You’ve been queasy about presenting your team’s annual review all week.
Not that you have anything to be nervous about — you guys are killing it!
Nevertheless, as pens click, slideshows flash, and each department has their turn, your palms sweat.
Your heart rate spikes. You’re next.
Your nerves reflect your insight into how important it is to communicate your team’s value to other departments.
Because great internal communications are the key to:
- More money and resources
- Great workplace vibes
- Team unity
- Respect from other departments
How focusing on internal communications pays off
When you exist within a larger organization, as many IT vendors do, you want to take every opportunity to toot your own horn.
It’s easy to slip under the radar, smoothly stepping in and putting out IT fires like a boss. But what happens when you’re so good at your job that they start to feel like IT isn’t such a big deal?
When budget cuts are impending and outsourcing IT starts to look like a good option, it helps to have a proactive plan to justify the department’s value.
Someone has to communicate the value of great IT management before it’s questioned.
Internal communications — marketing inside your organization — keeps you in the job and keeps resources flowing so you can expand your capabilities and excel at what you do. And it gives your team a sense of cohesiveness and vision.
Create an internal marketing plan with these 7 tips
Not to brag, but I’m pretty good at pointing out what I’m doing right.
And that’s a big part of internal communications and marketing — seeking out opportunities to tactfully brag about your team and services. Here are some ideas:
- Stay social. Take advantage of social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to stay on everyone’s radar. Posts should be reputation-building and helpful (“Reminder that we’ll have a service outage tonight — it’s annoying, but we’re pleased to say we haven’t needed one in over six months! Working hard to help you meet your goals.”)
- Be nice. Encourage your team to focus on soft skills like active listening. And start thinking of yourselves as IT coaches, eager to empower the less tech-savvy among you.
- Pitch, please. Train employees to have something like an elevator speech prepared for interactions with outside departments. They should be able to explain why your department is vital to the organization in a succinct, jargon-free way.
- Watch your language. Speaking of jargon, avoid it in your outbound internal communications whenever you can. You want the maximum number of people to be able to connect with your message. It’s also important to understand that marketing is now part of the job for each team member. Every conversation with outside departments should try to make IT look good.
- Make the most of annual reports. Any time you communicate to outside departments you should be building your team’s reputation. Annual reports should highlight your achievements, your work toward meeting your organization’s goals, how much money you’ve saved them, and any special awards won or speaking engagements your team has done. Keep the language simple and clear, and treat the annual report like a resume — because you want it to land you future jobs and resources.
- Spin for the win. Again, any communication should make you look good. For example, if you’re sending a memo to brief employees on safe internet practices, take a paragraph to mention that the organization has fewer viruses than similar organizations.
- Don’t stop at no. If people outside your team don’t understand the cost of their request, it’s to your advantage to educate them. Instead of saying, “No, that can’t be done,” start saying “Yes, we can do that extra service for $X.” Shooting down requests just frustrates people who aren’t familiar with IT’s expertise. But if you say yes and quantify the request, you’ll (rightfully) boost their perception of your competence and the value of your services.
How to market your business if you don’t have the time
At 8 Signal, we’re positively smitten with it.
And we’d love to help you identify areas to strengthen your business’s reputation and create opportunities for you to shine.
There’s a time to DIY, and a time to turn your focus back to the job you love. More on that here.
You don’t have to create an internal (or external) marketing plan on your own.
Contact us today to set up a free 2-hour business consultation.