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Monday, October 11, 2010

5 tips to set up an internal communications office


Many organizations try to organize and develop an integrated work related with internal communications, which must be conducted by a sensitive and experienced skilled professional, able to plan a project based on measurable goals.

But ¿which must be the main tips to set up an internal communications office?

To set up an internal communications office, Previously, it had to be necessary to identify an organizational problem. Anything that motivates the Board, to set up internal channels of communication, able to generate cohesion and a powerful organizational culture, at least it should be its mission.

Some organizations, moreover those multinational ones, have already a tradition on recruiting well skilled communication professionals, but on the other hand, the rest of local businesses tend to consider internal communications as a esoteric issue.

1)Introduce the Idea
One of the main promoters and sponsors of an office related with internal communications must be the Human Resource Manager. He should be the main concerned in developing specialized channels that make him able to take the correct decisions. The Human Resource Management should, not only, be encharged of operative tasks, but to take the leadership of the strategy to strength the corporative culture. The HR Manager, is who should get the idea and introduce it to the Board.

I think that the idea must be introduced in organizational levels, I mean, How the organization would be with an internal communication office working, and how would it be without it? How much resources would the project need, in relation with the final outcome? How much would the project save for the company?

It is always a good idea to introduce a project showing its economic advantages. A businessman needs to buy anything profitable.

2)Recruiting the correct professional
It is not easy to get the right one. Well experienced and skilled enough to develop such a project. The project will demand a professional, with not only communication knowledge, but with a background that let him understand the social, cultural and economic reality, not only in national terms, but international terms too. Am I asking a lot? Come on! He is the man who will motivate the human resources at the organization.

Another important issue is related with the professional's previous experience. I mean Can a retail experienced professional can do it in industrial level? Can A professional who worked for a fast food, develop a successful experience in mining sector? Obviously those are elements necessary to take account.

3)Planning the office
This issue is vey importan and depend on the business necessities. Particularly, I point out that a communication project must be strongly oriented to quantified outcomes, based on a solid structure. I desagree with those ideas that consider communications as a source of entertainment for workers, this is an incorrect way of seeing organizational communications development.

At this level it is necessary an internal research, I mean to apply focus groups, inteviews and surveys among workers. Also, It's very important to listen to people around, in the canteen for example. A good communicator will notice those details that enable him to design his communication project.

A communication office has to define its mission and vission, to set its goals and indicators.

4)Resources
The resources that will manage the internal communications office must be approved by the Board, though previously worked by the new internal communications head and the Human Resources Manager. They should have based the project in the current business situation and that will give them a glimpse of those human, economic and material necessary resources.

5)Lauching internal branding
Since I am an advocate and practitioner of internal branding, I see workers as real internal customers who try to satisfy their effective and real information necessity, and in change they will adopt some kind of behaviour wished by the company. That's why I believe that it is necessary to develop an internal communications brand that focus the main communications k-drivers.

I undestand k-drivers as those elements that define the internal brand in people's mind

Lets take account that internal communications function is a facilitator for the company. Its main targets are the managers, who need fresh internal trends to take decisions later.

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