But if an organisation lacks a properly-designed and implemented system to communicate with staff those assumptions remain just that - assumptions.
Employees and managers that communicate well are an essential ingredient in a properly functioning organisation.
Organisational failure is often a result of a lack of a strategy reaching internal stakeholders at critical times.
To avoid this, key messages that align with organisational goals should be developed and shared with employees across the organisation from the CEO down.
Open, informative, honest and continual communication creates champions among an organisation’s workforce, which then advances the organisation’s mission and programs both internally and externally.
Platforms used to carry key messages can be varied and used to reach different internal stakeholders.
An intranet is a powerful and effective tool to communicate with staff but it is only useful if all staff have regular access to a work-based computer or tablet.
Staff who work outdoors or drive machinery will find an intranet’s utility lacking and many also have only sporadic access to emails and even text messages.
Older workers can find digital mediums intimidating and difficult to navigate.
The humble poster; newsletter, one-on-one face-to-face meeting and old-fashioned toolbox talk should never be overlooked.
By Benjamin Haslem
UK-based PR adviser, Stuart Bruce, poses an interesting question: is it better to hire a person who has expertise in PR and then teach them about social media or the other way around - hire the social media expert and teach them PR?
Bruce argues for the former and I tend to agree.
Social Media is just one part of the public relations arsenal. You need to understand the art of communication and you need to be strategic.
Who are your stakeholders? What are their attitudes to what you are communicating? What are their expectations? How much influence do they have? Will they share what you have to say with others and would they do so enthusiastically and react negatively to being "used"?
Is Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn the best channel on which to engage?
Is any social media platform the best forum or would an email, telephone call or even a letter be better?
Bruce quite rightly qualifies his view by stressing that some roles are clearly set out for a social media specialist, such as measurement, analytics, and evaluation, though you also need someone to look at that analysis with a jaundiced eye, to pick up patterns a person not au fait with PR may miss.
"An amazing ability with social media analytics wouldn't be enough when the alternative was someone with broader PR evaluation skills and the ability to learn social media measurement," Bruce writes.
That's not to say a good social media specialist can not shine in broader public relations. Just as I was hired by Jackson Wells after 10 years as a journalist at News Limited and today do more than handle media management.
By Benjamin Haslem
Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been dealing with a crisis over the taste of its milk products for a number of months.
Consumers had been returning the company's products en masse, complaining about a "funny taste" and issues with the milk going off before the expiration date stamped on containers.
Despite hiring consultants, replacing equipment, firing staff and a invoving a dairy scientist, the problem
continued. This was serious issue for the brand.
Once the issue was solved, CEO Jeff Kleinpeter posted a message on YouTube explaining the problem and the
By Benjamin Haslem
The recent decision by the Biennale of Sydney to reject private sponsorship from Transfield is another example of doing something because it makes you feel good and not because it will deliver any tangible benefits.
I've lost count of the number of times I've cautioned a client against taking a particular course of action with the words: "It may make you feel good but...".
When planning any communication activity it is important to understand who your stakeholders are, their interests in an issue, their expectations, their level of influence and how they are likely to react to particular actions.
1. Is Social Media Stifling Political Debate?