FOUR TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

FOUR TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

By Malin H. Teles

It is a common belief among many communications professionals that the importance of internal communications in organisations is underestimated by high management. Although this might be true in some cases, generally speaking, internal communications is usually considered high priority among managers. However, the problem is many times that even though it is high priority, internal communications is often a misunderstood activity. Or, in other words, it is badly executed.

Poor internal communications can have severe negative impacts on an organisation and, hence, should never be neglected. For example, failing to communicate well with employees often result in employee discontent, lack of engagement and a high employee turnover. All which can be costly for the organisation.

To create a good foundation for your internal communications to build on, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Let’s have a closer look at them:

Internal Communications are not a separate activity but need to be integrated with everyday work.

Internal communications are very much a reflection of the company culture and also, an influencer on company culture. If you aspire to have a transparent and non-hierarchical organisation, the communications within that organisation need to favour this, and vice versa. In other words, you need to think of internal communications as an integral part of your job. This includes everything from internal emails, text messages, meetings, feedbacks, phone calls etc. The way this communication is conducted has to reflect the company culture you desire to create or maintain.

Create routines – who communicates what and when.

Regardless of what type of company culture the organisation has, it is necessary to have some form of routines for the internal communications. Team members, as well as managers, need to know where and how to find the information that they are looking for. And, perhaps more importantly, managers and team leaders need to know what, how and when they are supposed to communicate. Having this more or less predefined, facilitates for everyone and makes the information flow better. Moreover, it transmits a sense of stability and confidence within the organisation.

Be somewhat selective regarding what is communicated.

In an attempt to promote transparency, some companies make the mistake of communicating too much information to their employees. This can be a problem, not mainly because of the risk of communicating confidential information, but because of causing an overload of information. Before communicating something within the organisation, ask yourself the following question – Is this piece of information relevant to these people? Sometimes information might be relevant to all employees or all teams, but many times it is relevant only to a few teams or a few employees. If that is the case – share it only with those teams or individuals. This way you avoid bombarding people with irrelevant information and have a higher chance of getting noticed once you are sharing truly important information, as it won’t drown in irrelevant messages.

Communicate change on beforehand  and involve employees in the discussion.

Every organisation passes through times of change every once in a while. Even though changes are not always negative, people have a tendency to be reluctant to them, which makes it all the more important to plan well how the communication regarding them will be done. As a general rule, you can say that change should be communicated as early as possible. This way people affected by the change have a chance to get used to the idea before the change actually happens.
Also, another good way to diminish rejection or resistance to change is to involve those who will be affected in a discussion about the change at an early stage, before all decisions are already made. This gives people a sense of participation and a chance to be heard. Of course, some decisions are not negotiable, but, most changes contain parts that are. For example, it might be possible to adapt when or how a change is applied.

Following these recommendations, you have a solid basis to build your internal communications on. However, having an independent professional assess your communications routines can be helpful as you get an objective view of the situation and can get input on possible improvements.  

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HOW TO DO INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS…

…and have a sustainable and healthy relationship with your employees
By Lívia Caixeta

The health of a company has a lot in common with the health of a human body. Just as our organism, a company depends on the commitment and effort of several groups in order to function. And thinking about this analogy, employees are like cells. They are the ones who will make the oxygen and all nutrients to supply complex systems (breathing, digestion, nervous, etc.).

When our body gets sick, all parts of the organism suffer from the consequences of the pain/disease. From that moment, there is a general commotion so that the strange symptom is reversed and the routine returns to normal. It’s as if each cell received the information that it needs to do something to change the medical state.

The same happens inside a company. The employees need to be aware of the work routine, not only in their department but also in other departments. The work done in an integrated way prevents “space limits” from being invaded and prevents unnecessary distress. The team culture requires that each person bears in mind that the work of other people is as important as your own. And that this way, the road to the result may be even more harmonic and quicker.

Internal communications therefore have a strategic function in corporations. Through its many tools it’s possible to inform everyone what’s happening to different departments in the company, and then, to awaken this global vision in employees. Returning to the analogy, it’s as if the management model was the brain, the internal communicationss were the fluids and the employees were the cells.

 

Interested in the topic? Click here to see more information about this and other services offered by Race Communications.

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HOW TO INITIATE THE INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS OF YOUR COMPANY

By Rodolfo Zanchin

Here on Race Communications’ blog, you can always find a lot of tips related to the communications area as well as future trends regarding the communications market. This time, the topic is somewhat of a delicate one, as many companies still do not invest in their internal communication. In this post, we list some of the most important tips on how to initiate this service in a company, considering that internal communications is one of the main pillars for the success of a business.

It is a common thing to hear members of the c-suite say that internal communications only exists to waste money. Of course, this is not true. Internal communications serves as a support to the external communications, and vice versa. The idea is to keep employees aligned to make sure that the communications of the organisation overall is headed in the same direction: that of success.

