• Beth Wagner

Internal audience is critical to good communications strategies

Forbes is synonymous with business, and yesterday's posting from the Forbes Communications Council offers a good outline for building a strong communications strategy.

Alluded to but not specifically expressed in points 2 (Have Planned Timeframes) and 5 (Build Internal Process) is the internal audience. I'm not talking about the worker bees responsible for executing the strategy - I'm referring to the rest of the organization's employees: the receptionists, the administrative assistants, the first-line managers.

Nothing can derail a new communications effort, product launch, etc. than having a staff who is blindsided by the initiative. One of my favorite PR/communications tenets is, "If the building is on fire, tell the people inside first."

Flip that to the positive: If you want your employees to feel ownership of an initiative, tell them it's coming BEFORE they read it on Google News, Reddit or Facebook, or (gasp!) before they read about it in a paper-and-ink newspaper. That way, when someone comes up to them in the grocery store and says, "Hey, you work for ABC, don't you? I heard they were..." they can proudly say, "Yep! We heard about it a while back and it's going to be great!"

Your internal grapevine is powerful, and your staff can be your best cheerleaders. Give them something to cheer about!

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