Internal Communications Tips & Resources

Reaching out to employeesEmployee communication is changing rapidly as new social media tools evolve and impact the workplace. Employees and other internal audiences are key ambassadors and reaching them today is both challenging and rewarding when done right.

Navigate the world of workplace communication and employee engagement including internal communications planning, best practices, tips and resources.

Other PR resources include: Newsletter Writing Tips, Community Relations, Corporate Communications, Public Consultation and The PR Coach Blog: This Just In… Sites with a  W are PR Coach “winners.” Note, some docs are PDFs, so patience may be needed while they open.

PRoactive: The Public Relations Job Hunter’s Guide
Seriously looking for a PR or internal communications job? Get PRoactive – the new book loaded with valuable strategies & practical tips on search tools, social networking, public relations resumes & portfolios, best PR jobs websites, much more.

4 corporate communication tips that lead to online success
If you want to build a strong online community, you need a strong internal one first. Here’s how your corporate culture can lead to social media success.

5 Best Practices to Grow Your Company’s Twitter Audience
Five tips to help you connect with your customers using employees on Twitter.

5 big-business social media ‘fails’
Wrong tone and an addiction to misleading metrics are just two ways major corporations mishandle these very human, highly interactive channels.

10 Social Media Tips to Improve Internal Communication within Your Company
Steve Nicholls offers 10 social media tips to improve internal communication.

5 Tactics for Communicating Change to Employees
Five tips on how to effectively manage major transitions with employees.

6 Tips for Building a Brand Culture and Improving Internal Communications
Here are six simple ways to make sure your staff is all on the same page.

10 tips for communicating change
Inc. offers 10 ways to say it right to communicate change effectively.

12 Ways to Communicate With Factory Workers
Here are a dozen great ways to communicate with workers from Ragan.com.

15 layoff communications tips: Before, during, and after
Rick Amme shares tips to help you meet the challenge of a layoff. 

15 Tips for Effective Communications Planning
The importance of communications planning and 15 tips for better planning from Kris Putnam-Walkerly.

20 essentials for every employee communicator
Just the basics for effective internal communications.

AOL Layoffs Yield Communication Lessons
Kevin Allen highlights layoff lessons and tips in an excellent article.   W

Able and How
David Ferrabee blogs on organizational change and people.

Download HubSpot’s free ebook The Ultimate How-To Marketing Guide to drive more traffic to your website 

Alcatel-Lucent is social on the inside
Employee comms case study worth reading.

An 8-Step Process for Creating Effective Internal Communication Plans
Developing a marketing plan really requires the same steps as developing a corporate communication plan, or a crisis management plan. Each plan will share certain common elements.  W

An Internal Communications Strategy Makes a Difference
11 ways effective communication can make a difference Within an organization.

Are Your Leaders Communicating Effectively? Are They Telling the Truth? [Video 6:17]
David Grossman explains why leaders are having trouble communicating to employees, what they should communicate and how to show them change is necessary.   W

AT&T Ahead of the Curve on Internal Communications [Video 4:44]
Video IconAT&T’s Blair Klein discusses how the company pushes the boundaries on internal communications.   W

Basics in Internal Organizational Communications
Here’s a set of practical suggestions to help establish or improve internal communications.   W

Best Practices for Managing Layoffs 
Useful guide from UCI.

Best Practices in Employee Education and Communications
Here’s a 10-point best practices list from Principal Financial Group to guide you in educating employees about their benefits.

Best Way to Make Employees Better at Their Jobs
Inspiring advice for ALL managers.

Brand Experience Agency ABT Looks at Internal Communications [Video 3:02]
An animated, tongue-in-cheek look at internal communications.

British Association of Communicators in Business
CiB is a member organization but does offers no-charge access to many Knowledge Bank articles and a  free newsletter.   W

Building Support for the Strategic Plan: Aligning Employees With Strategy
Employee support can make or break turning a vision into a reality. Robert Bradford suggests steps to help get employee alignment.

By the Water Cooler in Cyberspace, the Talk Turns Ugly
Message boards are popular for companies, common for schools, professional groups and other interest groups. NY Times looks at these free and often useful exchanges that tend to be intertwined with vicious gossip and hateful comments.  A new challenge for communicators.

CEO Communications Within Your Organization
Rob Friedman discusses the role of his CEO in internal communications at Eli Lilly on Ragan TV.

Change Management in Changing Times: Q&A with Employee Communications Pros
Elizabeth Castro interviews top employee communicators.  W

Change Your Employees’ Minds, Change Your Business
Learn how ‘laddering’ can help get employees motivated from Harvard Business Review.

Communicating in an Economic Crisis
What should you be saying to employees in tough times? Find out more from CiB.

Communication at ICG: The Internal Communication Audit as an Integrated Measuring Instrument
Employees must be treated as internal customers and their needs must first be satisfied before the needs of external customers can be addressed. This new audit approach helps assess IIC effectiveness.

Communication World (CW)
IABC’s excellent monthly magazine requires a subscription but is of high quality and always topical on internal and external communications.   W

Communications AMMO!
Sean Williams writes about effective communications, public relations, reputation management, internal communications and more.

Corporate Governance
Website has many articles and valuable links to other websites on the issue of corporate governance.

Creating Effective Internal Communications
Here’s how to make the best use of today’s internal communications tools.

Creating Employee Buy-in for Social Media Marketing
Useful  insight into social engagement.

Creating Engaged Employees: Four Tips for Getting Surveys Completed
Employment engagement surveys are valuable. Here’s how to get them back.

Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch
Thinking about internal communications and the value of culture.

Culture Takes Over When the CEO Leaves the Room
Thoughtful post on leadership from the Harvard Business Review.

CW Bulletin
This is IABC’s monthly e-newsletter and archives which are generally available to non-subscribers as well. Excellent articles on internal and external communication. Thanks IABC and sponsors!   W

Delivering effective internal communications: Delivering ROI through employee engagement
Excellent white paper with industry benchmark analysis and best practices from Denise Cox. WW

Developing a Public Relations Program to Attract and Retain IT Staff
Your employee public relations program might make the difference between the ability to attract talent — or the need to scramble for it. Jeffrey Geibel offers advice.

Diary of an Internal Communicator
This is Rachel Miller’s very useful internal comms blog. 

Emotion key to internal social media success
Only about 30% of executives surveyed in a recent MIT study could identify real benefits of having an internal social media platform.

Employee Awards Programs: The Key to Implementing Your Corporate Business
Three best practices to help you inspire employees.

Employee Communications Check-Up
Irish study looks at key employee communications benchmarks with some interesting findings worth studying.

Employee Communications Important Part of Public Relations
You’ll never completely prevent employees from being unhappy when their work situation changes, but take steps to help them give you the benefit of the doubt. Listening to and addressing their concerns is essential.

Employee Engagement: 13 Important Questions for Management
In addition to listening, 13 questions are critical for management to consider.

Employee Engagement – As Simple As ABC
Ken Milloy shares 26 tips for effective employee engagement.

Employee Engagement: Best Practices for Employee Reward Programs
Seven best practices worth noting.

Employee Engagement in Just Six Words
Engaging, creative ebook with 150 6-word “stories” of employee engagement.

Employee Expression on Social Media – Red Herring or Real Problem?
Good insight into using social media for internal communications.

Employee Engagement: Over 200 Powerful Sentences of Advice
200 sentences of advice for employee engagement managers in an ebook worth reading, contributed by  Employment Engagement Network members. W

Employee Engagement: Powerful Sentences of Advice for MANAGERS
An ebook with inspiration for internal communication managers from members of the Employee Engagement Network. W

Employee/Organizational Communications
Institute for Public Relations article looks at benefits of internal communication, roles of communicators, four issues in current practice and 15 principles for effective communication.  

Employee Recognition Gone Wrong
United we fail? Airline fumbles employee recognition.

Encourage Self-appointed Ambassadors to Tell Your Story
Employees, vendors, clients, business colleagues, or individuals that you have mentored – here’s how to harness and benefit from their goodwill.

Employee Social Media, Three Hurdles to Overcome
A look at policy, training and executive buy-in.  W

Engaging employees: Using internal communications to drive success
Key to creating successful communication programs at GE Capital are five key elements.

Engaging Questions: The Question is the Answer
95 Employee Engagement Network members each shared an employee engagement question and the resul;lts make interesting reading.  W

Engaging Unengaged Employees – An Exploration
Presentation looks at engagement challenges and how mentors can help.

Enhancing Internal Communications With Blogs, Wikis and More
Have a look at how Google and other organizations are using some new tools to enhance internal communications.

Ensuring Your Corporate Employee Newsletter is Relevant by Turning Business Concepts into Tangible Stories of Success
Smart newsletter strategies.

Eras of Internal Communication – what does the future look like?
Melcrum conference highlights including challenges businesses face and how internal communications can help cut through the complexities, drive positive change and operate in the right way in this new modern world. W

Five Questions for Jeffrey Saltzman: Motivating Workers in Uncertain Times
NY Times article talks with Sirota Consulting’s CEO Saltzman about the motivational strategies and leadership for today’s employees.

Future-Proof CEOs
Challenge of building reputation by leading employees.

Good Employee Communication is Critical
Begin with a plan. Whether a small entrepreneurial firm or a large Fortune 500 company, employees should — and need — to know the corporate facts of life, the good and the bad. From The Phoenix Business Journal.

Harnessing the power of images
Communicating the complex to internal audiences..

Help, My CEO Just Resigned!
Internal communications insight and advice.

Home Depot Remodels Internal Communications
A good case study in refocusing communications for better potential return.

How About It? Engaging Your Employees
Study shows employee engagement takes on a higher priority for leaders.

How can a university best use social media for internal communications?
Tracy Playle explains why social media strategies need a clear objective to drive their purpose.

How CIOs Can Boost the Not So Social Network
Gamification, where companies use game mechanics to help employees change their behaviors or learn new skills is one way to encourage the adoption of social software for the enterprise.

How Dow Chemical Turned Internal Experts into Brand Advocates
Social media advocacy pays communication dividends.

How McGraw-Hill does amazing things with its social intranet 
Andy Sernovitz answers.

How Michael Arrington Explained Selling TechCrunch 
Interesting employee communications angle.

How Strategic Internal Communications Can Positively Affect Your Business
Even though we have every social media  available, the tried and true “water cooler” still seems to be the hottest spot for employees to share what they “know” and learn what they “don’t.”

How the Talking Stick Rule Applies to Internal Communications
Seek first to understand, Then to be understood. Do you recognize it? Elizabeth Lupfer calls it the Talking Stick rule.

How to Fail When Using Internal Social Media
Three ways companies fail when trying to implement social learning initiatives.

How to Handle Change Communication Effectively
Angela Sinickas shares valuable tips on timing, content and channels of communicating change.

How to use Facebook groups for internal communication
Worth exploring.

How Volkswagen Spreads Good News Internally [Video 3:46]
On MyRaganTV, Tom Keefe tells how a little PDF gave VW employees a sense of job securit.   W

How Yammer is killing enterprise social networking
Why social business tools are not living up to their hype or potential.

I Tell You You Tell Him He Tells Me
We must understand the nature of all firm information, value of each kind of information to each segment of the firm, and the structure to categorize it. Wha? Huh? Incomprehensible.

IABC Research Foundation Resources
Valuable research studies, reports, books and study materials are available.

IDeA Internal Communications
An excellent set of local government internal communications best practices and resources.

Identifying the Real Value of Communication
An interview with Bill Quirke examines the “toxic” communications companies are using, how the impact on employees is decidedly negative and how to change it.

Inside Internal Crisis Communications
SnapComms looks at the critical role employees play in a crisis.

Inside Molson Beer’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program
The foundation for Molson’s successful CSR program is good employee communication.

Intel Launches Employee-Curated Digital Magazine
innovative communications strategy created by Intel.

Internal comms depts do make a bIg dIfference
Good employee communication doesn’t happen by itself, says Angela Sinickas. Survey results over the last 10 years prove it.

Internal Comms Hub
Membership is expensive but this is the premier internal comms site on the net.

Internal communication glossary
Rachel Miller shares a useful glossary of communication terms.

Internal comms is not a ‘nice to have’, but an essential tool of modern business
The range of available options means that internal communications are faster and easier to distribute. This can be a double-edged sword.

Internal Communication Strategies – The Neglected Strategic Element
Robert Bacal looks at the importance of strategic planning for internal communications.

Internal Communication Toolkit
This exceptional internal communication resource was developed by Civicus. It includes tips on strategy, research, tactics and tools as well as templates such as a sample internal communication plan.    W  W

Internal Communications Case Studies – World Television
This production company has several corporate case studies promoting video for internal communications impact.

