With so many components making up a public relations program such as social media, media releases, websites and so on, it is easy to forget about communicating within the organisation. How many times have you spoken to front line staff and they are not completely aware of a special offer or service that has been advertised?
I think no matter what size the company, it is critical to keep your own staff in the picture.
For small companies it might be regular briefing meetings, bulletins, notice boards, newsletters, text messages and emails to keep everyone in touch.
Larger companies, with employees scattered in different locations all over the nation, need to make a concerted effort to provide their employees with up to date, relevant information.
Why is this so important? Well, if your clients know the full details about a promotional offer and your employees don't, it obviously reflects badly on the company - not to mention lost opportunities for the business and the damaging effect on staff. If an organisation changes its policy on an issue, don't the employees have a right to know about the change and the reason for the decision?
Even voluntary organisations such as surf clubs have a real need to keep their members advised of what decisions are being made and how they affect them.
For one of our largest clients Sasha produces a four page, full colour staff newsletter every two weeks. Yes, every two weeks!
It features articles and photos about promotional activities by different divisions and how successful they were, safety achievements, new people joining the organisations, new products, production successes (better ways to do things), new projects won and profiles on employees. The latter have been highly successful because employees like to read about their colleagues even though they may never meet them within a large company.
The same company has established an Intranet for all staff and hold regular briefing meetings for all levels of employees. So everyone knows what is going on within the company. Importantly there is recognition for individual and team achievements such as environmental wins and clever ways to do things.
Communicating effectively with employees can be inspirational and open up lines of communication for valuable ideas and feedback. Feedback should be actively encouraged and where possible rewarded.
My daddy once worked with a manager who kept a book of theatre tickets in his desk drawer and any time one of the team came in with a good idea he would reward them immediately with two tickets. Doesn't have to be tickets to the theatre of course but the instant reward can be effective.
So, are you communicating with your staff? If not, it might be an idea to create an internal system so they know what is going on...and you might benefit from the feedback if you are not too sensitive!