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INTERNAL RELATIONS

When you consider the role of public relations, chances are you immediately focus on external communication. That is, assessing how your business and/or brand communicates with the masses, your market and your competitors. It is crucial that you develop and maintain a positive perception from an external point of view, but don’t let internal communication and strategy take a back seat.

You are also responsible for engaging your staff and promoting the values of your organisation. Communication between employer and employee and employee and employee is vital to daily activity and productivity and your people being true to your brands values. This does not necessarily mean you have to take an “open door” approach, but it is important that you communicate the direction your business is taking this week, this month, this year and beyond!

It is also a good idea to invest time in developing systems and policies for all forms of written and verbal communication that takes place amongst your team.  Your customer service policies need to tie into this. If things aren’t up to shape on the inside, something as simple as a missed email, invoice, or phone call could ultimately impact external perceptions.

Your people need to be just as excited as you about the company’s direction, and to harness that positive energy within people takes careful analysis and strategic planning.  

 

Interestingly it’s often this time of year that we as business owners think about thanking our customers for their ongoing support of our company through Christmas cards, eCards, corporate gifts, Christmas parties etc, but what about your team and your suppliers?  The ones that put their foot to the metal for you day in, day out.  How are you thanking them for their service to you as the year draws to a close?

It doesn’t have to be elaborate or cost the earth, but sometimes a simple thank you gift, or social team get together is all it takes to touch the hearts of your people.

I remember working for a company when I was much younger in a very male dominated industry that gave its people a large food hamper and a big family sized leg ham every Christmas.  It was a very generous gift.  But I remember the excitement amongst the staff at Christmas time when they would be delivered.  Those staff worked their butts off for this particular business all year round, it was a very labour intensive environment.  The staff were not given much throughout the year in terms of gifts, but this was something the company did for their staff every year, and the staff really valued this gift highly.  It had become a Christmas tradition and it showed that this company cared about their people and their families.  At that time of year when money can get tight for a lot of families, it meant the world to them.

Now I’m not saying you need to spend as much money as this on every staff member, but the reason I am telling you this story is to show you the positive impact that it had.  I personally talk about that company and its owners to this day with a great sense of pride and fondness.  They possessed a hard working culture with old school values and they had a very low turnover of people.  

A lot has changed in the business world since those times I know, but human behaviour is fundamentally the same.  Everyone likes to be valued and acknowledged for their hard work and thanked if they have done a good job.  So I ask you to give some thought to what Christmas tradition you can establish in your company that will leave your staff members hearts full as they go into the festive season and ensure they come back to work in a positive mind set about you and your business.

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