How to Focus on Internal Communications with an External PR Lens

Published on 9th September 2020

This insight post is a summary of the original blog post authored by Jonathan Pocius, Vice President, and Geoff Phelps, Vice President of Coyne PR. View the post: Bringing Internal Communications into Focus with an External PR Lens.

“Internal Communications” has become a muddled term applied loosely in modern times. Anything discussed in staff meetings or distributed internally always has the potential of being shared with the public. Organizations are needing more than ever to adjust their internal communications strategies in order to develop content that is specific to each internal target while keeping in mind how it would be viewed from those outside of the organization as well. 

When a client hired partners at Coyne PR to leverage core internal communications, they decided to bring in their 40+ years of experience of external PR to shape the strategies that would guide their efforts. Here are some key takeaways:

Understanding your audience

Similar to every successful PR plan, effective internal communications is grounded in good research. Review your audiences’ habits. What are they reading? When are they reading it? What are they engaging with? Combine this with primary research and you can make the key adjustments necessary to increase viewership and engagement.

Balancing agendas

Maintaining the integrity of the editorial content while balancing the needs of the client and retail partners is critical. Decision-making should always include time to take a step back and consider all of the information available to tell the best possible story.  

Strategic storytelling

Always keep your headline in mind. Think about what you want your audience to do with the content you are giving them. Follow some of these same PR principles in internal communications storytelling:

  • Newsworthiness – Is this topic interesting? How can we leverage it to tell a better story?
  • Relevance – What impact does this have?
  • Timeliness – Is right now a good time for this topic? Is it okay to post a softer, light story now, even when much of the conversation still revolves around COVID-19?
  • Honesty – If it is a challenging topic, how do we maintain our integrity without sounding negative?
  • Appropriate voice and tone – Who should be delivering this message? How should it be said?
  • Third-party spokespeople – Who can lend additional credibility to our story?

Take a step back and look at the tools and resources you have and leverage them in other areas you’re managing. Read the original blog post for the full insight and more key takeaways about using external PR tools to strengthen internal communications efforts. You can also find other insights from Worldcom Partners on Management and Leadership.

Coyne PR was founded in 1991 and has grown steadily with a reputation for big creative thinking, hard work and a deep dedication to client service. With offices in New York and New Jersey, Coyne PR takes an integrated approach to effectively convey messages across earned, shared, paid and owned media for clients.

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