Internal Communications 2.0

******Originally posted at GovDelivery’s Reach the Public blog– *********

There has been a lot of discussion about using new media to coordinate with citizens. Additionally, there continues to be more focus on improving collaboration inside agencies. However, one piece I often see missing is utilizing new media to improve internal communications.

Why is this important? While communicating with the public and collaborating with colleagues is important, supporting internal communications is crucial. You need internal communications to flow smoothly so your organization can provide clear communications externally, with a clear message and call to action. Here are 3 ideas to improve internal communications:

1) Texting during emergencies – If Delta can text me when my flight is delayed, why can’t OPM or my specific agency text message me when government offices have a late start or closed? It makes no sense to have a phone tree or rely on folks to get information from traditional media in today’s age.

2) Reminders & more reminders – Often HR is reminding employees to do something – fill out a form, donate to the charity bank, submit your expenses. Normally it’s just done through an email. But I think reminders can be sent through multiple channels. How about a text message 1 hour before a deadline is coming? How about an all employee voice mail with a reminder to take the flu shot? How about updated posts on agency groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and GovLoop?

3) Employee Newsletter 2.0 – Most large organizations have some internal newsletter. Usually there is a team that spends a lot of time designing it and then it is either printed and mailed or sent out in a PDF. The problem with the newsletter is that it’s flat, not interactive, and boring. Why not try upgrading your employee newsletter, to version 2.0? I’d love to see a newsletter with a mix of videos from leadership and other internal teams, audio podcasts with tips from folks, blog posts from staff, crowd-sourced photos, etc.

So if it was up to you, what does internal communications 2.0 look like?

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Chris Higginbotham

You’re definitely right that internal communication has to have a multi-faceted approach. It also needs to be high-priority; the internal workforce is always going to be one of your most important stakeholder groups.I’m not sure that execution is the problem as much as emphasis; I see it as a two-step flow. When internal communication is the emphasis, people will find the best tools to with which to execute, because the answer isn’t the same for every organization.


Chris – Agreed. Internal comm is one of those items that seems like a nice to have but is essential to keep your workforce engaged & mission critical in times of an emergency