I often find myself saying that public relations is company-wide, and this has never been truer than in 2020. Public relations and communications strategies align with overall company objectives, which often translate as growth. In March 2020, many company objectives changed and so too did communications strategies. One area that was firmly on the agenda worldwide was internal communications.
The fundamental purpose of public relations is to build relationships between an organization and its publics or stakeholders – members of government, business groups, local communities, customers and more. One group of stakeholders in particular whose relationship with organizations has been tested by Covid-19 is employees. Between remote and hybrid working, furloughs, redundancies and recruitment, the 2020 workplace has been full of change and uncertainty.
Amidst this change, business leaders are relying on internal communications to operate an adaptable workforce whose employee experience leads to a positive outlook and increased productivity, and is reflected in its communications externally. The relationship a business has with other stakeholders is almost always dependent on its relationship with its employees. With the right internal communications, team members are a company’s most valuable brand ambassadors.
Internal communication has always been important, now it simply can’t be overlooked. Yet, it is more complex these days. Business leaders not only need to communicate with their teams more often, but what they say and how they say it is different. And, it is likely that serious subject matters have to be communicated virtually, adding another layer of complexity.
Business leaders have spent much of 2020 with a renewed focus on internal communications to preserve their relationship with their employees. In 2021, communications will be further ingrained into organizations. Nurturing relationships with employees and all other stakeholders will remain a priority.
At one point or another most of us have been employees and many more lead businesses. Two sides of the same coin, with different business perspectives. It’s impossible for executives to have all the answers, but it is possible to integrate teams. Communication plays a central role in achieving this organizational unity.
I hope our Winter 2020 issue of Strategic resonates with you and that you enjoy reading it.
Until Spring 2021, take care.
FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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