Don’t overlook internal communication

If you can’t communicate internally to get everyone on the same page, you can’t effectively communicate with anyone else.

When reviewing your audience segments, do you include your employees as a segment? Your employees are arguably the most important audience, and advocates, that your company has.

Think about communication from their perspectives. Would you want to hear news about your company from an outside source? Probably not.

Internal communication is often overlooked because it’s incredibly simple and many leaders assume that people within the organization already talk to each other. Sure, people talk to each other regularly, but not always in the way you expect.

Clue your employees in and let them know what your organization is doing. (more…)

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Eliminate the Silo and Become a Change Agent

Today we have a guest blog post from Jeff Naymik, Marketing Director at Nook Industries. This post originally appeared on Nook’s blog Making Motion Work and is reposted with permission. Read the original blog here.

We live in a world of instant communication and yet, we are sometimes not good communicators. Poor communication is usually the root problem for creating silos in many technology-driven companies. Development secrets are usually held tightly and limited to only those in the organization who “need to know.”

When you start limiting the flow of information in your organization, divides begin among associates, departments and divisions. Many mature brands struggle with the problem of departmental silos, while some start-ups introduce products at lightning speed. How can this happen? The reason is communication is their lifeline to survival and success.

Look around your organization for signs of silos. You’ll find:

  • Special projects in every department no one has heard of.
  • Too few meetings to inform senior staff of progress.
  • Poor communication from the top illustrating how your efforts fit into the big plan.

Many companies recognize this problem but most don’t know how to address it. The senior staff needs to appoint a cross-functional team of people committed to change, “Change Agents” if you will.

With the backing of the senior staff, this team has the authority to break down barriers of communication throughout the organization. A process needs to be put in place and everyone needs to take ownership.

Change will come through the commitment of proven leaders in the organization as they drive the change process.

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Is work fun? (Fun At Work Day)

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Engineer, Sonnhalter

Today is Fun At Work Day! Is your work fun? Do you have fun on the job?

Too often, we hear that work isn’t supposed to be fun, but a valuable part of internal communication is to help your staff enjoy their jobs and working environments.

One way to infuse a little fun into work is with internal events. Whether you do something semi-annually, quarterly or monthly, I recommend looking beyond a yearly holiday party.

Here are some ideas of employee events:

  1. Have a picnic or barbeque during lunch. Who wouldn’t want to have their bosses grill them a burger or serve them baked beans?

    Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect, grilling up goodies

  2. Host internal competitions. Whether it’s a health initiative that includes counting steps or a simple tree decorating or pumpkin carving competition that lets your crew get creative. Every year, Sonnhalter has a summer photo contest and we submit photos from our summers that are judged by our Idea Builder for their composition and adherence to the theme. (You can see some of the winning photos in our Facebook album.)
  3. Celebrate strange holidays.  At Sonnhalter, we celebrate National Tradesmen Day, World Toilet Day, Fire Prevention Day and many other trade holidays. Other companies celebrate the more obscure holidays like National Pi Day or Squirrel Appreciation Day. eMail_Header_Plumber
  4. Go to sporting events. Build your team by cheering on a baseball, football, soccer, hockey, basketball or other sports team.
  5. Make something together. We like to get our hands dirty at Sonnhalter, so most of our events follow that theme including making our own pasta, painting pottery and glass blowing.
  6. Serve your community together. 2014 is the 5th year that Sonnhalter will hold an August Tool Drive to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Our team comes together for a good cause and we have a lot of fun doing it too. Even if a month-long event isn’t a good fit for your company, you can serve your community in other ways including having a volunteer day or having a charity walk team.


    In ’13, Sonnhalter filled two trucks with community donations

Whether you do something as an entire company or by department, adding a little fun to work can actually make your people more productive.

How do you infuse some fun into your work environment?

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Your Most Important Audience

Today we have a post from Rachel Kerstetter, Sonnhalter’s PR Engineer.

I have noticed in some companies that internal communication is not made a priority. External communication in the form of advertising and marketing seem to be pretty important though.

Here’s the problem: Within a company, if you can’t communicate internally enough to get everyone on the same page, how exactly do you expect to communicate with anyone else?

One of my mentors once told me that internal communications is definitely “public relations,” because a company’s employees are its most important audience.

Think about it: Would you want to hear news about your company from a source outside of your company?

If a friend comes to you and says, “Hey, I heard your company just started Initiative X,” but you have no idea what they’re talking about, it’s embarrassing to you and your company. Internal communication is really very simple, talk to each other. Clue your employees in and let them know what you’re doing. Word-of-mouth recommendations are incredibly valuable and have to be earned through solid communication. We live in an age where we look at online reviews before purchasing a pair of flip flops, so if your staff knows what your company is doing, they can be an excellent resource for recommendations.

I know that my answer to the question: How’s work going? is a lot more interesting when I know about new things happening at Sonnhalter.

Internal communication is also important if you’re hiring outside help… for example, an agency.

There’s a reason for a reporting structure, even for outside help. It saves you not only hassle, but also money, if everyone on your team is on the same page, because your outside help won’t have to decipher what your messages and goals are.

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