Ultimate Internal Communications Template, Strategy & Plan

Ultimate Internal Communications Template, Strategy & Plan
Industry
Internal Comms
08.12.2021
Read time: 12 min

You’ve heard it before: from personal to professional relationships, communication is key. When it comes to internal communications within an organisation, there may be a lot of challenges in terms of strategy and costs to overcome in order to execute successful communications.  By using an internal communications template, you can make it easy to share internal communications and share key messages on the fly without having to waste any valuable time. 

Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the importance of a communication plan and how tools can aid in making it easier for you to send, receive, and monitor the success of internal communications. 

What is an Internal Communications Strategic Plan?

An internal communications strategic plan sets how a business communicates to its employees so that employees are aware of what is required to achieve business goals. The plan also covers how different departments and teams should communicate with one another to remain aligned to best serve organisational goals. 

The internal communications strategy lays a foundational blueprint that helps to achieve internal communications success. With a solid internal communications strategy, organisations can boost employee engagement, which is a key driver of employee retention and aids in maximising productivity levels. 

Thus, internal communications plans do have an effect on the company’s bottom line, and as such, they should be treated as a priority. 

Marketing team meeting at a startup co-working space strategizing the next campaign.

Picture source Unsplash

Why is it Important to have an Internal Communications Plan?

It’s important to keep your employees abreast of company news, updates, and changes so that they feel involved. An internal communications plan can improve employee engagement. 

When employees feel engaged with their work and understand their greater purpose, they are more likely to operate at maximum capacity, while also improving their sense of job satisfaction. In turn, your team is invested in the overall vision of the company and can help to better serve your customers. 

Internal communications plans can be used to: address company issues, translate strategy into action items, share important messages and/or upcoming changes with teams, and keep employees updated with any information they may need to best perform their role. 

These communication plans can also be used to celebrate big wins and provide problem-solving initiatives that teams can use to overcome hurdles. 

How to Create an Internal Communications Strategy?

To create an internal communications strategy, there are a few tried and tested steps that can get you across the finish line, which we will touch on in this section. 

Here are the steps to follow: 

1. What is the Current Situation?

Before you dive into a new communications strategy, take stock of what you are currently doing. Ask yourself what is and isn’t working so that you can focus on making improvements in your next iteration. To put this step simply, it comes down to analysing strengths and weaknesses. 

If you have no current plan, then move to the next step where you will define your goals. Also, this could be a good time to get feedback from employees to understand their expectations and the type of communications they need to be equipped and supported in their respective roles. 

2. What is Your Goal & Objective?

Define your goals and objectives for the internal communications plan. For example, are you looking to boost employee engagement to increase morale and spark motivation? Or, are you looking to adjust employee behavior? 

Depending on your goal, you will direct messages accordingly. It’s useful to employ goals that are SMART, which stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Realistic. 

3. Who is Your Target Audience?

Since the internal communications plan may be used to span the entire organisation, then it makes sense to understand who is your audience, and what is important when communicating with them, because you likely will have to adjust the content and language you use when speaking to different segments of the business. 

Your target audience segments may include:

  • Senior executives (C-Suite) 
  • Stakeholders 
  • Board members 
  • Subject matter experts (i.e. your HR team) 
  • Departments and employees (Finance, IT, HR, etc.) 
  • Local representatives (if your company spans different regions and countries, then you may have key leaders from each location that serve as a representative for their team) 

4. What Message Do You Want to Tell?

The key to creating a successful internal communications strategy hinges on focusing on the organisational goals you wish to achieve. Then, based on the goal, you can adjust the content and approach to achieve the desired outcome. Ultimately, it will come down to how you convey and distribute your message.  

To cover all the bases, be sure to find out what your stakeholders wish to share. Include the overall goal you’re trying to achieve and what relevant news may be important for each department to know. 

By using an internal comms tool like Publicate, you can collaborate with your internal communications team without having anything slip through the cracks. 

Remember that even though you’ll want to provide comprehensive and detailed content in your internal comms, there is a chance that a reader will have questions. To resolve this, keep the opportunity for a two-way street of communication open by providing an open channel in which your employees can reach out should they have any need. You may want to include the answers in the next comms.

