In the land of brand culture – silver bullet, magic potion and one-size-fits-all does not live here. Internal communication strategies are as individual as the individuals. However, here are some best practices to consider. If these are missing from the big picture it may be a bumpy road.
Pre-step #1. Create the page first, then get everyone on it. Before you decide on your internal communications strategies, first, be clear on what you’re communicating. What is your brand’s DNA? What is your brand promise? Then you’re ready.
- Start from the top. Support, support, support. The C-suite can’t just be on board, they must be steering the ship. They should be actively supporting your brand efforts and driving employees to participate.
- Where is point A? Before you can get to point B it’s helpful to know your starting point. Consider an internal communications audit. Even if you feel you have a really good pulse on the internal culture, it never hurts to ask. Surveys are a great place to start. Keep them short, interesting, but serious. Consult experts if you don’t have experience in survey creation and analysis.
- Build a system of liquid-awareness. Every department of your company should be saturated with the same brand values and priorities. Whether things are changing or it’s more of the same goodness, keep the purpose of your brand front and center at all times, everywhere.
- Educate everyone. What makes us so special? What are we promising? How should we act? You may think everyone knows the answers. Don’t think they know – be sure. You don’t just want busy employees. You want motivated employees who take pride in the brand. If employees are clear on what is expected of them they will stay motivated and deliver the brand’s message intact.
- Connect the dots. Make this an enjoyable topic. Take time to educate all employees so they understand their role in the success of the brand. Consider incorporating brand-related goals and objectives into performance reviews and development systems. Don’t fall into the trap of assigning the “brand police” responsibility to one department or one person. This may foster complacency and can be seen as if brand delivery isn’t important enough for everyone’s focus. Collectively you are all one brand with a consistent message.
- Hand over the reins and keys. Keep in mind what you want is not to keep ownership of the brand culture you’ve created – it’s to share ownership with everyone, thereby sharing responsibility as well. Consider brand contests, or launch parties, and encourage continuous brand evaluations. Share positive brand stories or customer comments throughout the company.
- Results are the reward. Celebrate anything and everything that moves the brand forward, and don’t be afraid to connect strong brand results with money. Employees should understand that the more successful the brand the more profits for everyone.
Think of creating internal brand champions as a journey, not a destination. You will pass milestones of success, lots of forks in the road and even some detours. Just keep going!