The Poorest Relation.

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Photo by Paolo Chiabrando on Unsplash

I’m afraid I’m on my soap box

This is aimed at every business out there spending a fortune on external marketing – it’s seems like madness that in an age where a single employee’s behaviour can bring a company to its knees, you still seem to save the ‘good stuff’ for external audiences.

There are so many things wrong with this

First, all audiences are ultimately consumers, so why do you feel they deserve less when you’re communicating to their work selves? It’s insulting to them and naive of you to think you don’t have to work as hard to take them with you, just because they’re on the payroll.

Second, they’re all potential advocates. We live in a time where we all care about the purpose behind the businesses we work for, and when employees actively advocate on their company’s behalf it’s powerful. Multiply that by the size of your workforce and they become a communications channel in their own right. So why not utilise it?

Third, these are the people who actually make your company what it is. Without them, you’re nothing and no products or services get designed, built, marketed or sold.

The power of an activated workforce not only affects the external perception of the brand but its business performance. An obvious point, right? And yet, internal communications is still the poor relation of external communications.

In the age of purpose, people want to work for companies that exist for a reason other than to just make money. They want to know why their employers exist, what they care about, where they’ve come from, and where they’re going.

Bring them in on that and you’ll get their best selves

It’s not motivating to feel like a cog in a machine that is making more money than they can possibly conceive.

But it is motivating to feel like you work for a company that is ‘making a dent in the universe’, to quote Steve Jobs. Employees should be front and centre. They should be where communication starts, not a passive afterthought.

They should be swept up by a powerful purpose and seduced by world-class creative, designed just for them.

They should be allowed to be everything they can be and for that they need to feel it with their hearts as well as their heads.

Internal comms isn’t external comms’ poor relation – it’s where the real value lies. And it’s the brands and businesses that are acting on this that will rule the world.

About the author

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I’m a dynamic leader, operating at all levels within internal communications, corporate brand, and brand engagement. I have got a proven history of delivering innovative communications strategies across multiple types of organisations and sectors, from start-ups to global organisations. I'm agile, believe in excellence, have a passion for embedding corporate values into the internal culture, and for enhancing employer brand image and market reach.