Internal communications is the most important bit of any communications team. If your staff are unhappy or don’t understand what’s going on, productivity drops, staff turnover increases and your organisation stops selling or making or doing. And yet, often internal communications doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.
Is this why internal communicators are always telling me they don’t do digital?
Thirteen different work projects in the past 12 months have put me in touch with more than 80 people in internal comms roles. Until last week, everyone I met began their introduction with the words ‘I’m in internal communications so we don’t do digital’. These numbers are genuine (this situation has been bugging me for years, so I started to keep a tally) and enough, in my unscientific view, to prove there is a problem.
The problem is not the difficult introduction, but instead constantly discovering that the truth: that internal communicators are often doing the toughest and most creative digital work.
I’m going to stick my neck out. In most organisations, with a rounded communications team of different disciplines, internal communicators are:
- Better online writers than their counterparts in other disciplines, and more focussed on the needs of their audience
- Building and maintaining digital channels against all odds in a difficult IT landscape
- More willing to develop the skills for taking photographs, shooting video and explaining complicated issues using graphics
- Participating in more online conversations through Yammer or other forums, than those running marketing campaigns or press
Internal communications is a demanding and rich digital experience.
Internal communicators: don’t keep doing it down.