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Internal Communication Tips for Small Business

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February 5,2016

By Claire Holland, agencyEA

 

All brands strive to build advocacy and loyalty amongst their target audiences. Simply put, advocacy leads to increased brand awareness, sales and organizational growth. Brands often approach advocacy as something that happens amongst their external audiences – consumers, suburban moms, Hispanic Americans, Millennials, even other businesses. But one of the most important, yet often overlooked, audiences is right in front of them: a brand’s own employee, their internal audience, or a marketing segment referred to as “Business to Employee.” Employees are (or can be) a company’s best and worst brand ambassadors. After all, they’re the true “insiders.” No matter how strong your communications and public relations team, social media puts an organization’s reputation in the hands of all its employees.

Building strong, authentic and lasting brand advocacy starts with developing a robust and strategic internal communications plan. For small businesses, it might seem simple, or even easy, to communicate internally. However, internal communication today cannot be an afterthought in any organization.

 

“Companies that have highly effective internal communications had 47% higher total returns to shareholders over the last five years, compared to companies with the least effective internal communication.” – People Driven Performance

 

Here are key best practices that small businesses should consider when implementing internal communications plans.
 

1.    Communicate clearly, consistently and often

Establish a content calendar of consistent touch points like internal newsletters, all-company meetings, and email announcements so employees know when to expect messages and updates. Over time, you might find that teams start to anticipate and look forward to these touch points.   

 

2.    Know what your audience cares about and tailor the message accordingly

Maybe your office is undergoing a merger, or another significant change. Yes it’s important to convey the details, but don’t forget to address the most important question your employees are asking: “What does this mean for ME?”

 

3.    Mix up the channels

Email is great, quick and easy, but your internal audience likely receives so much email every day that the platform becomes cluttered. Consider leveraging social media, intranets, in-person meetings and events, print collateral, in-office signage, videos and webinars to communicate key messaging. 

 

4.    Get ahead of the gossip

Like it or not, your employees are going to talk. Avoid the rumor mill by communicating with staff as early (and as honestly) as possible. It’s much more painless to proactively deliver the message the way you want it told than to try and clear up incorrect rumors.

   

5.    Most of all, make it fun!

Internal communication is a chance to showcase company culture, celebrate success with your team and build internal camaraderie. Feel free to inject a little more personality and fun into your tone when communicating internally.


 

To learn more about internal communication and employee alignment capabilities, download this free white paper.

 

 




About the Author
Claire Holland is the Director of Marketing Communications at agencyEA, a brand experience agency specializing in experiential, digital and traditional engagement in Chicago. She guides the strategic vision of the company’s brand, messaging and voice, while supporting and evolving brand strategies for clients. Holland also oversees all of agencyEA’s internal and external marketing communications, including digital marketing and public relations.

 

 

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