Now is not the time to overlook internal communications

If you’ve been giving internal comms short shrift, reexamine, and do it now.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

There’s no shortage of communications technologies on the market, from classic press release distribution products to platforms measuring the effectiveness of campaigns in earned media and gauging customer sentiment.

One part of the communications technology ecosystem that is often overlooked — as is the case in PR in general — is internal communications. It’s time to put a stop to that for good.

With large parts of the country working from home for the foreseeable future and other regions set to soon join them, there’s never been a more important time for companies to effectively communicate with employees.

It’s what employees are demanding, according to research from G&S Business Communications that surveyed more than 1,000 Americans over the age of 18. Let’s start with the bad news: Some employees are still not getting the message about coronavirus, with one-third (33%) saying they would go to work if they feel sick.

The good news is that a majority of Americans are satisfied with the level of communications they’ve received from their employer, and more than half say their bosses have communicated with employees about coronavirus on at least a daily basis over the past week. Seventy-seven percent say their companies are doing a good job talking to them about coronavirus, and 40% are very satisfied with the communications they’ve received.

Sadly, there are laggards. Unbelievably, 9% of employees said their companies haven’t communicated at all about coronavirus, and 12% said they’ve only received one message in the past week. Nearly one-quarter (23%) said their employee is not doing a good job talking about COVID-19.

So while there are promising signs, clearly not everyone is on the same page. However, in the coming months, companies will need to talk clearly, carefully and honestly with their teams about the coronavirus pandemic. There’s never been a more important time for companies to make sure their internal communications platforms and procedures are up to snuff.

Frank Washkuch is PRWeek’s executive editor. Reach him at frank.washkuch@prweek.com.

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