8 ways to improve your internal communications strategy in 2024

by | Feb 15, 2024 | Public Relations

PR is all about communications. We talk a lot about how brands communicate with customers and the world. Everything from brand persona to tone of voice and the best channels to use are the bread and butter of PR brands.

But that’s external communications. What about internal communications? The way a brand communicates internally has a big impact on everything from productivity to reputation and (yes!) external communications. So, getting it right is very important.

Let’s take a look at why successful brands have a big focus on internal communications and how you can improve internal communications for your own company.

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Benefits of a strong internal communications strategy

A strong internal communications strategy can work wonders for any organization. Here are just a few of the benefits you and the companies you work with can expect from an internal communications revamp:

  • Improves employee engagement

It’s hard to be properly engaged when you’re out of the loop. Good internal communications not only make sure that vital information gets where it needs to go, but it also helps people to feel included. And that feeling of inclusion is fantastic for employee engagement and retention.

By contrast, poor communication can lead to stress and frustration as people struggle to get questions answered and to understand what’s expected of them. This kind of frustration leads to a poor employee experience and a drop in engagement. 

So, boost your internal communications to raise employee engagement.

  • Increases team productivity and collaboration

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a strong internal communications strategy is what it does for team productivity and collaboration. The right communications tools, tech, policies, and procedures is a huge advantage for any team and any project.

It’s vital that communication can flow easily between team members, remote employees, third party collaborators, and more. The better your communication, the better your collaboration. And the better your collaboration, the better your productivity.

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  • Speeds up decision-making processes

Good communication speeds up everything, especially decision-making. Rather than having to wait for questions and feedback to reach the right person, then wait again for discussions to laboriously take place over clunky comms networks, and then continue to wait for the decision to reach the relevant teams, project managers can get questions answered and suggestions heard fast.

Speedy decisions make your processes a lot more agile. You can do everything a lot faster, including making changes, altering direction, troubleshooting problems, and more.

  • Promotes transparency and accountability

Transparency and accountability are important in modern business. Good internal communications are crucial for proper transparency and accountability. From a PR perspective, good communication can prevent PR disasters before they happen by exposing problematic decisions, ideas, or attitudes to proper scrutiny.

For the kind of transparency and accountability that will maintain good PR and forestall many issues, good internal communications are a must.

8 ways to improve your internal communications strategy

So, how can a brand improve its internal communications strategy? 

  • Assess current channels for strengths and gaps

Any PR company understands how to run an audit. We often audit things like media assets, digital presence, marketing strategy, and so on. We should also be auditing internal communications.

An internal communications audit would involve assessing current channels and protocols for strengths and weaknesses. It also involves forward planning, which means you don’t just need to look at communications channels, but beyond that into the wider business picture. 

For example, you might comb through the company’s software for cash flow management to see where money is currently being spent, where it can be invested into better communications, and monitor how better communications could improve cash flow.

As you assess the current internal communications situation, think about what’s working, why it’s working, which processes can be improved, and how they can be improved.

internal communications

  • Implement shared platforms for seamless collaboration

When we talk about ‘communications’, we tend to think of messaging tech (apps like Slack, for example). In fact, there’s a lot more to effective internal communications than simply pinging messages back and forth or setting up video meetings. 

Data and idea sharing is a crucial part of any internal communications strategy, and it’s where a lot of strategies fall down. It’s one thing to talk about sharing documents and collaborating on projects, but it’s another thing to do this seamlessly without a lot of complicated platform-hopping, settings-adjusting and so on.

A good way to iron out these issues is to implement shared platforms, or even (depending on how the organization operates) a centralized platform which syncs up with other tools and platforms. For example, a CRM which syncs with marketing software, so that both marketing and sales teams have access to all relevant customer data whenever they need it.

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  • Create a central platform for information and announcements

Speaking of central platforms, it’s a great idea to build a central forum for important information and announcements. Something like a bulletin board which notifies all system users when something new goes up. 

A central information/announcement hub makes sure that nobody misses something important. Rather than having to add everyone to an email list when you’ve got something important to say, people can simply log into the bulletin board every day to check for important updates and information.

  • Establish a comprehensive employee feedback system

Internal communications are no good if they only go one way. The classic example of this is General Motors, which plummeted from one of the most successful car manufacturers of all time in the 40s and 50s to bankruptcy and government bailouts in 2009. 

internal communications

Commentators agree that poor internal communications were a big contributor to the company’s downfall. Specifically, the communication structure was rigid, hierarchical, and only went downwards. While managers could send orders down the chain, no feedback could come back up the chain. This meant that problems that were obvious to employees on the factory floor could not be reported to management, with disastrous results.

So, make sure that any internal communications system flows freely in every direction. Employee feedback is very important, so build a feedback system into your internal communications strategy.

  • Leverage technology for speedy exchange of information

Some people call this the ‘Age Of Communications’ because if there’s one thing that digital technology has truly revolutionized, it’s comms. We now have ways of reaching and communicating with others that our great-grandparents could never have dreamed of. And we can put that wealth of tech to good use in internal communications.

From fully integrated communications systems to messaging apps and conferencing platforms, there are plenty of internal communications tech options. Shop around to find the perfect solution.

  • Promote transparent leadership communication

We’ve spoken a bit about the importance of transparency and accountability. This is especially important for leaders. Leaders set the standard for communication throughout the organization and as such, should communicate as transparently as possible.

What does this mean in practical terms? Well, one example would be giving all managers access to software for spend management and involving a wider pool of people in making spending decisions rather than limiting access to a small group of high-up decision-makers. 

This gives a sense of inclusion and makes sure that everyone is on the same page as leadership, as well as demonstrating accountability on the part of leadership.

internal communications

  • Tailor communication styles for different employee segments

Every employee segment deserves to be fully informed and have total access to your internal communications system. But it can be helpful to tailor communication styles for different segments.

For example, not all employee segments will benefit from lengthy memos. In a retail situation, floor workers won’t have time to scroll through email chains and long discussions. They will benefit more from a fast, snappy communication style such as instant messaging or bulletins. 

On the other hand, people working in R&D will need a more in-depth communication style to make sure that they’re fully informed and not missing anything important.

  • Offer regular training sessions on communication skills

One of (if not the!) very best ways to boost internal communications is to train people in communication skills. Regular communication training will help everyone in the organization to get their ideas across effectively, listen to others, use comms tech properly, avoid conflict, and generally boost your internal communications results.

From a PR perspective, communication training doesn’t just help with internal communications. It also helps a brand to communicate well externally. A company that communicates well projects a great image to the world which effortlessly boosts its PR.

Good internal communications are key for a world-beating brand

A company’s internal organization has a big impact on its external image, especially when it comes to communications. 

A company that has a good, free-flowing internal communications system, prioritizes communication skills, and understands the importance of transparency will not only boost its internal operation in numerous ways, it will also reflect these values externally. All in all, good internal communications not only helps with internal operations, it also boosts a brand’s reputation and helps it to engage with the wider world.

Brian Flores
Brian is a freelance writer with extensive marketing tools and tech writing experience. His content marketing articles are widely seen in a variety of martech guides and posts.


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