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Internal Communication is External

By SOL PR
29

A proven way of building brand image is through clear and consistent brand communication. It involves a well thought-out and implemented communication strategy that resonates with the brand’s audiences. A key aspect of the whole process is identifying the audiences and tailoring messages for them, with the brand at the heart of it all.

A brand’s audience consists of internal and external; the brains behind the brand are internal, while the larger public are the external. To build a consistent brand image, communication is designed to be effective for both audiences. Consequently, there is internal communication – an exchange of ideas and information within the organisation, and external communication – the transferring of information between a business and another entity outside of the organisation.

Over time, attempts by PR professionals to include internal communication in their communication advisory to clients is often seen as an extra burden by internal decision makers. A study in the U.S revealed that 30% of communication professionals are of the view that employees, who are the primary brand ambassadors, are the most overlooked stakeholders in times of crisis.

Many brands, including multinationals are guilty of this. So what happens, for instance, is an employee of a company getting to know about the latest appointment in his department from a press release published in the media. This is the very least of the possible outfalls.

Despite the neglects, it is advised that PR firms continue to include this vital tool in their communications strategy. The benefits of internal communication to corporate communication is immense, and this is what PR professionals need to play up more. Yes, they both have different methods of delivery, which sometimes make fusion difficult, yet, it is of utmost importance that brand communication paints a unified front.

In companies where messaging is designed separately for both internal and external communication, conflicts will eventually arise. A company telling a thing to the public, and something different to the employees will end up having horrific story. And in this present day of steady social media wildfire, a company can inadvertently publish its own obituary.

More so, brand owners need to know that employee communication goes beyond just the business part. Employees should be treated like customers. Talk to employees like you would want them to talk to customers. When employees are addressed in a dictatorial and dispassionate manner, you can’t expect them to deliver warm services to your customers.

Added to this is the need to get feedback from the employees. The iron-clad top to bottom communication model is a no-no in today’s business world. Just as brands appreciate feedback from customers, employees’ comments should be treated as much. Try as much as possible to get and gauge the feeling about your brand from the inside.

The utopian goal of all brand owners is to ensure no gaps between their product, customer service and customer experience. This is another aspect of brand communication where internal communications is key to brand alignment. It creates a bond for the brand from inside out. It enables employees to understand the brand USP, their required input and deliverables.

Overall, aligning internal with external communication leads to creation of powerful and more engaging brand content. It helps build a strong community around your brand and enables seamless transition when needed. It creates a sense of teamwork, where every member feels like a stakeholder in the brand.

Therefore, as much as resources are being expended on corporate communication to achieve an excellent brand image, internal communication is equally important for business growth, and overall brand image. So, the more effort put into internal communication, the brighter a brand’s public image gets. 

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