Why internal communications should think like marketers

Having grazed on both sides of the corporate fence, the author imparts techniques that can help you inform and engage your employees. Here’s how to get started.

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I served two years of my career in marketing, and l didn’t like it one bit.

I lived in a sea of numbers, managing a small profit-and-loss team. Nearly every week we presented multi-page PowerPoint slides on how we would increase revenue and what we were doing to mitigate losses.

What on earth was a former internal communicator doing here? I didn’t fit; I was Oscar in a room full of Felixes. Fortunately, I was blessed with a patient and supportive boss, who educated me on the marketing process and tried to get me to understand a balance sheet. He even helped me navigate my career path back into communications.

The gift of that challenging experience was the value of a marketing mindset in my communications world. Since then, I’ve often asked my fellow communicators how we’d operate differently if we reframed employee communication like this: We are no longer internal communicators. Instead, we are marketing experts asking our employee/consumer base for their support and discretionary effort.

What would we change?

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