Public relations - more than just external relations

By Brad Dodge on June 30th, 2010

Your most important audience is your employees...are you paying attention? Your company is jumping on the social media bandwagon. You are pushing messages out on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, online blogs and even having your CEO checking in on Foursquare. All of your PR and Marketing 2.0 efforts are covered, right? Wrong. In the new age of social media marketing efforts, companies can become inundated with these outlets and pushing messages out, forgetting about their greatest asset within, the employees. With just a few simple tweaks, your company can ensure that the information employees receive is from you and not their RSS feeds.

Create an online “water cooler”. This is a designated area on your website/intranet, within a private group or through email where employees can go to provide input and feedback. Post timely information or campaign ideas and allow employees to join the conversation before making announcements to the general public. This facilitates a sense of community and exclusivity for employees.

Develop learning collaboratives. The way we do business is constantly evolving. Your company might frequently launch new products or upgrades, your organization might have implemented a social media plan or your employees might want to learn more about an industry issue. Learning collaboratives are the perfect platform to provide this information. A bi-monthly or quarterly collaborative enforces that you, as an employer, care about the continued growth of employees and your organization.

Celebrate company success with employees. Everyone deserves a pat on the back. After landing a big account or making a big sale, it might be only the execs that celebrate. It is important to remember that everyone in the organization played a role (big or small) in the overall success and it is essential to celebrate with them as well. By sharing the good news over a catered lunch, a sweet treat in the break room or a celebratory glass of champagne, you are including your employees in the celebration and will make them feel like a valued part of the team. Employees can add credibility to your organization, make personal and professional connections to win your company business and help recruit other gold star employees. But to ask them to do so, you have to look at how much you are investing within. Are you participating as much with your internal publics as you are your external?