Internal communication/engagement is as crucial in the success of any business organisation as is external communication/engagement.
Many even posit that the former is even more critical in achieving organizational success than the latter. Things must work internally; the employees and staff must feel engaged, motivated and “taken along” if the organisation must thrive.
For communications especially, it is only advisable that what goes to the external publics by way of official communication is first known internally to keep the balance.
Internal communications (IC) has been a core part of Public Relation (PR) practice. In most organisations, especially institutions with a considerable staff strength (particularly those with a good appreciation of the essence of PR/Communications), a whole sub-desk is created and designated for IC purposes.
How well staff are engaged, informed and taken along however depends on the tactics/strategies that are employed and mainly the channels (medium of communications).
There are quite a number of these channels which we will be reviewing throughout this month starting with the first pair, e-mail and intranet.
The pros and cons
E-mail: Like any other channel, e-mail has its strength and weakness which must be carefully factored into consideration when deciding on the choice of channel for any communication/message.
As a strength, e-mail is not limited by space or geographic location (distance) and so it can comfortably serve companies with scattered/virtual offices and staff, including those on the go.
It is instant/quick and cost efficient; internet access which is relatively cheaper is all that is needed to get going. It saves paper and printing costs, has a referral value, can engages more people at a go and makes room for attachment of files, picture, videos, among others.
It has some weakness though. Given the information overload these day (volume of mails) some of which are unsolicited, one can just not be sure about the “open rate” especially when swallowed among junks.
Also, e-mails and the information there in are susceptible to hacking or can go to an incorrect email addresses and wind up in someone else’s inbox. These raise confidentiality issue as far as this means of communication is concerned.
The Intranet: Intranet on the other hand is also an easy, economical and fast system of communication within an enterprise/organisation. It provides the opportunities to keep every employee informed irrespective of the location.
It also allows for easy referencing, because the information remains there as long as is desired but a major challenge about the intranet is about how to drive traffic onto the page and ensure that staff make use of it. It takes quite an effort (a conscious and subtle one) to drive and sustain traffic on the site.
The antidote to this however lies in the quality of content and skillful packaging, which the communication team or person must possess.
Expect a review of the strength and weaknesses of the other existing channels in our subsequent posts.
You can reach the media Republique team on 0302 963 329 or via firstname.lastname@example.org