09 May Make internal communications work
Communicating with employees is always a good thing, right? Well, any communications is better than no communications but done correctly, it does require commitment and investment so it’s best to understand why you’re communicating. For the communications company, the purpose directly influences how we approach an internal communications programme.
Here are three live Sherpa examples of internal communications programmes supporting different circumstances.
In this example, the client is repositioning the brand. With this comes a need to change employee behaviour. So we’ve completed the brand strategy and all that goes with it (e.g. brand DNA, logo, corporate stationery, website, communication pieces etc.) and now we must help the employees to understand what the brand promises so that they can align accordingly.
It goes beyond internal launches, training, videos, posters and the like, stretching to advising the consultants tasked with reconfiguring our client’s administrative processes. The processes must support the brand promise.
This has to be one of our all-time favourite clients. Some years ago, we helped them to develop their brand strategy and created a strong market position across Africa and the East. It was all based on a promise that they would ‘take care of things’ by taking ownership and responsibility.
Corporate identity changes were activated at the time but we still support them through internal communications which, in interesting and often entertaining ways, reinforces the brand promise in one way or another. One of the most anticipated articles is the announcement of the quarterly Brand Masters. Employees are nominated by their peers as having gone the extra mile in delivering the brand promise. The people behind the brand are the heroes.
Sometimes when you’re an industry leader, you need to remind yourself why you’re a leader. Most of the time, leadership is through your people whether that is at executive level or lower down the chain. Leadership comes from the aggregation of everybody doing the right things brilliantly. And this creates a sense of pride, interdependence and belonging.
Initially, the internal communications set out to highlight all the positive things that the people were doing, getting a sense of a winning organisation across. Recently, a new emphasis has been placed on “change” as a replacement enterprise IT platform is being laid, a significant project. One way to remain a leader is to, well, lead and that entails some change. An extension of the new internal communications job is to create excitement about change and what it will mean for the people and company overall in terms of leadership.
When you’re thinking about introducing or refreshing your internal communications programme, think about what you’re trying to achieve so that every communications piece has purpose.
Internal communications is a service which we’re passionate about at Sherpa. It takes everything we’ve got. Brand (connecting), Marketing (selling), PR (influencing), Design (exciting), Copy writing (engaging), Digital (connecting) and Analytics (measuring). We take internal communications as seriously as if we’re dealing with an external audience. It’s all about reaching, touching and connecting with our clients’ employees.