In case you would like to initiate the work on the internal communication of your company, we suggest the following steps:

  • Organise the internal flow

Establish the roles and who will be the responsible person for the area. The idea is that (s)he  receives information from various sectors of the organisation and organises it in a way that the content is received by everyone. Also, it is important to remember events, promotions and acknowledgements.

  •  Take the opportunity to reinforce the company culture

Internal comuniques are an excellent opportunity to reinforce the company’s most important values. Use this method so that everyone stays aligned and are able to transmit the messages in an homogeneous manner.

  • Pay attention to the frequency

More than implementing, it is necessary to create routines for the internal communication to become recognised by the employees. For this reason, pay attention to the frequency of the comuniques, newsletters, internal magazines and other activities. Ideally, the employees show interest in participating in these new routines and practises.

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CASES OF SUCCESS IN MEDIA RELATIONS AND INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

By Filipe Andrade

Two of the services, among others, that Race Communication offers are Media Relations and Internal Communications.

In the city of Goiás, (where one of our offices is located), for example, Race was responsible for  the implementation of tools for internal communication at the Laboratório Teuto (Teuto Laboratory), at Indústria Química do Estado de Goiás, Iquego, (Chemical Industry of The State of Goiás) as well as at Unidonto Goiânia, an organization in the dental insurance industry. These are only a few  examples.

In the first case, Race was responsible for the implementation of a fortnightly bulletin which today has 162 editions. At Iquego, the same model was applied. At Unidonto Goiânia, a newsletter, with more than 100 editions, is being sent to the members and the same model will be applied, over the next few months, on yet another internal audience: the employees.  

In all of the cases, the most noticeable is the engagement of the audience in relation to these tools. It is common for the employees to, for example, send suggestions, ask for a specific content, send a suggestion for a topic or, in an informal conversation, cite information published in these forums.

In media relations, Race has also reached significant results together with its clients in Goiás. This year, Teuto was in the news in two separate editions of Folha de São Paulo, a result of media relations conducted by Race. A full page article was also published last month in the Sunday edition of O Popular, the main newspaper in the state. The strategy in both these cases was to not only present content linked directly to the organization but to contextualize the information with, for example, market statistics.

Apart from the visibility and credibility that it brings to the organization, the work creates a channel, a solid relationship between Race/the client/the media/Race. This makes the editorial staff feel more comfortable entering in contact with the media relations team, assured that they will be presented with relevant information as well as it makes the client feel comfortable presenting content that are of great interest to the public. And the one who always wins is the public.    

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HOW CAN THE INTERNAL COMMUNICATION BE STRATEGIC?

By Carlos Massarico

Engagement is the buzzword of the moment in companies that look to the future. Being able to rely on teams and employees who are truly motivated and committed to what they’re doing and who are proven to produce, generates growth and excellent results for businesses. And having within this process of renovation and innovation a good flow of information regarding what happens within the company is fundamental: this is internal communication in its essence.

In short, strategic internal communication is the communication that is able to integrate every employee in the processes, objectives and goals of the company where they work, through a transparent and accessible flow of information. When these employees are aware of the direction of the company which they dedicate their time and effort to and when they believe in its missions, values and visions, this engagement becomes more natural and organic.

The big challenge of today is understanding how to do this integration. If stability and financial rewards were the central elements to motivate previous generations, today we can note that this has already changed – a lot. The virtues of a good job, able to fulfill the expectations of more hyperactive generations, now includes new aspects such as making it clear that every employee is able to generate value to the business.

This creates a very clear answer: to add value to the work of each employee inside a company, it is necessary to integrate it – and to integrate it, it is necessary to unite departments and areas in favour of larger objectives. This is the importance of good internal communication; that it recognizes the efforts of each sector of the company as part of a living organism which acts together and not separated from the context.

Not always is this process of alignment between the areas easy, for everybody to work towards a common goal and to find personal satisfaction which will generate engagement. What is certain is that this reconstruction is necessary for the companies that aim to prosper in a market that is becoming more dynamic and more competitive by the day.

Enter in contact with us to know how we can help your business. Race Communications has expertise in the management of processes like these, training teams and implementing change in favour of the internal communication in small, medium and large companies.

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What is a press conference?

By Núbia Neves

It is common in fiction to watch films that have a scene where journalists gather in a room and ask questions after questions for interviewees who are going through a crisis. Besides fiction, another occasion at which we commonly come across in press conferences, is in football: players and coaches sit in front of a pretty high number of journalists, and are “attacked” with questions about a game or about any specific information. Theoretically, both examples represent well what a press conference is.

