Harnessing the power of employee advocacy

When we talked about the annual internal communication conference and its theme Closing the Gap, the committee started to share some of the challenges we each face in our own organisations.


Helen Deverell

The latest post from our committee, is from Helen Deverell. Helen shares her experience of a significant gap in organisations. The chasm that can occur between internal and external communication and how collaborating can help employee advocacy and especially our external comms partners.


Over to Helen:

I’ve worked with organisations where the gap between internal and external communication is equivalent to the Grand Canyon. The view has been different audiences, so therefore different responsibilities (and budgets!). But recently, that’s begun to change as organisations are waking up to the power of employee advocacy.

Social media has changed the communication landscape, and employees and customers have a voice like never before. And as far as your employees, that could be hundreds or thousands of voices, each with networks of hundreds or thousands more voices.

But for employees to advocate honestly and authentically, the brand that you’re selling to your customers, needs to be the same brand that your employees are living. Your employees need to be a priority audience in any external communication plan, no one wants to find out news about the company they work for in the press.

But does this warrant a more collaborative relationship, or a complete merging of disciplines? By joining forces, would internal communications finally have a seat at the table when ideas and projects are being first discussed, rather than being invited in at the last-minute and being told to ‘do a bit of internal comms’? Would marketing teams be able to save money by encouraging employees to share key messages, thinking and insights externally?

And do external comms even want to close the gap with us? As our more glamorous cousins, who can demonstrate direct links from what they do to increased sales and profit, do they need us?

Yes, I think so. In many ways, external comms teams have more to gain from a more collaborative working relationship with us – surely having thousands of ready-made brand advocates is a marketer’s dream. So, if we want to close the gap between external and internal, maybe we need to start by reminding external comms what’s in it for them?

What’s your experience? Can you relate to this, or did you close the gap between internal and external long ago? Or do you think they need to remain as separate functions? Come join the discussion on 4 October!


Where are the gaps in your organisation?


Every organisation has gaps, places where internal communication can make improvements. What are  your challenges? What are you doing to get a solution that works for your business?


Every organisation is different, its focus is different and the approaches needed are different – but we can all learn from each other. We’d love to share your ‘gap stories’ with the community here, so drop us a mail tociprinside@gmail.com


Book your conference tickets today.

Closing the Gap, our annual internal communication conference is on 4 October in London. Book early to get the early bird ticket price. Members always get the best prices. Take advantage of additional discounts with your order of Big Yak tickets , or through AllthingsICfor non members.

Check out the videos of some of last year’s presentation that have been uploaded.

Image credit: Featured Image: Splashbase.co, other images our own


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