I have a business partner who is one of the best internal communications public relations practitioners in the city of Indianapolis. Over the years we’ve worked on many, many client projects together. Since my practice focuses on external communications, I just like being around her. I’ve been able to soak up some great tips and techniques in communications for employees.
Honestly, to most mid-sized business owners (my pr firm’s focus), some of the ideas she presents sound soft. Most CEOs and owners want dramatic results. They’re looking for the silver bullet. Here’s the bottom line: if your employees don’t know your vision, your marketing outreach—why are they going to help you get those dramatic results? How can they get onboard and talk up the company if they don’t have any idea what’s happening. Drop those preconceived notions and start talking to the staff. You’ll get results.
Here’s the latest true tale….
For the past two years Hostetler Public Relations has worked with a local business owner who’s been in the marketplace for 30 plus years. He made his business in the 80s and 90s with traditional print , radio and television advertising. It’s been his go-to request in our planning.
Our team know that communications tools have shifted and changed. This client’s industry still needs traditional advertising, but smart companies and their pr agencies are using web tools. We’ve recommended many times that his employees (he’s got about 40 of them who work with customers) need to hear and know what marketing tools we’re using so they can act as a walking-talking mouth piece. Everyone agreed it needed to happened, but fell a bit lower in priority due to rebranding and other initiatives. (Shame on us for not pushing more.)
Last week, we held an all staff meeting. My client gave me the floor. I outlined their marketing/communications program in a fun, easy to understand, interactive presentation. I asked for ideas (got some great ones) and talked about our online outreach: social media, website development, social media, email newsletters, and further developing marketing measurement tools.
Here’s what happened next…
Since that meeting, just days ago:
- The company’s floundering social media pages have hit pay dirt with about 100 more followers/likes—in just days!
- Social media reach has increased dramatically as a result.
- Website traffic is increasing.
- Company reps are talking up key initiatives with customers (now they know them!).
Bottom line… these employees are involved and driving company communications and subsequent revenue.
What did it cost to move that needle? A company meeting to drive employee engagement. Going forward—the company will keep updating team members with a centralized bulletin board and discussion at staff meetings.
As my client says: “It’s all good stuff!”