Internal Communications During Mergers & Acquisitions: A Checklist
The Eastbury Partnership has an M&A checklist with planning and implementation tips worth reading.

Internal Communications for Effective Strategic Implementation
Dana Baldwin suggests five principles that should guide your internal communications strategy.

Internal Communications: It’s Not Rocket Science!
This manager’s guide to employee communications is a detailed guide to internal communication strategies and tools. It reviews tools in detail, providing pros and cons on face-to-face, voice, print and electronic communications.   W W

Internal Communications Plan Template on the PSPDA
This internal comm plan template for the Treasury Board of Canada is excellent and well worth studying as a model.   W

Internal Communications Statistics Presentation [Video 3:32]
Powerful stats on employee communications support its critical role in successful organizations.


Internal Communications: Ten Things You Should Do
Here are ten things you can do to improve internal communication.

Internal communications: the rise and fall of internal social networks
Despite this growth and attention on internal social networks, Gartner warns that 80% of these networks will not achieve the intended benefits.

International Association of Business Communications
IABC is the internal communicators best professional organization and resources. Most material is for members.   W

IPR’s OrgComm Research Ctr (OCRC), for game-changing employee comm research, best practices, resources
Great new resource for emloyee, internal communication pros. W

Is Breeding Contentment Worth the Investment?
If you want higher workplace morale, give employees more say over their jobs. But don’t expect happier workers will necessarily be more productive according to recent National Bureau of Economic Research study.

Is Internal Comms Dead?
Provocative premise and a good read. What do you think?

Is Your Company Talking to You?
Heyman Associates survey uncovers some interesting internal communication trends.

itSMF Internal Communication Strategy
Excellent blueprint for an internal communication strategy via the IT Service Management Forum. W

Jaunty Angle
A blog mostly about internal communications and sometimes other stuff.

Julia Hood of PR Week Elevates Internal Communications’ Importance
Shel Holtz blogs about the importance of internal communications, especially during tough times.

Ken’s ken
Ken Malloy blogs on internal communications.

Listen Up: Why Employees Are Your Key
Useful employee communications tips.

Measuring Internal Communication in Professional Service Firms
Learn the practical ways to measure and improve internal communications in a professional service firm.

Melcrum Digital Communication Summit: 75 key takeaways and soundbites
Brand building beyond the firewall; repositioning Internal Communication at the heart of commerce, culture and careers; building a purposeful social and business network; and fuelling growth strategy by educating employees to embrace the new age of digital – just some of the topics and case studies shared at the 2nd Melcrum Digital Communication Summit. W

MWW Study Reveals Lax Attitudes Concerning Corporate Culture
Is your  organization at risk of employee discontent and division?

New TIME CEO doesn’t want to “shut the door and whisper”
Refreshing leadership POV.

Newsletter Can Help Employees Cope with a Corporate Downsizing, Merger…
To help ensure that employee communications is successful, here’s a check list: devote a special section. encourage and show honesty; make sure they get the news first; use “Ask the CEO” feature; give answers.

Nokia’s internal communication driven by social media
Nokia uses a number of different vehicles for two-way and push/pull communications; social media plays a big part with fitting into that strategy.

Overemphasizing External: Companies Still Neglect Employees
Employee communications is lacking in many companies.

Personal Branding Within the Corporate Workplace
Six benefits for companies from employee personal branding.

Primers for Engaging Conversations
Questions anyone? What a great place to explore employee engagement with this little e-book of primers and questions from members of the Employee Engagement Network. Brilliant and engaging!  W

Prosci’s Communication Checklist
An excellent checklist to guide communication and useful as an audit or benchmarking tool.   W

Q&A with Employee Communications Pros
Tips on change management in changing times.

Ranking social influence in the workplace: a cause for concern?
Comparing internal social network analytics and employee harness collective intelligence will be the difference success and failure.

Realizing RBC’s New Vision for Employee Communication
Here’s a look at how RBC transformed from employee communications to employee engagement.  W

Reporter who exposed Amazon’s conditions says listen to employees
Reporter’s tips are good advice for internal communications.

Rethinking Employee Communications: A Strategic Analysis
Learn Jim Lukaszewski’s six keys to better communications including: challenge assumptions, rethink the organizational mix, master the human dimension, recommend doable options and anticipate the consequences.

