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How to write your internal comms strategy

It goes without saying that we think having a robust and up-to-date internal comms strategy is essential. It’s a huge part of what we do and why we’re here, after all.


Having a comprehensive and bespoke comms plan is vital for employee engagement and the wider employee experience. Keeping our people informed about our goals, values, priorities, performance, and activities keeps them engaged. And engaged employees are more likely to be motivated, productive, and committed.


It also ensures our people are aligned with our missions, visions, and strategic objectives. A good internal comms strategy will boost morale with regular and transparent communication from leaders and key players, facilitate knowledge sharing and enhance collaboration, and provide channels for feedback and meaningful two-way communications.


In some industries and sectors, a robust internal comms strategy will also be vital in maintaining compliance and legal obligations which are fundamental for the very survival of the business.


So, if you don’t have an internal comms strategy or you think the one you have needs an overhaul, where do you start?


Define your objectives


First up, be clear about what you want or need to achieve with your strategy. What do you want your people to know and do? And how do you want them to feel? Is your aim to simply boost employee engagement and enhance collaboration? Do you need to manage change more effectively? You can’t produce a great strategy if you’re not clear on what you need out of it.


Do you also need to define or work on your tone of voice? This should match your vision, values, and culture. It should also be a good fit for your workforce. It must be applied consistently, regardless of who is writing the comms. Ideally, it will be recognisable by your people and yet almost unnoticeable. 


Audit what you already have


If you already have some channels in place, take a careful look at what is working and what needs to be improved, removed, or added. Analyse your existing channels and gather feedback from a decently sized sample that represents your entire workforce. Don’t be precious or defensive – it’s fundamental that you get a truly honest picture.


Determine your key messaging


Next, you need to define what your key messages are. What are your business priorities and short-to-mid-term objectives? What are the key values and behaviours that you need to communicate and embed? What significant projects, programmes, changes, or milestones do you need to communicate?


Profile your audience


The chances are your business will be made up of different groups of people with different requirements and different preferences. Access to technology (and the ability to use it well) may vary. The information and resources they need to perform their jobs well may also vary. Knowing your audience well, and designing and aligning channel of communication to match these requirements carefully is an important part of the process.


Map your channels


Once you have all this information, you can look to create, install, and align your channels to those groups of people. Some might be pretty universal, some more tailored, bespoke and specialist. It’s important that you define each channel’s purpose and reach, understand its likely (or expected) frequency of use, and think about how you’re going to measure its success once it’s embedded.


Don’t forget to include two-way channels in your strategy. You should foster a culture of open communication by facilitating and encouraging feedback and discussion. This may include interactive digital platforms, professional social media sites, forums, surveys, peer-to-peer recognition, or planned town hall meetings accessible to all. Ideally, and most likely, it will require a combination of these.


Assess and reflect


Your comms strategy may need some tweaking after launch, and some ongoing love and attention. Implement metrics and measure the reach and success of your various channels. Speak to your people to find out what’s landing and understand any barriers you may not have anticipated. Use all this data to make adjustments and improvements.  


If the nature of your business or workforce changes over time, keep on top of those assessments and success measures. Technology moves at pace, and habits change; what is the best fit right now may not be in a few years’ time.


Need some support?


It can be argued that much of this process is better done by an expert external third party. Apart from the obvious saving of time and resource that’s to be made by offloading the heavy lifting, you’re also more likely to get a truly honest feedback picture from your workforce, and a new strategy that is completely free from any (unconscious) bias.

If you’d like some help or support with yours, we’d love to be the ones to help you out. Why not drop us a line and arrange a natter?


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