Companies often spend so much time focusing on getting the attention of the media, they often ignore the value of sharing the news with their most important stakeholders: employees. As brand ambassadors of a company, employees represent a huge opportunity to spread the word about new products, services and other company news.
Employees shouldn’t have to find out about company information from an external source or by watching and reading the news. They should hear the news first from the company. This builds trust and sends employees a message that the company sees them as a valued stakeholder who should be armed with important information.
The carefully crafted news release and media pitch should have an “equal and opposite” pitch for employees. Big budgets are often allocated toward PR campaigns that don’t always guarantee results while few resources are allocated toward employee communications that have a proven direct and positive influence on the bottom line.
The external communications folks working on the PR campaigns, press releases and pitches should partner with the employee communications folks. Here’s how:
- Integrate. PR plans should have an employee communications component. How do they fit together?
- Educate. What do employees need to know about the news topic? How does it fit into the big picture? How does it relate to employees? If they interact with customers, what key messages should they have in their hip pockets?
- Collaborate. Ask employees for newsworthy or creative ideas related to the PR campaign.
- Elaborate. Make news and PR efforts a regular part of department meetings and conversations. These are great opportunities to arm leaders with information to share with employees as well as for show and tell. Send links to TV news stories to leaders to show at their team meetings. Share articles on the intranet or in the employee newsletter. This is also a great way to spark conversations and perhaps even more newsworthy ideas.