Oct 26 | Dana, Director of Public Relations
I’m passionate about public relations being practiced correctly; so, please allow me a moment on my soapbox – public relations does not equal publicity. If you or your organizational leadership believe when times are tough that all you need is some public relations, or your name in the news, I respectfully disagree. The one aspect of public relations I enjoy so much is its multiple applications and ability to affect so many different audiences. So, why would one choose to limit a message to the media only, and why would that be the first audience to whom you communicate?
Ok, I’m off my soapbox now and ready to focus on the reason I’m writing this blog post – the importance of internal public relations. Rarely, do organizations look inward. They choose a message, announcement, promotion, etc. and immediately want to “get the word out.” Well, quite frankly, many times, they’ve clearly skipped over the first crucial step: getting the word in! Ever asked a sales person about a promo offer you read and received a blank stare, or been the first to tell an employee of an announcement that was already in the newspaper, or asked a company representative a question and received an answer completely out of sync with the mission statement hung in the lobby reception area? I can answer yes to all three of these, and they are the consequences of overlooking your internal publics.
Organizations have multiple internal publics who are crucial in the success of developing and delivering messages externally. From employees and members to shareholders and Boards of Directors. These internal audiences have the ability to become brand ambassadors and help a message succeed or be left out of the communication loop and unknowingly contribute to its failure. Even if you have achieved getting your message out to 30 million consumers via the media, but the message is not properly imbedded internally, it’s bound to not only fail, but it could more than backfire as consumers expect your organization to deliver on its message.
My professional counsel is to take the time and place important emphasis on internal roll-out and the imbedment process prior to the launch of any external communication, whether it is a significant campaign or a small announcement – I assure you it will be time well spent. An organization’s entire dynamic and culture is changed for the better when internal publics are made to feel important and integral to success.