Internal communications is the function responsible for effective communications among participants within an organization. The scope of the function varies by organization and practitioner, from producing and delivering messages and campaign on behalf of management to facilitating two- way dialogue and developing the communication skills of the organizations participants.
Modern understanding of internal communications is a field of its own and draws on the theory and practice of related professions,not least journalism, knowledge management, public relations e.g. media relations, marketing and human resources as well as wider organizational studies.
INTERNAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
There are two sides to strategy in internal communications. In the first instance there is the organization strategy that focuses on what is hoped to achieve and how it plans to go about achieving it. That strategy will be supported and, to some extent, delivered through effective internal communications. Therefore, internal communication can help on several different levels:
TELL- This deals with simply informing people of the direction, non-negotiable
SELL-This is a process or method of anticipating some form of backlash, requiring some persuasion.
CONSULT- This is a process of specific areas of input to the decision-making process.
Secondly, and more importantly, internal communications needs a strategy of its own. It should be positioned more than a simple plan of tactical interventions in support of business activities. Thereby the strategy should consider the following:
1. Market – This has to do with what the organization knows about its audience’s needs. And how audiences should will be segmented.
2. Message – What is the organizations message trying to achieve? In what tone should it be conveyed.
3. Media – Which channels work best for the different audience segments? How will it maximize reach out and cut-through? Are there clear editorials guidelines for each?
4. Measurement – Are there clearly defined success criteria? What are the leading and lagging measures? As well as informing all the other three Ms it should be used to demonstrate value and measure performances (ROI, message penetration, hit rates quality of feedback, etc. This strategy will inform the best way to organize effective communication.
Message distribution can be categorized into the four categories:
1. Electronic: communications that are divided or accessed electronically, either by computer, telephone, television or other devices. Examples include email, intranet, video and webcasts, DVD, electronic newsletters, & SMS text messages.
2. Print: paper based communications which are examples that includes magazines, newsletters, brochures, postcards, and other desk drops, posters, memos, communications packs or tool kits for line managers.
3. Face-to-face – one-to-one: Too many forums where people are physically present. Examples include a cascade of team meetings or briefings, conferences, sites visits, back to the floor.
4 Workplace: The working environment, examples include notice boards, plasma and LCD screens, accessories, window decals.