Good Internal Communications Leads to Great Campaigns

Whether you are working on a branding campaign, service line promotion or announcement of a new physician– internal communication is vital to any external communication effort.

Before beginning any campaign plan, first ask all stakeholders the following questions:

-How does this support the brand?
-What do we want to accomplish?
-Who are we talking to?
-Why are we communicating?
-Why does our audience care?
-What do we want the viewer to take away?

Based on our experience with clients in all industries, most marketing departments start planning and developing external communications before they have consensus from all stakeholders on these questions. Lack of consensus on these key questions will likely result in messaging that misses the mark, campaigns that undermine vs. support your brand or excessive revisions to campaign deliverables.

In addition, asking these questions early in the process will bring forward any misconceptions or incorrect interpretations of the organization’s mission, vision, values and brand as a whole. Often times, individual departments want to tout services or initiatives specific to their department without any background around the health system’s long-term goals, mission or other ongoing initiatives. If the department does develop a campaign based on their misconceptions, it will not be approved by leadership or if it is in market without approval, it will undermine the goal of building the brand.

It is easy to blame a ‘rogue department’ for produced materials that don’t meet long-term objectives and branding requirements. However, it may be that the blame lies with the leadership or marketing team for not making internal communication about the brand an organizational priority. The organization’s brand development and goals shouldn’t be a once a year conversation between the CEO and Vice President of Communications – it should be a constant driver of all organizational activities.

All employees who have the power to communicate externally should have access to branding information, messaging, goals and objectives. Tips and tools for internal communication and consistency include:

-Intranet
-Marketing team blog
-Email newsletter
-Private Facebook group
-Discussion forum
-Standardized approval process
-Annual communications calendar
-Yammer, Google or other internal chat
-Graphic standards and communications guide

The HOW to communicate is not as important as the HOW OFTEN. Any internal communication tool should be used consistently and frequently. Don’t wait until there is an ‘uh-oh’ or your agency has missed the mark on a campaign- start today to improve your internal communications.

Categorized in: