Thread: PR system

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Building an effective internal PR system
Building an effective internal PR system

Internal communications - internal PR is a complex activity, which can use a variety of tools. The main thing is the correspondence to the goals your company is striving to reach in building a system of relations with the internal audience. Internal PR is designed to increase the level of loyalty and motivation of the staff, and therefore the effectiveness of their activities. In addition, creating a positive image of the company in the eyes of employees affects the company's image in the outside world, because the personnel is one of the channels of information transmission to the outside.

An effective system of internal PR is a tool to create employee loyalty and corporate identity, which can significantly increase labor productivity and employee involvement in the work process.

Here I would like to give some practical advice on how to make every employee become an active participant of the internal life of the company, feel himself a part of it and be proud of it.

One of the important moments of the company's activity in development should be the creation of an internal PR system, the establishment of internal corporate communications, and as a consequence, the increase of loyalty and corporate identity of the staff. These directions of activity are the most actual for those companies, which face the problems on forming corporate culture, team building, overcoming the disconnection between the divisions, which may be caused by cumbersome organizational structure or territorial dispersion. All companies seek loyal employees who value their work in the company and recommend it as an employer to their acquaintances.
What is internal PR?

Traditionally, internal PR is understood as a set of measures aimed at creating a positive image of the company-employer among employees, allowing for this to improve the effectiveness of their work. Among such activities experts are distinguished:

- image: development and implementation of the mission, philosophy of the company, rules and procedures, the formation of corporate culture, etc;

- educational: holding of seminars and trainings in order to improve qualification and professional growth of employees, as well as for adaptation of newcomers and employees who have moved to a new position;

- communicative: informing employees about all the main events that take place in the company, issuing corporate mass media, using intranet, desktop alert software, establishing communication between the management and employees, holding conferences, and giving employees the opportunity to make independent decisions;

- uniting: organization of corporate events - holidays, tournaments, competitions, observance of corporate traditions, involvement of employees' families in such events.
Creating a system of internal PR

Creating a system of internal PR involves a lot of work, which consists of several major steps:

1. Preparing

2. Selection of tools

3. Implementation

Evaluation of effectiveness

1. Preparing .

At this stage, for those who are just beginning to think about building an internal PR system, it is important to answer a few key questions.

1. What is the situation at the moment?

It is necessary to make a diagnosis and analysis of the current state. If any work is being done, it is necessary to understand how effective it is, and what has to be done to improve its quality? Is it necessary to add some elements or completely restructure it?
2. What is the scale of the changes expected?

Maybe it is planned to carry out a few specific activities, or maybe it is necessary to build a structure aimed at the implementation of a long-term program. Obviously, the effectiveness of the whole system is higher than of individual elements, but a lot depends on the specific situation.

3. What is the purpose of the activity?

As a rule the main aims of internal PR are forming loyalty and corporativeness of employees, building intra-corporate communications, increasing motivation of employees. The result of these processes should be an increase of labor productivity and efficiency of the company as a whole. When designing a system of internal PR within a company it is important to be guided by the strategic goals and priorities of the company.

2. Choice of tools

At this stage it is necessary to define, what measures will be needed to achieve the goal? It is already a choice of practical tools.

1. Corporate media: newspaper, magazine, newsletter, etc.

A corporate newspaper (or magazine) informs about the company, its objectives, goals, successes, news, products and services. The purpose of the corporate newspaper is to create loyalty to the company among its employees, customers and partners, who are the readership of the newspaper.

Issue of a corporate newspaper can be carried out by employees of the HR department, the marketing and PR department, or with the help of outsourced specialists. The experience of many companies shows that if a newspaper is prepared by the HR-department, its content is more focused on the company's employees, if it is prepared by marketing specialists - on customers.

The size, frequency and type (paper or electronic) of the newspaper depends on the company's financial and time capabilities.

If a new issue of the newspaper is prepared every week or every month, it performs an informational function for employees and serves as a channel for disseminating news information. If it comes out less than once every two months, it most often has a commentary function, providing information to employees about past events.

The newspaper may include a wide variety of headings:

- Appointments (key appointments for the company)

- Our employees (interviews with key employees)

- Past events (coverage of corporate events)

- What is awaiting us (announcements of future events)

- Novelties (new products or services)

- Our friends (information on friendly companies: partners, customers, suppliers)

- birthdays of employees

- Reader's page, etc.

