Tag Archives: branding

Why is it so easy to neglect internal comms?

17 Oct

Now, I’m not suggesting that this is the case for everyone, but I think internal comms gets a bit of a bum deal. It kind of belongs to comms but also has strong and obvious links with HR. And, somewhere amongst the two internal comms gets a little bit lost. Dare I say it? Neglected.

A spotlight in a dark room

I think there are a few reasons why this happens:

1. It’s not going to get us a front page story

If you work in comms, hopefully you know how great it feels to get really positive coverage from the media. It’s visible; it’s credible (for the most part) and is great for the organisation’s reputation. It’s a quick win so we plough our resources into it.

2. It just isn’t sexy enough

I’ve heard internal comms described as a ‘whinge fest’, a chance for the serial complainers to carry on moaning. Well, if you put it like that maybe I’ll give it a wide berth too.

3. Why stir up the hornets’ nest?

Businesses are trying to survive and to do that they have to make a lot of tough decisions. It’s inevitable that whatever decisions they make, they won’t be able to please everyone so why bother aggravating the situation? Let’s just keep our heads down and do what we have to.

4. It’s not my job, is it?

Like I said above, no-one really knows where to put it. It flits between the comms and HR teams without anyone really taking ownership. With no-one driving it forward it just becomes an after-thought: ‘oh, I suppose we’d better send out a staff email or something’.

5. It’s a tough old job

Don’t underestimate internal comms. It’s not all touchy-feely. In fact, it can be quite lonely. You become the ‘face’ of culture change – the person forcing people to do things differently. One minute you’re chatting to employees over a cuppa and the next they see you through suspicious eyes. Now, it’s not always like that but it does happen. Frequently.

There are probably hundreds of other reasons to explain why internal comms hides in the shadows. All of which are important to note but maybe a little irrelevant. We need to concentrate our efforts on making things right.

In an ideal world, maybe your organisation would have a giant PR team with a nice big healthy campaign budget. Maybe. But that’s not the time we live in. We need to look at things differently. If you want to build your reputation you need to do it from the inside out. Focus on your people. Give colleagues the confidence and the skills to tell your story. Make them your brand ambassadors and it will translate across all areas of your business. Create a customer experience that won’t be forgotten. No amount of PR will get you that sort of credibility. Surely that’s reason enough to put internal comms in the spotlight?

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