(No, this is not an article about Pixar).
As a public relations agency, we have been telling clients for years that good communications go from the inside-out and not the other way around. The logic is pretty simple. If you are a hospital and you have not been able to convince the night nurse on the 4th floor that you are on the right track, what are the odds you can convince a member of the public? And what if someone runs into that nurse at a block party...or on Facebook or Twitter?
For a long time, internal communications efforts have been mired in a mindset that focuses on functions: document repositories, approving POs and timesheets and announcing policy changes.
Increasingly, communication professionals are recognizing that internal audiences are still audiences, and they require they same attention and focus on storytelling and interaction that all the other audiences require.
There are a lot of tools available to help build internal communication programs. Among the most common tools is the company intranet. Intranets are like any other tool--they can be used well or poorly. This article by Jody Oriani talks about how corporate intranets have changed in the past seven years. When you read it, you will see my point: intranets are becoming more mobile, more relevant, more interactive and more compelling, just like the rest of the communication landscape.
You can see with the examples in the article that companies are using their intranets to communicate the same brand story that they present to consumers.
Overall, it speaks to the idea that the effective company of today--and of the future--is not going to survive on siloed communications. PR, internal, social--all of these elements are merging closer and closer together. And it isn't enough for everyone to "be on the same page." Everyone needs to execute seamlessly. How to manage that challenge, given the broad range of skills needed and the traditional ways that organizations are organized, is going to be a great opportunity for our industry.