Crafting an Impactful Internal Communication Plan: 6 Key Questions to Consider

In my earlier post "Here's Why Internal Communication Matters", I wrote about the intricacies of internal communication, exploring its definition, the role of internal communicators, the significance of ethics, and its contribution to a company's overarching mission. In this article, we delve into six essential questions that should guide your internal communication planning to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness.


1. Why are you communicating this message?


The fundamental question in internal communication is the purpose behind your communication efforts and the desired outcomes. Align your key messages with the company's mission, ensuring clarity and consistency among the teams and employees. Establish specific objectives to assess the impact of your internal communication efforts.  


2. Who is your target audience?


Identify and understand your audience to tailor your messages to their needs. Segmentation is vital for defining specific outcomes for each audience. Comprehend what they already know and anticipate their future needs and requirements, This will support you in crafting clear messages and selecting the most appropriate channels.  


3. What is the intended message?


Define the content of your communication, considering the audience's needs and desired outcomes. View the message from the audience's perspective, asking questions like 'What's in it for me?' and 'Why should I care?'. This empathetic approach enhances engagement and receptivity.


4. When is the best time to communicate?


Timing plays a pivotal role in effective communication, especially when an organisation is going through a difficult or busy phase. Being the first to deliver a message establishes credibility, but me mindful of potential hindrances and competing messages. Provide early information when possible to manage expectations. A credible and reliable communicator is the one who delivers the message first. However, there are other aspects to consider.


5. How will you communicate?


Every company needs a mix of communication channels because of different audiences and their information needs. There are six types of communication channels:

  • Push channels deliver a one-way flow of information to the audience, whether they want to receive it or not. Examples include: emails, newsletters, print magazines, intranet news and TV screens.
  • Pull channels help the audience find the information they need in a dedicated place. Examples include: Intranet/SharePoint, videos, online news and annual reports.
  • Talk channels allow employees to talk and react to information. Examples include: face-to-face meetings, TV channels, discussion boards and ‘Ask the CEO’.
  • Community channels help create a sense of belonging to a community or a team. Examples include: team events and social networks.
  • Engage channels deliver messages that make employees want to commit. Examples include: awards, online discussions and company blog posts.
  • Intelligence channels help employees understand their contribution to the team and the company. Examples include: surveys, online polls and team meetings.

6. How will you measure and evaluate?


The final step involves tracking, measuring and evaluating internal communication efforts. This enables you to showcase achievements and demonstrate the impact on the organization and its business to your team and senior management. Besides, this will help you to plan your future activities more effectively.  




To summarize, these six key elements should be central to your internal communication plan:

  • Be clear about why you want to communicate.
  • Understand your audience and their information needs.
  • Articulate the message and desired outcomes.
  • Choose optimal timing for communication.
  • Select appropriate channels for each audience.
  • Implement sound tracking, measurement and evaluation process. 



FitzPatrick, L. and Valskov, K. 2014. Internal Communications. A Manual for Practitioners (PR in Practice). Kogan Page: London.


Written by Liudmila Kazak