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Craft an Internal Communications Strategy

Choose communications empowerment over ownership to enable organizational strategy.

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Contributors

  • Melodie Barnett, Managing Partner, Pivot Communication, and co-author of the book, An Honest Living: Be Wildly Successful Without Being a Jerk
  • Priya Bates, Accredited Business Communicator, MC, CMP, IABC Fellow, President, Inner Strength Communication Inc.
  • Ally Bunin, Senior Vice President, Employee Practice, MSL Group
  • Tyler Cook, Internal Communication & Public Relations Consultant
  • Ivana Di Millo, Director of Communications, City of Mississauga
  • Richard Donovan, Global Head of Social Innovation & UK&I Head of Corporate Responsibility, Experian
  • Morag Farquharson, Accredited Business Communicator
  • Shel Holtz, Accredited Business Communicator, Director of Internal Communications, Webcor Builders
  • Rob Manne, Creative Communications Consultant
  • Melanie Anne Martin, CMS, Event Marketing Manager, Goldcorp
  • Michele Martin, Accredited Business Communicator, Manager of Internal Communications, Strategic Priorities at London Health Sciences Centre
  • Andrea Richter, Marketing and Human Resources Manager, NPT LLP Chartered Accountants
  • Aniisu K. Verghese, India Corporate Communications Leader, TESCO HSC, Internal Communications leader, blogger, and author of Internal Communications: Insights, Practices and Models (Sage Publications, 2012)
  • Scott Tabachnick, Director, Executive Projects & Partnerships, WE
  • Stephanie Thornbury, Accredited Business Communicator, Senior Executive, Communication and Marketing, Inner Strength Communication Inc.

Your Challenge

  • Communicating effectively is even more challenging in today's operating environment. Business ‒ and the world of work ‒ is in a state of flux, and cutting through the noise is increasingly difficult.
  • While internal communications are considered critical, efforts are not always strategic. As a result, 44% of employees do not feel senior leaders are providing clear direction about where their organization is headed (IBM and Globoforce, 2017).

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Choose communications empowerment over ownership to enable organizational strategy.
  • Empowerment starts with the clarity, tools, and capability to communicate effectively and guarantees an exchange downwards and upwards.

Impact and Result

  • Craft an effective internal communications strategy with the main purpose to enable the organization to meet strategic goals.
  • Execute the strategy by empowering everyone in the organization to communicate effectively. Arm them with the tools, tactics, and messages to drive strategic internal communication.

Research & Tools

2. Analyze the current situation and perform a gap analysis

Conduct an internal communications audit and SWOT analysis, profile target audiences, establish the current state, and identify critical gaps.

3. Create an internal communications guide

Review and customize all components of McLean & Company’s Internal Communications Guide Template.

4. Share the strategy, plan tactics, and measure success

Establish appropriate feedback mechanisms for upwards communication, and plan for rolling out the internal communications strategy and ongoing support for communicators.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a ten call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Define internal communications objectives

Call #1 - Confirm appropriate strategy discovery activities.
Call #2 - Determine internal communication objectives, key results, and metrics based on organizational goals.

Guided Implementation #2 - Analyze the current situation and perform a gap analysis

Call #1 - Review quantitative and qualitative data to identify themes, trends, and insights.
Call #2 - Discuss possible employee segments and plan for audience profiling.
Call #3 - Evaluate internal communications audit results, discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to summarize current state.
Call #4 - Analyze critical gaps and outline strategic action items.

Guided Implementation #3 - Create an internal communications guide

Call #1 - Review McLean & Company’s Internal Communications Guide Template and customize to suit your organization.

Guided Implementation #4 - 4. Share the strategy, plan tactics, and measure success

Call #1 - Discuss appropriate feedback mechanisms and how to implement them.
Call #2 - Plan for rollout of the internal communications strategy and continued support for communicators.
Call #3 - Review metrics and determine success of key results.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Define Current State and Determine Communications Goals

The Purpose

  • Assess and evaluate internal communications strategy.
  • Understand different mediums and their implications.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of the current state of internal communications.
  • Identify ideal mediums of communication.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Identify the strategic direction of the organization.

  • Organizational strategy identified.
1.2

Develop internal communications objectives.

  • Internal communications objectives developed.
1.3

Set metrics.

  • Metrics set.
1.4

Evaluate data to identify key insights and themes.

  • Data to identify key insights and themes evaluated.
1.5

Evaluate communication channel usage and effectiveness.

  • Communication channel usage and effectiveness evaluated.
1.6

Conduct a SWOT analysis.

  • SWOT analysis conducted.

Module 2: Develop the Internal Communications Strategy

The Purpose

  • Categorize the target audience groups.
  • Identify steps needed to reach internal communications goals.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Defined target audience groups.
  • A defined roadmap for achieving internal communications goals.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Segment audience and complete audience profiles.

  • Audience segmented and profiled.
2.2

Conduct a gap analysis.

  • Gap analysis completed.
2.3

Identify strategic action items.

  • Strategic action items identified.
2.4

Define organizational communications principles.

  • Organizational communications principles defined.
2.5

Review the employee value proposition.

  • Employee value proposition reviewed.

Module 3: Customize the Guide and Develop an Action Plan

The Purpose

Prepare to implement and sustain the communications strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

A plan to roll out the internal communications strategy.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Define key messages.

  • Key messages defined.
3.2

Develop guidelines for choosing the right medium.

  • Guidelines for choosing the right medium developed.
3.3

Customize content guide and communications briefings.

  • Content guide and communications briefings customized.
3.4

Prepare for rollout and management by developing an action plan.

  • Action plan developed.