5 Ways To Find The Resources For An Internal Brand Communications Program
Last week I attended the Marcus Evans Internal Communications and Situational Messaging conference in Orlando, Florida. We heard from outstanding speakers about how their companies were educating motivating and inspiring their people. We heard compelling presentations from IBM, Southwest Airlines, UPS, Coca-Cola and Kohl’s just to mention a few.
The major themes centered on how to use social media effectively, cultural transformation, enlisting leadership, and aligning people with the company’s strategy, vision and values.
During the course of the conversations and interactive sessions, there was one question that seemed to go unanswered. That question was, “how do you find the resources and budget to effectively implement an internal brand/change communications program?” Even the large corporations were puzzled. It seems there is never enough time, money or resources to get the job done. Most admitted that when it came to external marketing/branding programs, money was always available and ad agencies were engaged. But rarely was the same attention given to internal branding and communications. This question was asked many times and went unanswered.
The answer to this question is really quite simple.
- Like any business process, internal communications and branding must be measured and tracked with the key performance indicator. This takes the subjectivity out of it and makes it something that can be managed. Consider coming up with a KPI that represents a combination of factors such as customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, new client acquisitions and monetary performance overall.
- Create a cross-functional team of senior leaders who will become advocates and stewards of internal communications and branding initiatives. This will give them a say in the company direction and some degree of ownership
- Establish a metric of impact and performance in regard to productivity improvement, financial performance/cost savings, and employee clarity of purpose. The more your employees understand how their job impacts the corporate performance and strategy, the more likely they will be to embrace change and the internal brand
- Provide monthly updates to the senior leadership team so that they know it is having an impact within the organization
- Be rigorous, process driven and strategic using proven processes and procedures that demonstrate employee transitions from simply being informed to being truly engaged over time
If you want your internal brand/communications program to get the credit and attention it deserves it must be managed in the same way that all the other business processes such as HR, marketing, finance are managed. All too often internal branding and communications departments are an afterthought, something that is “nice to have” rather than urgent and a “must-have”. Research shows that companies with engaged workforces perform better, are highly efficient, and generate significant incremental revenue. Create a clear strong business case for employee/internal brand communications and the money, resources and respect will come your way.