One of the dangers is the perception of employees of the newspaper as an official publication, the release of which is not expected, and having received, do not read. To prevent this situation, it is necessary to focus as much as possible on the expectations of employees, continuing to follow the previously selected concept. For example, employees may be asked to become authors of articles or entire columns. When describing an event, it is important to involve participants of past events as interviewees and to post group photos. If employees are waiting for a new issue to come out, showing it to family and friends, it is an indicator that the newspaper is readable and you are on the right track.
2. Corporate Code.

A corporate code is a document or set of documents that describes the rules of doing business and relationships within a company. A code can transmit the values of the company, orient employees to common corporate goals and thereby enhance the corporate identity.

One of the functions of a code is to regulate the behavior of employees in difficult work situations. Improvement of efficiency of employees' activity is carried out by: regulating priorities in interaction with clients, defining the order of decision-making in difficult situations, indicating unacceptable forms of behavior.

The content of the code is determined, first of all, by its peculiarities, structure, tasks of development, and the attitudes of its managers.

Publication of the code in the form of a separate brochure allows every new employee and, if necessary, a candidate to become familiar with it during the job interview.

The code will not be perceived by employees as "something imposed by the management" if working groups were held during its creation, in which leading employees were involved, defining what is really important for the company.

3. Mass events.

Every company has its own history of corporate events: some celebrate the company's birthday, the new year, some celebrate professional holidays. The format of the event usually depends on the size of the company.

If the purpose is to increase corporate employees, such tasks are solved by bowling or carting tournaments, for example. The event itself takes 2-4 hours, which can be attended not only by participants but also by fans. If the task is to increase teamwork in different units, you can hold tournaments in soccer or volleyball, for example, the rules of which involve a "cup system" competition. The organization of such events is a time-consuming and, more often than not, costly project.

When organizing such events, it is important to actively use the tools of internal PR. Announcement about the upcoming corporate sports tournament, the rules of the event, a list with the names of teams and captains can be placed on the information boards, on the intranet, sent by e-mail. It is important to inform the participants in detail about all the news, you can organize a corporate "bookmaker's office" to increase general interest in the event. Information about the tournament and pictures of the winners can be placed in the corporate newspaper or on the corporate website.

Qualitative performance indicators

The main methods of internal corporate surveys in order to obtain information about the index of employee loyalty are:
- anonymous questionnaire survey of all personnel,

- survey of focus groups,

- interviews with employees.

The choice of research methods depends on:

- the number of questions and types of expected responses,

- criteria for classification of answers,

- the degree of confidentiality of data collection,

- the number of employees whose opinions are planned to learn

- resources to be used.

When carrying out anonymous questioning it is important to define the participants of the research as precisely as possible: if in companies with up to 300 people all employees can participate, in organizations with more than 300 people it is important to correctly allocate a focus group. In this case the study should include representatives of all departments, all professions, and there should also be an equal distribution between employees who have been working in the organization for a long time and those who came recently.

An important factor in the survey is the percentage of returned questionnaires. If it is less than 50%, it may mean that employees do not trust the organizers of the survey or do not understand the importance of this event for the company. In this case, it is necessary to raise the status of the survey with the help of internal PR and guarantee anonymity to employees.

When conducting interviews with employees, it is important to prepare the interviewer, his ability to further interpret the information obtained. The recommended number of interviews is equal to 5-10% of the number of participants in an anonymous survey. Experience shows that employees who have been working in the company for a long time are more responsive to interview proposals. They are more loyal and tolerant of the problems that arise in the company. The opinion of new employees is no less important: their perception of the internal situation gives the company an idea of its image as an employer and of the adaptation measures that have been taken in the company.

Of course, after the evaluation certain conclusions need to be made, corrections need to be made and work must go on, because the activity of forming an internal PR system cannot be completed once and for all. After one project is finished, the next one is initiated. Even if there is a certain structure - mass-media, intranet, software alert system, notice-boards etc. and it works, it still needs support, updating, creativity, some additions, checking.

The system of internal PR should be developed, adjusted, using valuable experience, including experience of other companies which can be found at industry conferences where HR-specialists talk about implemented technologies and tools used, about successful projects and failures.
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