The purpose of this meeting is to bring together the main target journalists and inform assertively and strategically what the company wants to announce. During the fusion of companies, announcement of a new president, a crisis, a new direction of the company, etc., to promote a press conference can be a great way to optimize the time of which many interviews would take, in addition to disseminate information for more than one publication.

Normally, this action is elaborated for major announcements, because of the limited time that journalists have, moving them from newsrooms is a hard work, and which often is not successful when the meeting is not a relevant reason enough to happen. This is why it is essential that the media relations office, along with the communication area of the company, and its directors, meet with each other and discuss the best strategy to inform about each subject.

Sometimes the overvaluation of news can make the action a failure. For this reason, it is essential that the areas act with alignment and strategy, for an assertive decision that may be, or not, the press conference.

Do you need to get ready for a press conference? Click here to see more information about this and other services offered by Race Communication.

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What type of information can make news?

Not everything that happens inside a company is news. Not everything we think is relevant, is interesting for the public, or even interesting for the media. The analysis to understand why certain subject is newsworthy and others are not, requires previous knowledge about the routines of newsrooms.

In his book “Assessoria de Imprensa e Relacionamento com a Mídia”, Jorge Duarte says:

“The problem is that not always what comes out in the press is the most important from the point of view of the public’s interest. Often, what is interesting, even if unimportant, deserves more space than what is important, considered uninteresting “(DUARTE, Jorge, Assessoria de Imprensa e Relacionamento com a Mídia, 2nd edition, p. 107)

The prospect of the information of a company is closely linked to its strategic communication planning. And this, on the other hand, needs to be aware of the social and economic context in which the company operates. We must also be conscious and prepared for the consequences that certain information may have. Therefore, caution is needed when releasing growth data (sales, production, expansion, etc.), and attention to the socioeconomic context in which this news will be published.

This way, in another Duarte’s reference, we must always reflect on the “importance” and “interest” in the dissemination of news in the press.

“To comprehend the difference between interest and importance is the first step in order to understand the functioning of a newsroom” (DUARTE, Jorge, Assessoria de Imprensa e Relacionamento com a Mídia, 2nd edition, p. 107)

We also need to be prepared for the negative. One way to avoid that a particular subject gets lost, is to insert it into a “cold” context, in other words, to create a content with a prolonged “shelf life”. Therefore, it is possible to have a longer period of time for contacting the newsroom that may be interested in the material in question.

“We often hear from a journalist the following phrase: ‘it is an important subject, but there is no space in the newspaper for that’. In other words, it does not matter if the fact is only important, because it is essential that the subject is newsworthy, from the point of view of the interest of the newspaper” (DUARTE, Jorge, Assessoria de Imprensa e Relacionamento com a Mídia, 2nd edition, p. 114)

Another very important aspect when you send a piece of information is the assessment about the editorial line of the focused publications:

“Each newsroom from each publication keeps its own characteristics, which make it almost impossible a reality approach work” (DUARTE, Jorge, Assessoria de Imprensa e Relacionamento com a Mídia, 2nd edition, p. 119).

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Learn the mistakes that should be avoided in internal communication

By Núbia Neves

The internal image of a company still may not be treated with the priority it deserves, however, communication between company and employees is as important as communication with any other stakeholder. If you asked “stakeholder?” Yes, you got it right. Employees are certainly one of the main targets that a company should have.

When employees are well informed, they understand that they are a key to the proper functioning of the company, and to be recognized as an important professional helps to improve the production of the employee.

What not to do in internal communication work:

Not to inform: the first to know what is happening within a company is, of course, the employee. If things go wrong, you must inform, explain, make them feel secure in their jobs. To clarify the information is much better than to let people imagining what is going on. If the news is good, the same rule applies, make the employee understand that they should know everything they can about the company that they are part of, this will create engaged employees willing to boost the business.

In theory but not in practice: every employee is a spokesperson of the company. Some research claim that a person can achieve, on average, five people. An employee who does not trust your company, will transmit that insecurity and will not be concerned with the information. It is crucial that the contact with the employee is sincere and transparent;

Not to listen to opinions: regularly encourage staff to speak and suggest. Obviously the company can not put into practice all requests, however, it is crucial to hear the opinion of those who understand the area in which they work. This is a way to improve all areas of the company;

Not to inform strategies: always tell the employee the strategy of the company. The synergy between expectations and practice is essential for the company to achieve faster and more assertively the success they crave;

Communication does not require strategy: the communication of the company should always think about the strategy to inform the employee. Often, the best way to communicate the factory, for example, is not the same way to communicate the management. Understanding how the areas work is the best way to produce a strategic communication.

These are only five tips of what must not happen in an internal communication work. Other mistakes are common within companies and, therefore, it is important always to pay attention to the employees, after all, they are the key to create a successful company. If you want to know more about internal communication, please visit: When do I need internal communication?