Rockstar Communications
Ian Harris offers tips, hacks, and how-tos for easy-going internal comms.

Seven Ways to be ‘Relevant’
How internal communicators can stay relevant.

Six Lessons Learned From a Major Merger
Six critical lessons that helped keep the communications chain strong during a merger of Thermo Fisher Scientific.   W

Sleepwalking Through the Workday: How to Use Internal Communications to Engage Workers
69% of workers are not engaged or actively disengaged on the job. Here’s how to get them back.

Social Media as Strategy
Excellent 4-minute video on using social media for internal communications.  W

SnapComms
Innovative series of tools for internal communications including screen savers, quizzes, surveys, staff-generated e-mags and blogs, desktop alerts and more.

Social Media Improves Internal Comms at Dell [Video 5:29]
Video IconVida Killian discusses Dell’s online internal suggestion forum called EmployeeStorm.   W

Sprint’s Intranet Engages All Employees from Entry Level to Executives [Video 4:07]
“Sprint Space” is more than just an intranet Jennifer Sniderman explains on MyRaganTV.   W

Study: Employees WANT Employers to Talk Politics
Say what? Harvard Biz post surprises.

Study proves internal social media engages employees
Social intranets can pay back big time.

Supervisors are Still not the Preferred Communicators!
Angela Sinickas challenges prevailing wisdom and finds that there are many other preferred channels for internal communications.

Sustaining Employee Engagement with Strategic Storytelling
Engaging ideas.

The 6 skills needed to be a successful Internal Communications Manager
Sean Malone shares essential skills for success.

The Best Way of Communicating Change in Company Strategy
Seven tips for communicating change to employees.

The best way to prevent a crisis? Employee feedback
Listening and involving employees in company issues could avoid a crisis.

The Different Needs of Different Audiences
Which channels are best for message types and various audiences? Find out here.

The Employee Engagement Network
David Zinger hosts this site with excellent employee engagement articles, tips and resources. W

The Good News About Bad News: Openness Works
Employees want forthrightness and here’s the ROI on open communications.

The Great Game of Business
Kim Larochelle writes at the basis of the Great Game is real, transparent, purposeful communication.

The Human Element: Employee Communication in Small to Medium-sized Business
This executive summary highlights the IABC Foundation study findings which offer some valuable best practices.

The Importance of Effective Internal Communications for a PR Campaign
A reminder to include internal audiences in any PR program.

The Key to Social Media Success Within Organizations
What determines whether an internal social media initiative brings business benefits? One essential — but often overlooked — factor is how employees feel about the organization.

The Keys of Employee Engagement
12 Authors and their employee engagement alphabets presented by David Zinger.

The Politics of Employee Communications
According to Jim Lukasziewski, these five mistakes usually cause internal communication efforts to fail.

The Real Productivity-Killer: Jerks
Crummy bosses bad for business.

The Role of Intranets and Other e-Channels in Employee Communication Preferences
While e-channels are growing in favorability, research shows employees still prefer a mix of electronic and other sources.

The Top Tens of Employee Engagement
A free e-book with hundreds of employee engagement ideas from the Employee Engagement Network. W

They’re Not Just Words – They Mean Business
Roger Maire provides helpful rules of good communications, better word choices, and what to do before you communicate.

Three Best Practices Employees Crave
Communicators take note of these vital principles.

Three golden rules of employee engagement
Clear internal communications can deliver a big payback to the company.

Using Google+ for Internal Company Communications
Interesting possibilities for employee communication.

Using Twitter for Internal PR
Employee communication Twitter tips.

Webcasts Buoy Internal Communications

Webcasts are a great way to keep employees engaged, connected and talking.

Why corporate ‘tone of voice’ guidelines fail
Either vague or self-contradictory—and sometimes both—such efforts to codify ‘brand personality’ rarely do much beyond perplexing the writers they’re supposed to help.

Why Internal Corporate Social Media Initiatives Fail to Generate ROI: a chat with Olivier Blanchard
Gartner study predicts that by 2016, 80% of enterprise social software efforts will fail.

Why Internal Social Networks Usually Fail
Only 13% work. Here’s why.

Writing for Internal Communications
These tips will show you how to get your message across in plain English.

Zynga Hopes You’re Too Distracted to Notice Layoffs
Bad employee relations, bad PR.  W

Photo credit: Mike Brown