PR strategists can become so focused on the media that they overlook, or don't sufficiently appreciate, the importance of communicating continually and candidly with an organization's employees. When there are external issues, they need to be explained internally, too, because employees circulate among friends and neighbors. Even in a social media age, a desktop-published paper employee newsletter is worth maintaining in larger-sized businesses.
Writing for the Huffington Post's United Kingdom edition, Philip Keightley of Punch Communications gives trans-Atlantic emphasis to the importance of effective employee communications. If it's encouraged, he notes, communication's feedback aspect can enable well-informed employees to offer helpful ideas. And don't simply rely on electronic communications or even a newsletter. Face-to-face meetings are important for gaining understanding and support. Though Keightley doesn't mention the concept expressly, a diagonal communications team cutting across an organization from the president to secretaries can be especially helpful in getting the word out and reinforcing an organization's values.
In short, don't shun employee communications. Doing so costs organizational energy and values, along with effective representation in the community.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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