I see a lot written about Twitter tips and how Twitter is great for public relations, like branding, building relationships and trust, awareness, etc. And the fact of the matter is it's true: Twitter is a great platform for external communications efforts.
But I’ve also discovered that Twitter is a great tool for internal PR, and can be used to communicate and promote positive, in-house relations. And given the tough economic climate we’re in, I bet everyone at your office could use a morale boost.
Internal Public Relations is Often Ignored
Before I talk about using Twitter for internal messaging, I first want to take a quick look at internal PR in general, and at what I see as a lack of attention on internal communications.
Internal PR often fails to match the intensity of external efforts. There are a few reasons for this.
- Messaging with blinders on – Companies are often so focused on pushing their message out that they neglect internal messaging. I’ve also seen instances where marketing/PR departments assume that everyone inside is already aware of the company’s messaging, which isn’t usually the case.
- Employees not a “critical audience” – Internal PR is not really deemed as "high ROI" and employees aren’t part of the “target market,” so it’s hard to justify spending time and money in an effort to make everyone feel all "warm and fuzzy" about the company.
Sure, in the end, it’s about the bottom line. I get it. But what a company risks by not tending its flock is low morale and a potential disconnect with the company. Happy employees are often the biggest brand advocates, and we all know how powerful word of mouth is. So my take is these are the last people you want to alienate.
In any case, the way that I’m proposing you use Twitter for your internal PR and morale building is short on time, long on good feelings and costs nothing.
Don't Hide Those Tweets Away
Like many, I use Twitter for brand monitoring. I check for brand and company comments and feedback in Twitter Search every day, often multiple times a day. I respond to product questions when necessary, provide product information, and act as the resident brand advocate for WordStream on Twitter.
By the way, if you’re not already monitoring your brand on Twitter, you should be. You need to be aware of what people are saying (Tweeting) about you, your product and/or your service. To do this, go to Twitter Search or you can download SEO for Firefox plugin, where the Twitter Search Bar is an automatic feature.
So through my brand monitoring, I see a lot of pro-WordStream Tweets, which is terrific. Obviously, it feels good when people say positive things about your company. So each time I see a positive Tweet, I save the URL and capture a screenshot of the Tweet, like this:
At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what I would do with these saved Tweets, but I figured it may be useful at some point.
Then it dawned on me that I should distribute these Tweets internally. I figured why should I be the only one to enjoy these posts. Everyone should see them. We're a small start up (WordStream that is) so we put in a lot of hard work and long hours. So I thought it would be really uplifting and rewarding for everyone to get a digest of these Tweets occasionally.
So I shot out the following, company-wide email:
Thought I’d share these with everyone.
There’s an amazing amount of brand enthusiasm for us on Twitter.
Here are some of the pro-WordStream tweets from the past 10 days:
The internal reaction was great. Since I do most of the Twitter activity, majority of people in-house had no idea these Tweets existed. So it was a great morale boost, with a positive message of "Keep up the good work. It’s hard, but it's paying off. People are noticing."
Twitter for Internal PR: It’s an Inside Job
What’s great about Twitter is it’s a communications platform that's still in its infancy. Seems like cool, new applications and tools sprout up on a daily basis. So each day brings fresh possibilities for improving your Twitter productivity and efficiency, which raises the bar for building better relationships, stronger followings, faster and more effective communication channels, and more.
So my advice to my fellow social media brand advocates is to continue to think outside the box and dream up ways you too can use Twitter to improve your company's communication efforts, both inside and out.
And don’t be afraid to circulate those pro-company Tweets around. You’d be surprised how little things like this can make a big difference.