ETIP #143

Internal Communications is Never Internal

Internal Communications is Never Internal
In companies large and small, internal communications can take a variety of forms, such as newsletters, email broadcasts, and postings to the company Intranet. Although the authors of these announcements are writing for internal consumption – and internal consumption only – the annals of business blunders are filled with the consequences of these communications breaking free of company property. In today’s digitally connected world, it is critical to remember that once a message is disseminated, it is impossible to control where it goes. Disgruntled employees can forward to local media a well-intentioned email from HR about company protocol. Internal musings about product updates can quickly find their way to Wall Street analysts. In short, all internal communications should be treated and reviewed as if they were meant for external audiences. Your company’s narrative needs to be consistent across all forms of communication, or you risk an unintended and unnecessary public relations spectacle. If you have questions about how a message crafted for internal distribution might be understood by the outside world, you should seek the counsel of public relations experts. Never underestimate how your messages can be misinterpreted by the press or targeted for ridicule in social media.