Why internal communication equals external communication

Published Sept. 27, 2022, 7:20 a.m. by Hanna Zakai

Does your company still have two different communication departments for external and internal communication? Well, it’s time to think again. If you work in silos, you risk missing out on many golden communication opportunities. Spoons senior strategist Hanna Zakai explains how to merge your strategies:

So, you’ve got one department responsible for internal communication and one that works with your external communication? This means separate planning meetings. Separate productions. And different content calendars.

This is the set-up in many companies and organizations. Still, with this kind of structure, the overall communication work often takes place in two different silos. So, for example, one team assesses the right content for an external target group in one meeting room. At the same time, a different team goes through what could be relevant content for the company’s employees in another meeting room.

External communication should be shared internally - and vice versa

However, something often forgotten is that most external communication is exciting and relevant for your employees – and vice versa. Working in silos is inefficient, a waste of resources, and a missed opportunity to spread your messages.

It’s a rule of thumb that your external communication can – and should –be shared internally. And much more of what is generally thought of as internal communication can be published externally. Maybe not always with the same story angle and in the same channels, but still.

A good starting point is, without prejudice, to identify the potential target groups already when planning the communication. The answer is almost always that the content would interest both external and internal target groups.

Internal communication makes for great employer branding

A good example is various stories featuring your employees, often created only for an internal target group. So, many companies publish articles and videos showcasing employees on a single channel: their intranet. But think about it; as a job-seeking potential employee, wouldn’t you like to hear the company’s employees talk about what it’s like to work there? It’s excellent employer branding, and you should always publish it in external channels.

Some companies have open Instagram accounts that may be primarily followed by employees but are a golden opportunity to showcase job satisfaction, community, and diversity. This type of communication strengthens your brand and gives the talents who might be interested in the company behind-the-scenes insights.

Turn your employees into ambassadors

Turning the tables, all the good external communication you create is great to share directly with an internal target group. Most employees don’t have time to check out everything their company distributes on external channels. But they would surely be proud to see the new company film or launch campaign. An excellent way to ensure that employees also get to share your external communication is to send out an internal newsletter with “highlights” from all the company’s channels.

Suppose employees know what the company distributes on their social channels. Then the chances increase that they will share that content on their private channels. And who are better ambassadors for your company than your employees?

So, the next time you plan content for your external audiences, invite your internal communication colleagues. This way, you ensure that your content gets maximum effect on all channels.

Hanna Zakai, Business Director, Spoon

Read more about how we work with internal communication here >