Have you ever considered that internal communications and PR may be just two sides of the same communication coin?
Frank Wolf introduced the term “mixternal comms” to describe the strategic alliance of internal and external communications. The crux of communicating internally is connecting employees to the company's narrative, enhancing the corporate culture, and instilling a sense of community. Internal comms programs employ tools like email newsletters and employee apps to achieve this.
On the flip side, PR targets external audiences and shares the company's story with opinion leaders and journalists.
Today, though the lines between internal comms and PR are blurring, with a focus on presenting cohesive stories to both inside and outside audiences.
Internal comms is the confidante, sharing the inside scoop, while PR is the charismatic party host, entertaining the outside crowd. But what if internal communications professionals borrowed a feather or two from PR’s flamboyant hat?
Here are some juicy lessons you can snag from your PR counterparts.
How to Steal PR's Best Kept Secrets for Internal Comms
Craft epic office tales
PR maestros are experts at turning simple tales into front-page news. So, why can't internal comms play the same game?
Turn your office stories into legendary epics. Maybe it's not a knight's tale, but IT guy Gary becoming the unsung hero for squashing that pesky software bug? Priceless.
Dive into the world of water cooler whispers, elevate your everyday heroes, and let's sprinkle a bit of that PR pizzazz into your memos. When every internal announcement feels like a red-carpet event, you'll see that spike in employee engagement you've been after.
Master targeting and segmentation
PR experts have long since mastered the art of tailoring messages to suit varied stakeholders. The same can be done in-house.
Why blanket the entire staff with the same memo when non-managerial teams, mid-level bosses, and top-tier executives each crave their own flavor of news? It's all about ensuring the memo fits the meeting room so the right message gets to the right people at the right time.
Diversify your comms with a multi-channel approach
PR isn't picky — they broadcast everywhere from Twitter feeds to magazine sheets. Why? To touch every type of reader.
As an internal comms professional, you should cast a wide net, too. Whether it's emails, the company intranet, digital office chats, or a good old-fashioned bulletin board, diversify those announcement avenues!
Communicate early and often
Public relations pros know the drill: The early bird not only gets the worm but also controls the narrative. When the spotlight's on or the alarm bells ring, timely communication is paramount.
In internal communications, you can halt the spread of office tales and misinformation by being quick on the draw. Keep staff updated promptly as a shield against speculation and uncertainty.
Shed the corporate cloak and be transparent
Once upon a PR time, glossy veneers and polished press releases were the order of the day. But times, oh, they've changed!
Today's audience craves genuine, unfiltered truths. PR has caught on, often emphasizing transparency and authenticity to resonate with a discerning public.
Internal comms can take a page from PR on this front. Staff aren't just clocking in and out — they're part of the corporate tapestry. They can spot a canned message from a mile away.
So ditch the jargon and corporate-speak, and instead serve up straightforward, heart-to-heart dialogues. Because when employees feel the company's being real with them, they’ll trust their employers (and you!).
Confidently navigate the storms of crisis management
In the PR world, when a storm is brewing, experts jump into action. PR mavens handle crises with a mix of grace and strategic finesse to ensure the ship stays afloat.
Guess what, internal comms? You can do the same. During internal turbulence, it's crucial to keep the crew (that’s your staff!) in the loop.
Squash those office whispers and curb the rumor mill by addressing issues head-on and providing clear, consistent updates. The aim? An informed and calm company atmosphere, even when the waters get choppy.
Jazz up jargon with strong visual communication
PR gurus don't just tell, they show. Visuals have the magical power to captivate, explain, and stick in memories.
So why not sprinkle a little visual stardust into the internal comms mix, too? Complex data or tedious updates can spring to life with the right infographic, video, or snazzy presentation. You can give those lengthy emails a makeover and engage your audience with visuals that educate and entertain.
Align with overall business goals
It's a PR mantra: Sing in harmony with the company songbook. Everything circles back to broader business objectives.
In internal comms, your anthems should also resonate with your organization's mission and vision. By keeping the company's goals at the core, you can build a choir that sings in unison and drives the organization forward.
Dive into data with metrics that matter
Gone are the days when PR simply relied on intuition. Now, it's all about harnessing the power of data analytics to craft unbeatable campaigns. And it's high time internal comms takes advantage of the vast ocean of numbers, patterns, and insights.
Use tools like employee pulse surveys and digital analytics to gain a clearer understanding of the effectiveness of your efforts. They’re not just numbers — they're keys that unlock deeper understanding to help you refine your strategies and achieve better results.
Bridge the Gap Between PR and Internal Comms With Showcase Workshop
As the realms of PR and internal comms increasingly converge, leveraging tools that streamline and amplify your communication efforts will be critical. Enter Showcase Workshop: a one-stop platform designed with internal comms professionals in mind.
Whether you’re sharing training videos, updating HR policies, or tapping into real-time analytics on content engagement, Showcase can help you embrace the future of “mixternal comms” and ensure no one gets left behind.