5. What Tactics Should You Use?

 A major part of your internal communications strategy is how you deploy your messages. Take a moment to think about the current communication channels you use to share information within your organisation. Is there anything missing? Do you have pain points within the process? 

If so, you may want to consider an online tool that allows you to take advantage of internal communication templates. A tool like Publicate easily integrates with your existing tool stack, so you can design beautiful emails in seconds that you can then export so they can be sent from your Outlook, Gmail, Intranet, or custom applications.

Additionally, with the use of a template, you can follow content best practices as the template inherently provides content hierarchy. 

You can use specific templates which focus your content on different needs such as HR newsletters, employee newsletters, training newsletters and many more. You can also integrate images, videos, links and much more and track exactly what is being clicked on so you can see what works.

6. How to Measure Your Internal Communication Strategy?

The way by which you measure your internal communication strategy will depend on the goals you are trying to achieve. 

While it takes time for business goals to come to fruition, you can measure the success of your internal communications by monitoring KPIs that are related to the message sent. 

For example, when you send an email to your entire organization, you’ll want to know how many people read the message, the impact it had, and if everything was clear to the reader. 

There are various key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can use to review your campaigns. 

Some of these include:

  • Email open-rates: This provides you with how many people open your email out of the total amount that the email was sent to. 
  • Click-through rates: This is a measurement of engagement that goes a step further than open-rates by seeing what people click on within your email. This also helps to provide insight into what type of  information is important to include in future messages. 
  • Used devices: Offers insight as to where your employees are most likely to engage with content (phones, desktops, locations, etc.).
  • Feedback: Send out surveys and ask for feedback from your team to understand what type of internal communications works versus what doesn’t move the needle. 

7. When to Schedule Internal Communications?

Along with the content and layout of your messaging, timing is also everything. Most people tend to be checked out of work by the end of the week as Friday is drawing to a close. 

At the start of the week, most employees are re-energized and more engaged after the downtime of having the weekend. You can test different send times to review when the open-rates and click-through rates are the highest to get a better feel for your team’s optimal timing. 

Once you know this data, you can start to send internal communications on a consistent schedule so that your employees will be expecting a message and will be more inclined to open and read it. 

8. How Will You Stick to Your Plan?

When developed properly, an internal communications strategy can stand the test of time. But, it goes without saying that you should regularly check in on metrics to ensure that the communications plan is still working as you’d have hoped. 

Plan regular meetings with executives, key stakeholders, and employee representatives to gain feedback on how the strategy is being executed. 

9. How to Choose the Right Internal Communications Tool?

There are many internal communications tools to choose from, so how do you pick the right one? 

It’s best to always focus on your audience to determine where they are most likely to be engaged and to gauge the type of content that will capture their attention. 

With an internal communications solution like Publicate, you can design captivating emails without the need of a graphic designer or software engineer. Instead, the tool allows you to develop branded communication with its easy-to-use drag-and-drop functionality. 

You can export the email to any email service provider that your organisation is already using, including Gmail and Outlook, which means you don’t have to pay any extra costs for a new email platform, or require any coding. 

Desktop with gmail

Picture source Unsplash

What is an Internal Communications Template?

A communications template enables you to deliver ad-hoc and quick communications with your team, without the detriment of exorbitant costs or time-consuming investments. 

With an internal communications template, you can easily adjust the messaging and visuals to share information without any delays. With an internal comms tool like Publicate, internal communications can be built through the use of the drag-and-drop interface, allowing any message to be communicated in a timely manner. 

There are beautifully-designed internal communication templates that depend on the type of message you are trying to share, including:

  • HR newsletters
  • Employee newsletters
  • Internal Company Messages 
  • New Employee Announcements
  • Training Newsletters 

With a template in place, you can quickly adjust the messaging and visuals to match your different audiences without delays. 

Final Thoughts 

Developing an internal communications strategy may at first sound overwhelming, but by following the approach laid out above, you should be able to execute a plan that works well for your team’s needs. 

This is the general advice. But we challenge you to test it. Test, test and test some more until you hit that sweet spot.

A tool like Publicate integrates with an extensive list of email and messaging providers so that you can drag-and-drop content, images, videos, and more into a beautifully designed internal communications templates 

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