Communication is defined as ‘sending and receiving information between two or more people.’ Although we might not give a lot of thought to this, it is something we all do every day, whether it’s with our family, our friends or our work colleagues. Whether this is verbally or in writing, all communication has the same outcome – keeping everyone informed. This is why communication plays a key part in the success of a business.
As a PR agency, we know just how true this is but as marketing continues to merge more and more with PR, should companies be focusing on internal or external communications?
Internal communication is defined as “the transfer of information between organisational members”. Achieving this is perhaps one of the most important objectives for a business – after all, if a business wasn’t to achieve this, staff might not be able to work to their full potential. This is why communication within a business is so crucial. It not only brings the team together but it allows them to discuss information, news and opinions that might be of valuable to someone else within that business. Furthermore, internal communication can give the team the chance to create new ideas and ways to improve the process of work, while allowing staff to have input in the decision-making can encourage loyalty. In a nutshell, getting internal communications right can creates a positive work environment which has the potential to help a company reach its fullest potential.
External communication, on the other hand, is the sharing of news about a company with the public. When communicating with clients or the public businesses need to be clear and to-the-point about what they are communicating to ensure their reputations are upheld. Today, due to the rapid growth in technology, a lot of external communication is done via the internet, such as press releases, emails and Skype. External communication is important because it allows a business to gather feedback on its work and build its profile. Communicating externally can also help attract new business and open up new opportunities.
Over the last few years, internal and external communications are merging more and more, with the former also beginning to form part of businesses’ PR and Marketing strategies, for example, company newsletters which are shared with staff and stakeholders. As a result, businesses now face a common dilemma of what to spend their budgets on – with both having the potential to bring huge benefit.
At Proactive PR we see this first-hand and while we place a huge emphasis on building relationships with the press and external communications, we recognise that our industry is continuing to evolve. The question of what type of communication is most important is not one with a clear-cut answer; instead the best approach is to implement a campaign that incorporates both. With a joined-up approach such as this, businesses can be confident that communication will continue to build a committed team and a successful business.