Do your company need internal communication? Click here and ask more about it. Race Comunicação can help you.

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Social networks can be great allies for companies that are coming to Brazil

By Alan Mariasch

We are one of the most passionate people about the online world. According to a recent study by Conecta about our virtual habits, the young Brazilians connected to the Internet have an average of seven accounts in social networks, and 96% of them are on Facebook, whose app is present in 88% of their mobile phones, and 61 % of their tablets. And all that in a universe of over 86 million people with internet access in the country, of which 52.5 million do so through the cell phone.

On the other hand, a survey by Centro de Estudos sobre Tecnologias da Informação e da Comunicação (Cetic.br), after analyzing the use of social networks by 6,400 Brazilian companies, found that only 36% of them had a presence in these media. This leads us to conclude that social networks still are an area partially explored by organizations, and with a great potential to reach different audiences, because it is there where Brazilians spend several hours of their day searching for entertainment and information. This tendency partly explains why television and other traditional media are slowly losing audience.

Therefore, if you are an executive of a company who wants to invest in the Brazilian market, my suggestion is to devote part of your budget for communication and marketing on social networks. Depending on the goals of your organization, it may be worth creating only a fan page with an unique content on Facebook, a channel of customer service through Twitter, or even a corporate page on LinkedIn. Or, who knows, to be present in all of them at once.

Anyway, there is no escape from social networks if you want to relate to the Brazilian public. But to enter that world, it is vital that your company is advised by professionals with expertise in new technology trends and production of content, and are able to measure the return on your investment. It is also fundamental that part of the budget is directed to the sponsorship of posts, which will assist in the dissemination and viralization of the content.

Are you planning to invest on the brazilian markek? Race Comunicação can help you! Click here to contact us.

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Media Training glossary

Assignment: guidance that reporters receive describing what kind of story will be made, with whom they should speak, where and how. It may also be the focus on any fact.

Audience: method for measurement of affected people.

Briefing: set of information on a given subject, project or service.

Closing: when the journalists are producing or reviewing their articles that will be in their respective media. It may also be the moment that professionals are diagramming a magazine and “closing” the material to send to the printer.

Crisis management: strategy used to minimize negative impacts on the media, through the dissemination of the enlightenment of the company in an agile and objective way, in order to eliminate any controversy.

Editorial space: statement of opinion of a publisher about you and your business. In addition, a term for the media coverage generated by the news team. Editorial is also a text, made by the publisher, which summarizes and comments on the issues of a publication (usually in magazines).

Exclusive: news, interview or feature article that only a newspaper, magazine, radio, television or website can publish/present. Typically, this kind of highlight is previously negotiated by the interviewee’s media relations agency.

Fact Sheet: quarterly, semiannual or annual material from a company with the objective of disseminating relevant information, such as: profile, history, business area and results of a company, etc.

Interview: conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee in which questions are asked by the journalist in order to obtain information needed by the interviewee.

Key messages: keyword or phrase that the press, the company itself or the communication department are intended to be held by the public.

Media relations: its main task is to deal with the relationship management between an individual, organization, company, or government and the press.

Media training: simulations with the spokesperson, so that they have effectiveness as a communication manager, even if they are leaders in another area. It concerns about how the media works and which information the journalists look for and who are these professionals.

Meet and Greet: also known by some professionals as goodwill, is a kind of meeting, usually quickly, between source, press officer and journalist to propose stories, discuss the source and present ideas or views on possible articles.

News: informative text relating to an event on a situation relevant to the public of each publication.

Off: information provided by a source to a reporter and that when previously agreed with the journalists, can not be published or used in any way.

Press conference: meeting with the main target journalists in order to inform assertively and strategically what the company wants to disclose.

Press kit (Press information): kit with specific information given to the media by a company. Typically, it contains base material, photographs, illustrations, press releases and, in some cases, gifts from the company.

Press release: or News Release, or only release, is the most common written form, used in public relations, to announce news and information about products, services, companies, etc.

Press statement: objective text that reports the official position of the company, person or entity on a given subject.

Q&A: document that has possible questions and likely answers related to a subject, project or service of the organization.

Reputation: public image in relation to a person, entity or company.

Source: spokesperson who is trained and prepared to talk about a subject related to the company.

Source suggestion: is a PR tool in which you offer your spokesperson for a certain mailing list of journalists.

Spokesperson: representative of an organization who is an expert source, willing to comment about a specific issue to the press.

Stakeholder: also known as public of interest, it is the part that affects, or may be affected by the actions of an organization.

Story suggestion: written message to introduce a source or an idea of a story to one or more reporters.

Talking points: succinct statements that address key points on a given topic.

If you want to know more abour PR, check out the media relations glossary that Race prepared for you.

 

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