Justify your Existence Through Internal Communication
In PR we’re used to connecting with journalists and influencers to help spread our message, but sometimes the importance of internal communication can slip our mind.
It’s naïve to underestimate the value of optimising our internal communication strategies. Not only do they assist in keeping stakeholders connected and in the loop with the coverage we’re creating – but internal communication can also help us to further justify our existence as the comms team.
Bringing internal communication to the forefront of our minds and back into our comms mix doesn’t have to mean a heavy addition to our already jam-packed workload, not if we don’t over complicate it, anyway. A simple-to-use newsletter will do the trick as well as a lot of the hard work for us, as Mark Thomas Communication Officer at BISD explains: “With a few clicks of a button we can send a branded, professional newsletter. Stakeholders don’t know how easy it is to create on the backend and I want to keep it that way. They just say, “Wow, keep this up.”
Here we discuss some of the common struggles communication professionals are faced with when it comes to internal communication and best practice for overcoming the grey areas.
Finding, Categorising and Curating the Right Content
How do I know what type of media to curate? Should I lean more towards curating content from social, editorial, or broadcast, for example?
The answer to this question lies with the type of stories our stakeholders deem important. We should tailor internal communication just as much as we do external comms – customising newsletters from stakeholder to stakeholder.
As a result of such personalisation, the type of content we send is impacted. For example, recipients at board level are likely to be more interested in financial results or mentions of a competitor’s Directors; this kind of content usually comes from editorial. When we compare this to engaging a larger workforce, highlighting social media posts surrounding our brand may resonate more.
Meltwater allows users to track a dynamic list of media types and then tag content they wish to feature in the newsletter. Users can then realign the chosen content within the newsletter to ensure particular stories are featured more prominently.
Types of content to consider featuring in internal communication newsletters:
- Brand mentions
- Customer news
- Industry trends
- Competitor activity
- Political, economic, social, technological news that may impact your sector
How much content is too much content?
We shouldn’t be overloading readers with content, there’s only so much we can read in a day, so balance is important. Finding synergies between the mar-comms functions can help with this. For example, if the marketing team have recently updated the brand guidelines, it can’t hurt to promote this through the newsletter to save another email from going out to the same audience.
How do we make the most of my newsletter to drive engagement?
- Keep on top and up to date with industry insights as this can significantly increase regular readership.
- Don’t forget to include social sharing buttons to improve employee advocacy.
We don’t want our newsletter to live only in the recipient’s inbox; we want to increase the virality of these insights beyond the newsletter – especially if they have a positive resonance about the organisation. The more fluid we make user experience, the more time users will spend engaging.
- Make the content skimmable.
Chances are our audience is likely to be skimming our newsletter, so we should aim to make it as easy as possible for our audience to understand the context of the article or post chosen. Offering a brief description that summarises the article helps set the context. We can choose to summarise the coverage as a whole or by an individual article, the important thing is to categorise the content so that it makes sense to the audience.
- Use images.
Try not to make the newsletter too text heavy by including images that relate to the story.
- Keep the newsletter template on brandWe know how important it is to remain on brand, especially as the comms team are the brand-keepers (or police, as we like to refer to them). As well as ensuring the content is on brand so that it resonates with the audience, users can also make use of Meltwater’s in-house team of designers who are employed to ensure the newsletter template is fully customised to your brand – images, links, buttons, the lot!
Time is certainly a virtue, and with every second counting, we want to ensure we streamline internal communication as much as possible. To save our clients time, Meltwater offers the option of scheduling newsletters. When scheduling, we’d recommend studying the time stakeholders are most responsive to emails in order to optimise engagement.
How often should I send my newsletter?
Many Meltwater clients schedule their newsletters to send at the end of the week when readers are likely to be in full Friday feeling mode – what’s happening in the news is a nice light read to wrap up the end of the working week.
If you’d like to learn more about how Meltwater can help you justify your existence through internal communications, give us a shout HERE. We’d be more than happy to spar ideas out with you.