How can internal and external communications reinforce each other?

Hester Gras

The workplace of a communications professional is changing. The lines between internal and external communications are blurring because of today’s digital work environment. Traditionally the internal communications department has been responsible for company messages that employees receive and marketing was sending information to customers and target groups. By the advent of new tools and devices communication teams have less control over the company news and information that is shared. In order to succeed in today’s hyperconnected world many would argue that internal and external communications teams should use each other’s channels.

Together with Don Fontijn, Digital Marketer ABN AMRO Corporate Banking, we look at internal and external communication tools and how they can reinforce each other. As a Digital Marketer Don is responsible for the digital channels of ABN AMRO Corporate Banking.

External news increases employee engagement

At ABN AMRO Corporate Banking there are several tools which are used for internal communication such as an internal social network, e-mail and their own intranet-like tool. Content made for external channels is actively shared on these internal tools from colleague to colleague and from employee to customer.

Thought leadership is an important goal of Don’s team. He believes that by sharing external content internally, it eventually reaches their customers/target group. “You will not only reach the companies’ primary goal but also increase employee engagement when they are actively participating in the customer information process”.

Personalization is the key!

Don’s key learnings on content marketing are: set goals for every type of content you create. Don’t lose track of those goals during the process. Monitor your content properly, adjust your goals from time to time to keep focussed and make them part of the greater good

Being relevant and personal with content is one of Don’s goals. Since we are overloaded with information nowadays, communication pro’s need to make sure that content is personalized and relevant for the receiver. Only then your target group (whether it’s internal or external) will appreciate your content and will become your companies’ ambassador.

What do you think of these developments? Will a communications manager be wearing different types of hats such as internal and external communications?

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