being developed, or a function needs support—let’s invite ourselves to ensure communications are developed and examined properly.

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