Do your employees write regularly? If you answered “no,” then you’re probably wrong. With email, skype and text messaging becoming staples in office communication, employees are writing more than ever. But whether these messages are internal or external, they’re an essential (although often overlooked) piece of your brand image.
In other words, all communication is marketing.
Even internal email counts
We send quick notes and long recaps to our coworkers daily. This casual correspondence, though, doesn’t provide an excuse for haphazard spelling, shoddy grammar and, most heinously, a lack of clarity.
Think of internal messaging as practice grounds for external communications: Is it concise? Do you appropriately use bullet points to outline actionable takeaways? Are there possible misinterpretations within the message? If so, eliminate them. Start over if you need to. Forming good, automatic email habits should be encouraged across all departments, whether they’re client-facing or not.
Although internal email isn’t normally considered a place to wax poetic, employees should carefully consider to whom they’re sending the message and adjust the email’s tone appropriately. Even if the message is to a close coworker, it should be held to the same grammatical and content standards as a message you might send to an executive — you never know who will be cc’ed or bcc’ed, and that can sometimes include clients.
Remember, internally or externally, you represent your company. Communicate as such.
How to encourage good writing at work
Aside from the obvious act of encouraging employees to contribute to the company blog, there are a few other practices your team can develop to help them become better writers. Think of this as both an offer for professional development (a huge culture win!) and an investment in your brand image.
Some of the practices to help you send the right message:
- Find an editor. If you don’t have one or two on staff, find out who has editing or writing experience and recruit them for the job of checking over important emails, documents, or blog posts before they go live.
- Include the communicators in internal meetings. Make sure they’re in the loop with everything the client has come to expect and be sure all needs and terms associated with the campaign are adequately communicated. The more specific the messages are, the more trust you’ll develop with the client.
- Define company jargon clearly, and outline which ones the clients are already familiar with. If they’re not familiar with TOFU, don’t toss around the acronym as if they are. They’ll end up thinking you’re just really passionate about soy-based meat alternatives.
- Encourage other forms of communication. Speaking internally and writing for the blog are two of the easiest practices to implement. On a larger scale, though, encourage employees to host webinars, attend Twitter chats and other networking events to brush up on their communication skills.
- Involve key people in the creation of any documents the client will receive. This not only gives everyone a greater understanding of what they’re presenting, but it also allows the team more opportunities to correct any little errors before shipping to the client.
These foundational practices are more than just “nice habits.” They improve employee morale, lessen internal and external miscommunication, promote efficiency and increase client trust. But the greatest benefit to emphasizing communication may be the consistency with which everyone on your team can relay your statement of purpose — no one can market your company better than well-informed employees.
Image Credit: Flickr