Today, many internal communication (IC) practitioners will tell you that becoming knowledgeable in the area is often rather piecemeal. Qualifications, professional bodies and literature for the field are all gaining momentum, but, all too often, internal communication strategies are based heavily upon guesswork and trial and error. In our new everything you need to know guide, we provide some respite, offering a clear view of exactly what internal communication is and how to get it right.
Why does internal communication really matter?
But what does independent professional body, The Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC), have to say? Well, they’ve distilled the importance of strong IC into five key factors:
- Economic climate: Few employers can now offer lifelong job security, so few employees now promise long term loyalty. To encourage staff to stay, businesses need to work harder on employee relations.
- Customer experience: To ensure your business actually delivers to customers the things you promote, employees need to be behind them and clear upon how they fit in.
- Company culture: Organisations are generally less hierarchical now and more democratic – staff expect to be consulted and involved in dialogue.
- New technology: Communication channels and styles have changed dramatically, and can’t be controlled to the same extent.
- Frequent change: To stay competitive, businesses have to constantly adapt and evolve. Change can unnerve staff but successful internal communication keeps them engaged.
What’s contained in the guide?
The main areas covered are:
- Defining internal communication: Most of us have some idea of what’s meant by the term, but there can be a lot of variation from person to person or between organisations. We look to academia, the business world and our own experience to nail down a definition.
- Internal vs external communication: The two areas differ mainly in terms of purpose, means, audience, frequency, and scope. We look at those differences and also at how the distinction between internal and external communication can be blurred to great effect.
- The benefits: E is for engagement, U for understanding. Find out what other benefits form our memory-aid, “Eureka!”. Settle the question: “Why do I need to care about internal communication?”.
- How it’s done: It’s all very well having a firm grasp of what internal communication is and the sorts of gains it can bring to your organisation, but knowing how to actually implement a successful IC programme is imperative. We describe what you need to know about strategy, planning, choosing channels, and internal communication campaigns.
- Modern-day examples: We talk through some famous cases of internal communication – some great successes, but also some abysmal failures. To give you a taster, one example is of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong firing an employee during a morale-boosting call with 1,000 staff!
The biggest idea in internal communication is quite simple really: to identify and share company goals so that staff know what they’re working towards. If you’d like to learn how to do just that, as well as improve employee retention, innovation, and much more, view the new guide now.